16 Mar In search of inspiration in the middle of the ocean
I hope someday you get the chance to visit this wonderful island, to walk through its forests, to see how life goes on inside the crater of a volcano, to taste the amazing local cheeses, to let yourself be enchanted by the simple and beautiful life that this place and the people here are determined to cultivate. We’re in Ponta Delgada, on São Miguel Island, the biggest of the nine islands that compose the Azores archipelago. (Check this post if you’re curious about what brought us here).
Arriving, quarantining for 14 days and three covid tests – it took us a while to actually go out and explore. Between volunteering, trying to adjust the new routine, adapting our personal work to the new schedule and the insanely unstable weather of the first days, we didn’t get many chances to go out and explore. But the few days we did, we were completely amazed by the abundance of this place.
The landscape is full of green mountains that seem to have been molded by a giant hand, its slopes are populated by dairy cattle that spend their days walking free, grazing, and enjoying the sea views – happy cows, they say. The massive Atlantic Ocean is always there, crystalline waters in light green and blue shades kissing the dark volcanic rocks – a natural palette of colors that is difficult to describe and even to capture. A scenery that can easily change to a very black and white atmosphere during storms and extremely windy days. The violent waves turn the green and the blue into a foamy white sea, splashing itself against the dark rocks as if there were no tomorrow.
A mix of Brazilian and European vegetation is how I can humbly describe the forests inside the craters. Yes, you can visit them, there are cities, lakes, more beautifully green fields, and huge preserved areas where you can hike and appreciate the most spectacular views.
Ponta Delgada is one of the Azores’ capitals and its biggest city. Even so, there are still bakers that pass by houses every morning hanging a bag of bread to the door latch, milkmen that brings the freshest milk straight from the source and many other habits that were a tradition in many small towns (everywhere?) a few decades ago. (Why did we stop doing that?) The fact that we’re staying at a small farm just 15 minutes away from the city center also influences my perception of living in the countryside, but it’s still possible to enjoy all the comforts of urban life. In the garden we can freshly pick most of the vegetable and fruits we consume. The 400-years-old house that we’re staying has the best of the past times – history, antique furniture, huge living rooms and fireplaces – and the best of contemporary times – energy efficiency and sustainability. But this farm and house deserve their own post (coming soon).
I hope someday you get the chance to visit this wonderful island. In the meanwhile, I wish the description and the pictures in this post gave you a little taste, and for a few minutes you could feel as if you were sharing this beautiful paradise with me.
And how are the designs going? Well, what I can say is that I’m having so many ideas and getting inspired by so many different things that I’ll need one more lifetime to create that much. By reducing my pace I’m enjoying much more my creative process and the designs I’m creating. I feel truer to my essence and more aligned with my goals than ever. Hopefully, you’ll feel the taste of these changes in my new collection that is just around the corner.
Beijinhos from the Azores
Photography by Aline Bea, 2021.
1. Sete Cidades, São Miguel, Azores.
2. Portas do Mar Pool, Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores.
3. Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores.
4. Lagoa do Fogo, São Miguel, Azores.
5. Lagoa do Fogo, São Miguel, Azores.
6. Sete Cidades , São Miguel, Azores.
7. Mosteiros, São Miguel, Azores.
8. Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores.