Horta, Azores. The perpetual summer has finally begun. T-shirts, shorts and tank tops came out of the sea chest and spring cleaning took place in the banjer, crew mess, saloon and personal spaces. The Azores was an amazing sight. It was the first time I had ever stepped foot in Europe and I couldn’t dare explain the emotion that came with this in fear I mightn’t do it justice. A bit extreme perhaps, but it was truly amazing. From hidden cafes and egg tarts to cobble stone alleyways and a massive beach in the cove, I explored it all.
The people of the Azores were beyond friendly. One local gave a tour of his city and introduced students into his home. Another invited some French speaking students for lunch. When the Sorlandet visited Horta in 2010, students left behind a message in the local pizzeria and the owner was generous enough to share his letter with us. It was a great way to connect with the past Class Afloat crew. And, to leave our legacy a mural, situated on the docks, was painted.
Most extraordinary, however, would have to be the 50 year old land that was part of our port program. I spent an hour walking along the sands and feeling the warmth of the ground. It was amazing to witness and feel something that is so new to the world. I kept thinking to myself that what I’m stepping on was an ocean half a century ago. To learn more about why were able to step foot on such young land, a pair of guides with spectacular personalities, took us on a hike to the summit of the volcano. Through bush and boulders we reached the top. It was too foggy to see the ocean anymore but just being able to see into the crater drew excitement from me. I surprised some when I screamed out to the world, but in all honesty, how could I contain myself.
The Azores were amazing. I loved every aspect of it and have not much at all to put down. People were friendly, food was good, scenery was out-of-this-world, and the crew always kept a positive mind. How could we not? It was the first stop after being at sea for two weeks.