Portugal
Praia da Vitória (Santa Cruz)

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11 travelers at this place

  • Day46

    Praia da Vitoria

    February 14, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Mateus dropped us off in the centre of town which is about 4 km from our house. It’s a very pretty town with a population of 21,000, making it the second largest on the island. We walked throughout town but when we got to the Church of Santa Cruz the minister had just arrived. He welcomed us in, turned on the music and all the lights. He gave us a short tour and explained all the damage that was done in the 1980 earthquake....7.2 on the Richter Scale, killing 61, and injuring over 400. We left a donation. Quite the contrast to the church lady in Angra who wouldn’t allow us in if we didn’t pay, which didn’t seem like a godly approach. Every community has small churches, called Imperio, scattered throughout town for a quick prayer at any time of day. Some are prettier than others.

    I stopped at a small local handicraft shop and bought myself a cork necklace with a small flower made of fish scales. Sounds atrocious but it is actually very delicate. We ended our day trip at a pizza restaurant that had wifi hoping to connect with the world but it wouldn’t connect, which was disappointing. It was a quick 80 cent bus ride home.
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  • Day202

    Porto Da Praia Da Vitória

    March 20, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Slight change of plans after the original change of plans. After changing the itinerary to not include the Azores we are now currently docking in the Azores.
    Yesterday I came across a passenger sitting on the stairs with her head in her hands. When I asked her if everything was okay she said she has pain in her chest and arm. I called the medical centre and waiting with her until they arrived. Today we found out that we were docking in Praia Da Vitória for a medial evacuation. My manager later told me that it's the woman from the stairs. Hopefully she will be okay and get the help she needs.Read more

  • Day62

    Terciera, The Azores

    March 5, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    At 7:30am, we pull into a very wet and grey-looking Praia da Vitória. Sadly, it seems that the forecasts were correct, and it looks like we’re going to be in for a rather dismal day, weather-wise. But again, I must remind myself of how lucky we’ve been with the weather all the way around on this trip, so a few days of rain are certainly not unwarranted.

    We’re booked onto the Terceira Island Discovery tour today, which from what I can make out is a 7-hour bus ride around the island, but given the look of the clouds, that’s no bad thing - at least we’ll be able to see what this island has to offer without getting thoroughly drenched. At least, that’s the plan.

    This island is... well, frankly it’s a surprise. It’s not just a mini Portugal, as I was expecting. I’m not sure if it’s the moody weather, but I’m instantly put in mind of Welsh seaside villages in deepest darkest Pembrokeshire, but with vaguely Scandinavian architecture, and palm trees placed incongruently in the gardens. There’s certainly plenty of colour around here. We’re told that the houses look especially resplendent at this time of year, as the festival of the Holy Ghost has just taken place, and it is customary to have one’s home looking its best.

    This is a volcanic island, and its origins are very clear to see.

    Our next stop is at a wine museum in Biscoitos. I’m never keen on museums, but there’s a wine tasting at the end, so we’re off the bus and raring to go. It’s not actually that bad—it’s a tiny little place, which shows the traditional way of growing grapes in the Azores. Small enclosures, separated by low dry-stone walls, offer shelter from the wind and heat retention for the grapes. The volcanic basalt, which covers all but a small hole in the ground through which the vine grows, allows rain to drain down into the soil, but also locks away moisture that the vine can draw upon, allowing for a constant supply of water to the roots. After a quick look around, we head into an enclosure for the wine tasting. We’re initially disappointed with the white table wine—which frankly could easily strip paint—but the second bottle of sweet dessert wine is a vast improvement. It tastes like a deliciously smooth sherry, and is so good, I buy a bottle to take home.

    With the wine tasting finished, we pile back into the bus and head inland, crossing the island through the centre until we reach the Monte do Brasil the remnants of a volcano on the south coast, which overlooks the city of Angra do Heroísmo. On clear days, we’re told that there’s a beautiful view over the bay, but unfortunately the mists have robbed us of that treat, and it’s drizzling to boot.

    Once at the top of the volcano, I’m unfortunately struck down with a sudden case of ‘Sindhu’s Revenge’, and am forced to make with extreme haste for the nearest bathroom. This is located 150 metres down the hill, via a treacherously slippery staircase. Needs most definitely must, so I pick my way down. Predictably, I arrive into the cubicle to find it utterly devoid of anything resembling toilet paper. A similar fate awaits me in the next cubicle. And the last one too. Bugger. In desperation, I charge into the ladies’ toilets, coughing loudly to alert any squatting damsels to my presence, but in there I find nought but a used sanitary towel for my efforts. So, I’m forced to make a sweaty dash back up all the stairs to retrieve a packet of tissues from the bus, then dash back down again, all the while praying to the old gods and the new that I neither slip and break my neck, nor cack my dacks en route.

    The upshot of this palaver is that I end up wasting the whole 15 minutes allotted for this stop, so I haven’t taken a single photo. Well, certainly not one you’d want to see. Apologies.

    We continue to the town of São Mateus da Calheta, a pretty little port on the coast with an interesting looking church overlooking the harbour. Our lunch is to be served down the road in the Terceira Mar hotel, in Angra do Heroísmo. We’re served a plateful of “Holy Ghost Soup”, a heavily salted and rather tough beef stew that is frankly begging for problems among the assembled dentures and bridgework. This is followed by an altogether more pleasing caramel flan, after which we’re bundled back into the bus and off to our next stop, which is the town centre of Angra.

    The Azores seem to be a melting pot of styles and influences, as far as the buildings go. This town seems to have a distinctly Germanic vibe to the architecture. We’re taken on a tour of the town hall, and then up into the public gardens. At this point, the heavens open completely, and we have to make a dash for the covered bandstand in the middle of the park for shelter. Thankfully, the rain doesn’t last for long, and as soon as it stops we’re given 30 minutes to ourselves for wandering around and shopping etc. We make a beeline straight for the nearest café, having been denied the chance of a post-meal beverage at lunchtime owing to time restrictions. Our friend John joins us as we attempt to order three cappuccinos and a chocolate milk in our finest Portuguese (which to be honest is basically a few Spanish words and a lot of gesticulations). We get the message across, and the proprietor flicks on the kettle and tears into a box of Nescafé instant cappuccino mix. We’ve clearly come to another quality establishment!

    Refreshed, and with our pockets only lightened by €4.50 for all four drinks, we decide to use our remaining 5 minutes to hunt downs some souvenir pins and fridge magnets. So, like Anneka Rice in a blue jumpsuit, off we dash.

    On our way back to the ship, our guide takes us through Porto Judeu. Our guide tells us that after the last earthquake destroyed this village, the government didn’t provide financial relief for reconstruction, but rather provided all the raw materials for free instead. The upshot of this is that the villagers rebuilt the place however they wanted, architecturally, without any planning restrictions, so it looks a little chaotic.

    One of the most unusual features I’ve seen on this island is the natural bathing areas dotted all around the coast, formed by the volcanic basalt, which have had steps and handrails added to them. I’m not sure if the Atlantic currents make it too unsafe to bathe otherwise, but I’ve seen them on all sides of the island.

    From here, we continue round the island to São Sabastião, where we stop to look at the frescos inside a church. Correction—the rest of the bus stop to look at the frescos in a church. I see a little shop on the corner selling pastel de nata, so I’m in like a rocket. Two nata and a can of Coke Zero for €3—these clearly aren’t tourist prices round here! The downside to my break for freedom is that the coach is no longer where we left it, so I have a 10 minute wait in the rain for it to come back. Still, at least the square is pretty.

    Back on the bus now and very damp, we drive back to Praia to re-join the ship. That’s our last port completed, and despite the weather, it’s been brilliant. The island is pretty, and very tidy—it’s phenomenally well maintained, the houses are all colourfully painted, and the roads are great. I don’t know what the average income is here, but if it’s not high, then they must be experts at getting value for money. Many Mediterranean islands could learn a thing or two from here.

    At 7pm, we bid goodbye to the Azores and start our three-day crossing back to the UK. I honestly don’t know what those sea days will have in store. Hopefully more than the previous five, or this journal will scarcely be worth writing, and utterly unworthy of reading. No, I shall use the next few days to reflect upon the trip and offer some pearls of wisdom gleaned from my 2½ month voyage.

    Or more likely I shall just bitch about some of the awful passengers on this boat, who frankly I would’ve pushed off the back of the lido deck if I’d have stood a chance of getting away with it.

    Either way, please stick around. I’m not quite done yet.
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  • Day2

    Praia da Vitoria erkunden

    July 7, 2016 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Kaum angekommen schon geht es auf Erkundungstour! Entlang des Hafenbeckens finden wir tolle Outdoor-Sportmöglichkeiten. Sportskanone Peter lässt sich da nicht zwei Mal bitten. Auf der Hauptstraße durch das Städchen entdecken wir diese niedliche Kirche - die Camara Municipal ⛪️ Dann aber schnell zurück ins Hotel- das Deutschlandspiel nicht verpassen 🇩🇪🇫🇷Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Praia da Vitória (Santa Cruz), Praia da Vitoria (Santa Cruz)

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