Day 8 – Punta Delgado, Capital of the Azores
Note – I am posting this from Fort Lauderdale, the first time we have had wifi since the Azores.
The fog was still lifting as we docked in Punta Delgado. The marina is pretty. A huge tall ship from Denmark was docked next to us.
As soon as we got on land, we (along with everyone else) went in search of wifi. Being in the middle of the Atlantic, the ship’s wifi is not working. The crew, especially, huddled in front of restaurants and public places texting and calling home. They have a hard life – 6 months away from home.
I think the entire 20-square mile island is called Punta Delgado. It has a population of about 70,000. The downtown square is cute, with lots of mums brightening the atmosphere.
As we strolled down the streets, we came across this locals’ bar. They were advertising 1 euro ($1) beers. So, of course we went in. It is the kind of local small pub that we like. The waiter was very friendly, and customers spoke to us in Portuguese. It was fun!
Then – a search for lunch. We wanted something typical and we sure found it — barnacles! It is the island’s specialty and it is only available in certain months. They call them limpids. They were cooked to perfection.
We also shared a platter of local triggerfish, which the waiter promised was super fresh. Also delicious!
From there a search to buy some wine to drink on the ship. Wine at the bars and restaurants on board is quite expensive – $10 – $15 per glass plus 18% surcharge. So, I have been buying wine in wine shops at ports where we dock. We just pour a glass in our room and carry it around. No one knows that we didn’t buy it in any of the other bars. However, Princess Cruises has a policy that you can bring only two bottles of wine (and no liquor) on board. When we returned today and went through security, including a sreening of our backpack, of course they found 3 bottles. They directed us to go to the “alcohol desk”. It is set up so that you deposit your wine/liquor with them, and pick it up at the end of the trip. I think it is especially for expensive liquor. The guy looked at our 3 bottles (totalling $13) and shruggged saying “Enjoy your Portuguese wine”. Just love it! This would never happen with an American screener!
DINNER: I had some really good gazpacho and a grilled cuttlefish steak. George had scallop ceviche, garlic soup, Tuscan vegan cassoulet, and a creamy dessert.
Afterwards, we went to the jazz bar and listened to some good jazz.