Pictures of an Exhibition - Leonardo, oh Leonardo!

Some pics of the Da Vinci exhibition in Ponta Delgada:

This man wrote with his left hand and hence - I always thought left-handers should do that - from the right to the left. Very sensible, indeed!

... and what a clear and steady handwriting the man had. Take him as role model when once in a while you shut down your computer.

This is a hygrometer: Cotton ball on one side, wax ball on the other - same weight. Cotton gets soaked by damp air, gets heavier - imagine what happens to the wax ball.

Ball bearing - or how to reduce friction

Here comes my favorite: The Party knight. This one is fun. Can move his limbs like a real Punch.

Hilarious. Leonardo also seemed to be a fun loving gent - so to speak :)

Ponta Delgada

So, yesterday I had a real evening out. In the late afternoon I went to Ponta Delgada, had a little walk around the city, and visited two churches. I didn't take photos of the surroundings as I was not very impressed. The city to me seems a bit ... how to put it ... (in German you would say "zusammengewürfelt") ... houses are very mixed in style. You have modern and ancient architecture one beside the other. Not in a nice way.
There was a big cruiser lying in the harbor yesterday and lots of folks roamed the streets.
Down at the harbor I visited an impressive Leonardo da Vinci exposition where I also took photos. What a fascinating person he must have been. I imagine him as some freakish geek (without being as disrespectful as it probably may sound). It is just that he did so much in only one lifetime that you would think it takes at least 10 people to produce as much work as he did.
I am standing in awe of his personality, an emotion which is according to Merriam-Webster "variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder". This definition hits the bullseye. In my case I would also add a dash of envy laced with a grain of jealousy, if you get what I mean.
Only one day in my life I would like to have his brain. Must be a constant thunderstorm of neurons, a flash lightning of neuronal activity. Nuff said.
Back to reality I wandered to the end of the pier and sat down in some bar called "Bar do Pi" where I had a couple of yummy beers called "Stark Bock". It may come from Sweden - just found a website showing a bottle of Stark Bock, apparently Swedish beer. That might be, as I always very much enjoyed Swedish "Öl".
After that I went to a restaurant at the same pier "100 Espinhas" - recommended to me by excellent tour guide Gary Travassos - and had a most deliciously grilled wreckfish along with a bottle of "Messias", a sparkling wine from the mainland. At 100 Espinhas you have a nice view at the harbor, the staff is very attentive, and fish, as mentioned, a real "yum-yum" :)


My evening out - on the terrace

In the evening I sat on the terrace watching the sundown (and taking pics, of course), and reading a book. In the distance I could hear the cries of the seagulls, a very odd noise. Sometimes they came closer and in the darkness I never knew how close.

The couple "next door" were also sitting on their terrace, and they invited me over. We had a reasonable quantity of red wine and later on enjoyed a refreshing shower from the lawn sprinklers which went off around 1:30 in the morning.

How to spend a Saturday

Folks: It is not that difficult to prepare a good breakfast, is it? Everyone agrees on that with me? In Caloura Hotel Resort it seems to be a never ending struggle. Like a fight you cannot win. Tomorrow I should take my camera to table and film the disaster.

When I arrived in the restaurant this morning at 8:50 (you have to get up that early, as after 9:30 it gets pretty hard to get anything between your choppers at all) there were neither tomatoes (one of the two sorts of vegetables they serve here, remember?) nor scrambled eggs left. Of course there was no orange juice - but I'm getting used to that. They have something they call "passion fruit juice", which is so damn sweet, I bet there are loads of sugar in it. Anyway, enough rambling about breakfast, even though - as a German - I really enjoy bitching about things.
Yesterday was totally relaxed. I spent a lot of time uploading pics to a web album and doing research to find out how to spend my Sunday or even Saturday evening. I take tons of pics here. Not much else to do. Fortunately I took my notebook with me as apart from watching nature run its course there is not much adventure here. The island is quite boring in terms of places to go out.

In the afternoon I undertook a hike - (okay, you would probably call it a little promenade) to the tiny harbor they have here in Agua de Pau. Luckily I had my parasol with me because at 3:30 in the afternoon it was pretty sunny. On my way I took photos of the landscape, of plants and houses (see below).

In the harbor you can find a few boats, a café with a nice view, and a "natural swimming pool".
Also, I made friends with a little guy who came to my table repeatedly. Apparently he was a lonely lizard (photo below). I tried to take him on video, too, but unfortunately my camera seemed to be more interested in the volcanic rocks than in the little guy.

The unemployment rate on the Azores is low - so I was told - but the impression you get is different. There are many men hanging around on the streets, staring at strangers, and drinking in broad daylight. That also was the case in the little harbor.

On my way back I met a friendly couple from my hotel. They gave me a lift in their rented car and we exchanged our impressions of the island.


Trip around São Miguel (Part II)

Yesterday I took another trip with Gary and the highlight of my day was a bath in one of the natural hot tubs at Furnas.


Trip around São Miguel (Part I)

Yesterday I went on a trip with Gary Lifesaver Travassos. If you ever go to the Azores you have to book a taxi trip with him - it is real value for money. http://www.azoreantours.com/ He took me around the island and showed me the most beautiful places. An actual compensation for my crappy room and the more than frugal breakfast at the Caloura Hotel Resort.

Also: Das Caloura Hotel Resort ist wirklich eine mittlere Katastrophe, wenn man sich auf ein 4-Sterne-Hotel eingestellt hat. Die Pauschalurlauber hier haben allerdings schon Schlimmeres erlebt und scheinen im Ganzen zufrieden zu sein. Wenn man nicht das Pech hat - wie ich - im Keller zu wohnen, dann hat man wirklich eine wunderbare Aussicht über die Bucht. Das Personal an der Rezeption ist freundlich, wenn auch nicht sehr bemüht, alles ist sehr sauber und ordentlich.

Das Frühstück hat Aldi-Qualität, die Auswahl ist extrem begrenzt (zwei Sorten Käse, zwei Sorten Wurst im Plastik-Look [natürlich vom Schwein], halbreife Tomaten, zweifelhaft aussehende Gurkenscheiben, Speck und Würstchen, Obstsalate [das Obst ist gut und frisch], zwei Sorten Frühstücksflocken, Rührei [wenn man Glück hat und es nicht wieder mal alle ist], gekochte Eier, zwei Sorten Saft [leider nicht immer O-Saft]), Kaffee, der wie schlechtes Spülwasser schmeckt [wenn man ihn in ein Glas gießen würde, könnte man eine Zeitung drunter legen und sie ohne Probleme lesen]).

Der Frühstücksservice ist schlecht. Wenn irgend etwas alle ist, muss man 10 Minuten warten, bis nachgelegt wird. Lächeln scheint beim Frühstück nicht wirklich erlaubt zu sein - der Gast wird wohl eher als Feind betrachtet.

Der doppelte Espresso, den ich mir jetzt immer bestelle, ist sehr gut. Ein echter Lichtblick.

Gestern habe ich einen Taxi-Trip mit Gary Travassos http://www.azoreantours.com/ unternommen. Kann ich ohne Einschränkung weiterempfehlen. Er hat mich rund um die ganze Insel gefahren und mir viele interessante Sachen gezeigt (siehe Fotos).

Es war so gut, dass ich ihn für den nächsten Tag gleich wieder gebucht habe.