Azores - Hot Stuff!

We started our third day of driving with short stop in the nearby Sao Roque and a visit to a pottery manufactory in Lagoa.

I am a big fan of tiles and loved looking at them and seeing how the pots are made by hand - which is actually quite hard work!

Our main goal however was the Lagoa das Furnas, a pretty little lake. On one side there is a spooky, closed church. 

On the opposite side of the lake are the spectacular hot springs of Furnas. You can't miss them, the foul stench of rotten eggs will lead you there... As well as the steam of the boiling water in the springs.

The people of Furnas use the natural heat by digging holes in the ground in which they cook large pots of food - they put them in there in the morning and take them out before noon. Then they get delivered to the local restaurants. 

What you can see on this plate is a portion for 2 persons! There's a mix of beef, pork, chicken, blood sausage, potatoes and vegetables. As if we hadn't eaten enough meat yet! 

Our digestif walk led us through more hot springs (there is an abundance of them in Calderas!).

Although the dominant smell it that of sulfur, you can also see that there is a little river with water that contains a lot of iron, hence the orange color. I found it quite interesting how there is grass growing right next to the boiling water on the right in the picture below.

There are of course more "hot spots" on the island. We drove to a thermal spring in which you can actually take a bath (well, the water is warm, but not hot) - and if you stay too long, your skin will be all orange from all the iron in the water!
Yes, that's me in the background waving at you :-)

You think this were a lot of attractions? Wait, we have more! 
We drove up one of the many ancient volcanoes to the Lagoa do Fogo, a very beautiful lake very high up, in the crater. 
There was a "miraduoro" every 200 meters and the landscape looked so lovely from all the different angles that I took way too many pictures, but I will only show you one. Along with the picture you have to imagine the sound of hundreds of seagulls who live up here.

We drove up even higher to a point where you can see the ocean on both sides of the island. On the left shore is Ponta Delgada.

In the evening we walked around town after dinner. It was the weekend of the yearly Holy Ghost festival and there were several activities going on, like a bread competition in which all the villages of Sao Miguel were represented with their special bread.