The best trips are those that we took without high expectations and where, despite that, we ended up having a great time. This is usually the case, although as for one of the trips that most left an impression on me, I even had high expectations. However, I have the idea that I can’t expect much from a perfect place, so perfect that a photo doesn’t look real, not revealing the true harmony of the nature of the place.
From the moment we arrived, we were living in a fairy tale. “It seems like another world”, I say to Fernando, who smiles and agrees. Everything was suddenly green and raining, as is customary in São Miguel. The air is humid and it takes me a while to get used to it. Everyone is kind and hospitable. We stayed in a hotel, which I thought would give me an idea of civilization in the middle of so much nature. In fact, the hotel, if I can call it that, is surrounded by gardens and fields as far as the eye can see. They were delightful two-story houses, where I would live for the next two days. And there were cats everywhere.
We went to almost all the boilers and hot springs, where the water gushed, sometimes clear and crystalline, other brownish, and enveloped us, making it impossible for anyone not to be calm in this environment. We went to lagoons with icy, clear waters, taking unforgettable walks so that we could swim in them, lagoons with green and blue eyes linked to love stories. We passed here by countless couples, I myself fell in love with the environment and landscape. We saw plants of all the colors of the rainbow, with different smells and sizes, delicate flowers that looked like glitter or sparkles spread by a child in a beautiful painting, fruits with different looks, tastes and smells, which I rarely see on the mainland.
There are cows everywhere and then some. Sometimes you see green pastures as far as the eye can see, sometimes you see forests that look tropical and that make us tiny spectators of a grandiose and perfect work, of which it is unfortunately impossible to remember all the beautiful details.
Although in just two days, we toured the island almost from one end to the other. Looking at those leafy trees, I felt that I was really small and that the island was huge, much bigger than it actually was. It even seemed bigger than mainland Portugal, as it is a much grander place. And, even though I was more than a thousand kilometers away from home, on a small island surrounded by the Atlantic, I felt more at home than ever.
Catarina Rebola Gonçalves