745. Azores Day 2 | Walking around the City Centre

Ponta Delgada Azores
Today we spent a relaxing day walking around and exploring the city. We are staying at Ponta Delgada which is the largest city here, yet still really small and has a population of about 70,000. The streets are incredibly quiet. Possibly due to the fact that it is a weekend + maybe less people are out during COVID. Let's see if it will be busier tomorrow.

It's also really really hot here which I didn't expect. Actually every day is 25 degrees and sunny which is nice..but it feels way hotter because of the humidity and lack of air conditioning in most places. Even at night it still stays the same temperature.

Another observation I made is that the people here (service people) are really nice and friendly. The food is also really good and fresh. I've loved all of the two meals we've had here so far. There is a lot of seafood, since it's an island, and really affordable prices.

Azores is known for pineapples. We've had our first taste of Azorean pineapple at tonight's dinner, where we ordered a pineapple mousse for dessert. It was sooo good and fresh. It tastes different from the ones I used to have in Canada/anywhere else in the world. Tomorrow we will try to visit a pineapple plantation.

Also - we already got our COVID (negative) test results back! We did the test yesterday around 4:30pm when we arrived..and got the email around 10:30pm which was way faster than I expected. Now 5 days until we need to take it again..

Ponta Delgada Azores
Ponta Delgada Azores
Ponta Delgada Azores
Ponta Delgada Azores
Azores tree
Ponta Delgada Park
Azores pink houses
Azores street
Azores cows
There's also a lot of cows in Azores! This was in the city center (or close to it)

Azores street
Azores house
Shellfish Rice Azores
Tonight's dinner! We went to a restaurant called Restaurante O Museu. We shared this shellfish rice dish which had a LOT of shrimp, clams, mussels, crab, etc soaked in a delicious broth and rice. It was very flavourful and good with bread.

Pineapple Mousse Azores
& the pineapple mousse dessert I mentioned above.



744. Day 1 in Azores | COVID Travel

boarding passes Europe
Hello from Azores! We have finally arrived at our home for the next month..after a whirlwind trip to Lisbon, Madrid and back (all within a 24 hour time frame). The COVID situation in mainland Europe is pretty bad at the moment and I can understand why. Unlike what I've experienced so far in Toronto (a drastic decrease in usual crowds and lots of social distancing precautions everywhere), in Europe it seems a bit more relaxed and there were still a lot of people at the airports. In the Toronto airport it was empty when we departed and most people I've encountered anywhere (on the streets and indoors) stay a safe distance away. Here in Europe, there is no distancing when lining up or walking and as you can see from these floor stickers from the airport bus, people are not required to stand at least 6 feet apart like we do in Toronto. At the airport people were walking super close to me too.

However, Azores is pretty strict which I will explain below.

Europe social distancing
travelling during COVID
Some travellers take it pretty seriously though (they are from China so I guess they are used to this)

COVID Test Ponta Delgada airport

To enter Azores, ALL travellers (even their own residents), must either:
- Have a negative COVID test taken in a foreign country signed by an official within the past 3 days. Then take another test here after 6 days.
- Or take a COVID test immediately upon arrival, and another one after 6 days if staying for long.
- Of course the third option is to leave and return to where you came from.

We took a test in Toronto before leaving but wasn't aware the results would be posted up 1 day after. So we ended up having our test results 4 days prior to arriving in Azores (which was just past the cutoff), so we had to take it today upon arrival.

We lined up almost an hour I think (same as in Toronto). I wasn't too nervous since I already did it once and didn't feel it was that bad. It was uncomfortable but I was able to handle it.

This time, it was wayyyy worse. It was super painful when they stuck the nasal swab up by nose. It went so deep I think it came out with some blood. & it was almost to the point where I wanted to push his hand away to stop going in further lol. In addition to that, they also stick one down your throat which was also super uncomfortable and makes you gag.

Unfortunately we have to take another test in 6 days since we will be here long. I guess it's a good thing they have these precautions in place though..so we can be a bit more relaxed and safe in public.

COVID Testing Azores
Ponta Delgada Azores
Finally arrived! This is the street we are staying at. The streets here kind of remind me of Cusco in Peru. They are pretty narrow with a small sidewalk on each side..lined with small houses and a lot of cobblestone.

A Tasca Azores
Our first meal at this cute restaurant

A Tasca Ponta Delgada
We got octopus and smoked Azorean sausages. It was delicious! Can't wait to try more local dishes.

Polva a Feira A Tasca



743. Goodbye Toronto!

Union Station Toronto
Hi everyone! I'm currently sitting at the airport waiting to board my flight. I have been too busy these days to update about it. But I will be going away for an indefinite number of months..first to Europe and hopefully will make it to Asia at some point too (when they open up their borders). I will definitely be updating more often during my travels! I am a bit nervous to be travelling during COVID but we will just be going to safer destinations (where there are not a lot of cases and with adequate healthcare). I guess it will also be quite interesting to experience the world during these times. The airport right now is pretty empty which I like.

So the first place we are going is Azores and will be there for a month. Can't wait to arrive and relax a bit!

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