About to Land, then Swooping Back Up and Flying 1000 more miles

Pool inside the Hotel do Colegio, Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Azores.
Pool inside the Hotel do Colegio, Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Azores.

Our flight from Boston left on time and all seemed ok until we made our descent down to Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores.  The plane came down and then just as we were about to land swooped back up, because of fog that made landing impossible.  Later we heard that there were 80 mile-an-hour winds over the runway. We would fly another 1000 miles to Lisbon, where snarling passengers yelled at apologetic yet helpless Sata airline officials. Apparently this has happened about five other times this year. “It’s been a bad winter,” our guide Luis told us later.

Saying blessings for my Macbook, which with its robust battery life can actually offer someone a chance to watch an entire movie, we soldiered on. Napping in the sun, watching a movie in the terminal, and waiting, waiting, killing the ten hours between us and tonight’s only daily flight to Ponta Delgada.

We observed that the Portuguese style is a bit frumpy. The majority of the people in the terminal with us were not the attractive Euros we’ve seen so often in Italy or the beauties who walk by on a Parisian street, but more, well, old. Old because Portugal is famously aging. The median age here is higher than in the rest of Europe, that means on our flight and in the country more people are old then young. It’s a little like Sarasota, or a depressing northern New York State city, old and not full of life.

We made it to a charming boutique hotel called the Hotel di Colegio, which was once a music school deep in the city’s narrow-street center.  The dining room looks over a swimming pool that’s open to the sky; rain poured down into the blue bowl of the pool and we enjoyed tuna and salmon and the local wine made on the island.

The restaurant was first rate, near us a raucous group was laughing and falling off their chairs. We ate well and slept well, now we’re ready to see this island when I guide gets here in a few minutes.