Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Trans-Atlantic cruise, part 3 (The Azores)

This one is very picture heavy, so be warned! After ten days across the ocean, we finally reached the Azores, a group of islands off the coast of Spain. (They're a protectorate of Portugal.) We've actually been here before; this was also our first stop on the trans-Atlantic cruise we took two years ago. It was nice to see something besides water at last!

So yesterday morning we got up early and had breakfast in our room while the ship pulled into the port. You can see how big our room is from these first two shots of Carter at the table.



Land ho!



We had signed up to take a jeep tour, and we were really excited about the possibility of going off the main roads and seeing some things we hadn't seen before. (We took a bus tour when Carter was a baby, and he fell asleep, so we didn't see much then!) Carter enjoyed riding in the jeep, and we really did get to see some great stuff.



The main focus of our tour was a huge volcano crater with a lake at the bottom. The lake is interesting because it's green on one side and blue on the other.


It was a bit windy...



We then took a dirt road that goes around the edge of the crater, and that was really amazing. There were steep dropoffs on each side, and you could see the ocean off to the right and the entire crater to the left.



We stopped on a grassy hillside, and Carter had a blast running around on solid ground for the first time in more than a week.






After the drive we went down into the crater to see the town of Sete Cidades. Carter ran around the church square, climbed a tree, and checked out a fountain. He liked the inside of the church, but mostly because it made a nice sound when he said, "Echo!" Heh.





Carter fell asleep not long after that, and slept for the rest of the tour.


We found a fantastic restaurant for lunch, and then did a little shopping Carter liked this motorcycle ride outside of a store.


We walked around a bit more before heading back to the ship. You can see a package of pullups on top of the stroller there. Carter's done pretty well on the ship wearing underwear, but we've used more pullups than we expected on the days when we're waiting for him to poop. Happily, pullups are easy to find just about anywhere.


After that we hung out in our room, and Carter had a great time just playing and running around the room.





Doug opened a bottle of wine and we played some Jimmy Buffet on my ipod, and we watched the ship sail away from the Azores. I think the sailaways are possibly my favorite part of the entire cruise. There's just so much excitement there, knowing that we're off again on another adventure! We have two more sea days before we make our first stop in Spain. We'll make two stops there, and then we get off the boat in Barcelona on Sunday morning. *sigh*

Tonight is a formal night and we're actually going to get dressed up and go out, so hopefully I'll be able to get some pictures of that!

Edit: We're having so much fun hanging out in our room, drinking wine, and watching the ocean go by while Carter plays that I think we're going to skip formal night. It's sounds like too much trouble to get dressed up when we're having fun being lazy! :-P

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