Lamenting lost love in the Azores

On the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, from the vantage point Vista do Rei, you’ll have a fabulous view of the twin lakes by the seven little villages – Sete Cidades – at the bottom of a volcanic crater. One lake appears blue, the other green. This is, rather prosaically, caused by variations in the reflection of sunlight into the caldera. Much more romantic then, is the explanation offered by a famous Azores legend.

Azores legend

This Azores legend tells of a pretty blue-eyed princess falling in love with a shepherd boy with gorgeous green eyes. “Not suitable at all,” said the King. He had other plans for his daughter and forced her to give up her love. Saying goodbye, the young lovers cried so much their tears formed two lagoons at their feet, reflecting the colour of their eyes.

Sete Cidades, Sao Miguel, Azores

Up near the lookout is the ghostly Monte Palace hotel, abandoned, guarded by two fierce dogs. Meanwhile, my youngest daughter, Catarina, cares nothing about the view but is much more interested in a friendly stray.

Hotel Monte Palace, Sao Miguel, Azores Islands Friendly mutt, Sete Cidades, Sao Miguel, Azores

For more on the Azores, read The Allure of the Azores or Upclose Guide to the Azores Islands, both on EuropeUpClose.


See other cool photos over at DeliciousBaby.

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33 Responses to “Lamenting lost love in the Azores”

  1. Vera Marie Badertscher 5 May 2011 2342 #

    What a tempting photo, and I love romantic background stories. Thanks for cluing me in on an area I know little about.

  2. Christian 6 May 2011 0015 #

    The Azores is one of my favourite places to hike and sail but I have never been to Sete Cidades. The pictures are beautiful.

  3. Nancie 6 May 2011 0038 #

    This looks stunning!

    Thanks for joining Travel Photo Thursday.

  4. Randy 6 May 2011 0146 #

    Great photos! Man, I love abandon old hotels and resorts. Mind you I get scared easily, but I just really dig places like this.

  5. Muza-chan 6 May 2011 0816 #

    so beautiful…

  6. Michael Hodson 6 May 2011 0857 #

    Arrrgggg…. (adding yet ANOTHER place that I need to go to). This is going to take a lifetime….

  7. Cathy Sweeney 6 May 2011 1710 #

    Gorgeous photos and lovely story – so romantic about the shepherd boy and the princess.

  8. Andrea 6 May 2011 1737 #

    Ah, lovely – I remember you mentioning the Azores in a comment and now I get to see them, thanks =)

  9. Robert G. 6 May 2011 1815 #

    Really beautiful photos and a sweet story from a place I’ve never even heard about, I love that.

  10. Sonja 6 May 2011 1927 #

    Love love love the romantic story. And the area is gorgeous.

  11. jackie 6 May 2011 2057 #

    Wow. Simply stunning. You’ve captured it all beautifully.

  12. Wanderluster 6 May 2011 2222 #

    Pretty pictures with a great story!

  13. Dominique 7 May 2011 0441 #

    I love the legend. It reminds me a bit of the fanciful tale of Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan-mama bear and two cubs swimming to escape a fire…the cubs get tired and drown…while mama makes it too shore and waits in vain for her cubs…big dune on shore named for her and two small offshore named for the cubs.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 May 2011 1142 #

      @Dominique: What a sad story of the brutality of nature. Never heard of Sleeping Bear Dunes, so I just googled it. Looks nice and a little wild – and reminds me of Råbjerg Mile, windblown sand dunes on the Baltic coast of Denmark. Might be a similar climate as northern Michigan, I suppose.

  14. Camels & Chocolate 7 May 2011 0445 #

    Lovely snapshots of the Azores! I’m dying to go there. Portugal is my husband’s and my favorite country. I’d love to see more of it!

  15. David @ Quillcards 8 May 2011 0350 #

    How poetic.

    What kind of suitor did the king have in mind? Surely couldn’t be anyone more romantic than the shepherd boy. And with green eyes!

    I wonder what happened to the princess after she obeyed her father and cried her eyes out? Two kids and hedge fund somewhere? Or did she refuse, and went to live in a nunnery?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 May 2011 1112 #

      @David: An interesting question that, what happens after. Perhaps she got angry at the king, staged a coup to kick him off the throne, took over as head of state, and decreed that everyone should marry for love 🙂

  16. Louise H 8 May 2011 1115 #

    A sad, yet beautiful story. The Azores have always sounded so romantic to me, out there in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean – like Atlantis almost,

  17. inka 8 May 2011 1402 #

    Don’t you just love legends? Why are they always so sad?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 May 2011 2041 #

      @Inka – yes, I wonder about that, too. Perhaps the melancholic and the sad evokes stronger feelings… like songs in a minor key.

  18. Jason 10 May 2011 0657 #

    Sophie,
    Now I know something about the Azores…thank you. The photos look pretty and the dog looks a little grumpy.
    Jason

  19. Christy 12 May 2011 0538 #

    What a beautiful place, and an even more lovely story behind it!:) I have always liked legends and myths, particularly when they tell the story to the places. The first picture is a really captivating view, and postcard-worthy!:D

  20. Suzy 14 May 2011 2355 #

    Gorgeous! It’s funny how such a beautiful place has to have a romantic legend for its creation.

  21. Michael Figueiredo 18 May 2011 2215 #

    My dad is from the Azores, but from Santa Maria Island, not São Miguel (where Sete Cidades is). We went there two summers ago and I remember hearing the same story about the lakes. So sweet! In fact, one of my first blog entries was about São Miguel. I’d love to return some day 🙂

  22. Jeremy Branham 18 May 2011 2309 #

    This is a very beautiful place! Love the two lakes and the story! And by the way, guys with green eyes are AWESOME!!!! 🙂

  23. adventureswithben 19 May 2011 0304 #

    The doggy is so cute.

  24. Mark Wiens 19 May 2011 0400 #

    Wow, what an amazing view! That is incredible how one of the lakes is green and the other blue!

  25. robin 19 May 2011 1000 #

    A sweet strory and great pictures 🙂

  26. The Travel Chica 19 May 2011 1359 #

    I feel like we don’t have such good legends about places in the US. Or maybe I’m like your daughter and don’t pay attention to them 🙂

  27. Christina 19 May 2011 1839 #

    I love the Azores, what fabulous pictures. All the green and the volcanic landscape remind me of the North Island of New Zealand. Thanks for sharing the legends!

  28. David @ MalaysiaAsia 19 May 2011 1851 #

    Beautiful, looks like one of those places you see in the European love movies.

  29. Siddhartha Joshi 2 April 2012 2020 #

    Wow…beautiful pictures!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 4 April 2012 1149 #

      Thanks 🙂

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