Day 10 – On to the Azores!
Wednesday, 28th June
We flew on yesterday. Up until now, I only knew about the Azores High from the weather report. I found it exciting to see where the high comes from. It is a group of islands in the middle of the Atlantic halfway to America.
There were many barrier tapes in the security area at Lisbon airport. Normally, this encourages people to line up in a space-saving way while waiting. Without tapes, they would sometimes stand around in a bad mood. The tapes don't stop the bad mood, but they do stop you getting in the way. There were few people, a lot of space and a lot of tapes. The airport management wanted to ensure that every passenger reached their daily target of 10,000 steps before the flight. We dutifully and lonely pushed our suitcases through the hall line by line. Their impressive size intimidated us. I marvelled at the logistical feat of dividing them up with tapes. The person who had done this job had probably successfully annoyed his boss for a long time. Perhaps he had also drawn the short straw in the daily job allocation. I would have liked to ask for clarification on this, but there was no one to be seen.
After the security check, we were allowed to continue walking straight ahead. Our step account filled up to 20,000, after which the pedometer's battery was empty.
By the time we were on the plane, most of the steps had been taken. We could count the few steps from the aircraft past the baggage carousel to the taxi ourselves. Our fingers were enough.
Miguel, the taxi driver, greeted us in a friendly manner and explained the island to us. The weather was good today. Yesterday, smoke from fires in Canada had drifted past here. That made me sit up and take notice. The previous evening, the sky over Lisbon had been cloudy. The sun had hung high above the horizon as a red disc.
In the hour before the sun sets, it usually bathes the world in a warm colour. Of course, it also does this in the morning, shortly after it has risen, but nobody is usually awake then. Painters love this light. That's why they call this time the "golden hour". This golden hour was cancelled the day before yesterday evening. I had suspected a sandstorm from Africa, but Miguel's explanation also made sense to me.
Tomorrow's weather is already being tested today in the Azores. We're sitting here in a weather sneak preview. Spoiler alert: you're in for a windy day.
In the evening in the hotel bar, Gundel and Gunther explained to us that this island was boring. All the neighbouring islands were much bigger and more beautiful. There was much more going on there. The people here are unfriendly and you can't do anything. They were stunned to hear that we wanted to stay here for over a week. There are so many other islands to discover.
It's certainly annoying to be treated unkindly. But that's not the island's fault. There are certainly other islands, but we only have one pair of eyes each. Later in the room, we decided we liked it, even if we only had the boring view across the boring marina to the boring Atlantic. Gundel and Gunther will probably take it as a personal insult if we like it here out of sheer spite.