Thoughts on Visiting the Azores

Imagine you’re sitting on a stone wall at the edge of a cliff letting your feet dangle below. Accompanying you are your closest friends and loved ones sharing the spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean. The waves roll onto the obsidian shoreline in the distance and you’re all there with a cup of freshly brewed coffee to warm your hands. It’s sunrise. And right behind the mountainous landscape the sun rises into the opulent sky.

When you come to the Azores for the first time it isn’t difficult to see why these nine islands have risen to the top in tourism destinations. People all over the world come here to experience the sensation of adventure- outdoor, rural tourism activities surrounded by vast green landscapes and the constant meditative sound of the ocean. From June to the last few weeks of September the small aldeias of the Azores are swarmed with curious travelers.

This past summer I spent the majority of my time working at a local restaurant serving tables. Besides the locals, the majority of customers were from European countries (mostly France, Germany, and Spain) on vacation visiting as many islands as they could within a week’s or two time.

I wonder how many tourists passed by, came and went, as I stood in the entry way of the restaurant. Hundreds, thousands?

I wonder more so what all those people made of this place. Was it everything they expected after doing their proper research, scrolling through instagram, watching YouTube videos, reading blog articles? What did they feel on the ride from the airport to their hotel? Did they feel what I felt the first time?

Towards the end of August, after Semana Dos Baleeiros ended there was a noticeable difference in the number of tourists. Everyone seemed to pack up and leave as soon as the festivals were over. The town grew quiet through the month of September and on my daily walks back home from work I didn’t see any intrigued tourists taking photographs of the ivory-covered, abandoned building or the palm trees infront of Lajes’s church.

Instead I noticed the orange hues in the trees and how the wind carried all the fallen, dried leaves into the road’s corners.

The tables outside the popular bakery “Sabores e Aromas” remained vacant of pastry- munching, cappuccino sipping Europeans.

The only people who roamed the streets were the locals on their daily rounds.

Two years ago was my first time visiting the Azores during the summer. I spent the months of July and August experiencing the Azores as a tourist. I went swimming most days, I went sight-seeing, I ate at the best restaurants, took the ferry to other islands and finally climbed and summited Mount Pico.

I felt like an explorer charting new territory, discovering the unknown.

For my last two weeks I backpacked around São Miguel Island and visited all the top attractions: Ponta Delgada, Sete Cidades, Vista do Rei, Furnas, Lagoa do Fogo, Vila Franca do Campo ect. That trip gave me a strong sense of what Azores tourism is all about and I understand clearly why every year the visitation numbers steadily increase.

When I arrived on Pico Island this past June I experienced the Azores more as a resident than a tourist. I served tourists and locals alike. I gave people recommendations and directions. There were times where I wanted to be in their position, navigating around the island for the first time astonished with the surrounding countryside.

I envied their wanderlust. As beautiful as this place is, I became adjusted to it.

Now that it’s late October and winter is approaching the dust has settled, so to speak. Theres less people, less movement, less happening and this grants a certain flow to time that feels slower, steadier. The days get darker earlier and the sun doesn’t shine as bright. The ocean water is colder and less appealing without the aqua-blue surface dazzling under the summer light.

Yet with with that, I’m discovering my appreciation for this island again. The empty streets call attention to space and time. I look around at the old, stone buildings lined along the sloping roads, I hear the cagarros in flight, I smell fresh bread wafting through the air, I feel present and hungry, I taste the salt of the Atlantic Ocean on my lips. Is this what it means to be Azorean?

Living in the Azores is much different than visiting and I guess you could say that about any place, however here, in the middle of the Atlantic, theres a certain novelty I can’t quite put into words. At any moment during the day whether I’m working, driving, having a conversation I can stop what I’m doing and tune into the ocean. There it is if you pay attention, that meditative sound which pervades everything here.

Although autumn and winter aren’t necessarily the prime time to visit the Azores, I think they’re actually the best representation. Sure the festivals are over, tourism is at it’s lowest and it’s too cold to swim everyday, but this allows one to wander at their own accord and to observe the local life-style and culture without it being inflated by tourism companies.

Sunset Rowing in the Açores: Os Mercenários!

Hey guys, I’m happy to share this collection of photographs with you!

Os Mercenários, a rowing team here in the Azores, invited me to come along with them on their afternoon practice!

I was beyond excited to accept the opportunity. The entire summer I would see them practice on the outskirts of Lajes’ port wondering what it must feel like to row with a coordinated team.

Fortunately, a week before the races that took place during Semana dos Baleeiros we drove out to the neighbouring vila Ribeiras, and I experienced the answer to my question.

I had so much fun taking the photos thanks to Os Mercenários being cool people!

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed taking them. Cheers!

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I sat at the bow of the boat feeling as if I was slicing through the ocean’s waves. 

As one we row

Three guys on the right, three on the left with the conductor in the middle working together to row in unison. 

The bow rises and drops with the sea

Row after row, row, the boat gains momentum. And after an eventful duration we slow down and stop. 

Stillness in the Atlantic

I felt the oceans power as our vessel rose and fell with the tide. 

We drifted for a few moments and then pointed the boat towards the colors in the sky

Rowing until day became night.


Travel Anecdotes from July

Hey guys,

The entries you’re going to read in this article were taken from my journal’s pages I wrote through the month of July. Naturally they’re more personal and encompass a wide array of topics. I wanted to share these entries with you in a separate blog post solely devoted to that purpose since I found mixing my photography and personal anecdotes didn’t always work together.

Furthermore, I want to make it clear to you guys, my readers, viewers, and friends, that my goal with this blog is to be as real, as raw, as… I hate to use this word in the current vocabulary climate, but as authentic as I can possibly be. The last thing I want is for my blog to be distant, indirect, and impersonal.

My promise to you guys is to be myself- no more, no less.

I think it’s important I make these types of posts considering the majority of travel blogs adhere to the impersonal, professional travel- influencer, “this is where you should go and what you should see and eat” narrative. There’s an abundance of blogs you can go to for recommendations and a scarcity of blogs that give their personal accounts of the places they go.

If my photographs are the external landscapes in which I visit and see, then my anecdotes are the internal landscape in which I interpret and make meaning from my experiences.

With that said, the following entries are my thoughts and observations, my point of view, my perspective.

Thank you for sticking with me.


-When I passed by cafe Lajense I saw Frankie’s long white beard and recognised his wife Cathy by his side. I stopped in to say hello and we got to catch up for a while. I reminded them that I still keep the card they gave me four years ago which when read in Hebrew from right to left: ” Hay kof men” means ” Rising from depression.” I expressed how appreciative I was of them for inviting me to their home and sharing their time and food with me.

Frankie and Cathy introduced me to their friend Amanda who told me she moved from England to Pico Island on a whim. Pico was the place to be and apparently when she she arrived sometime in the late winter season she had the intuitive, gut feeling that she came to the right place. Although we only shared a small conversation, it left me curious in what more she had to say about her travels. I’m sure we’ll cross paths again and talk more about how she ended up here.

Which brings me to this question:

How does one accurately describe how they ended up where they are?

Is it possible to acredit a certain series of events as to why you are where you are, or do you have to take everything into account before those said events as well? I once listened to a lecture by Alan Watts about how it’s almost impossible to state in absolute terms when an event begins and ends since prior to the events there is an accumulation of “pre events” which are the cause and afterwards there the effects which ripple far past the actual occurrence.

Are we not products of the decisions we made in the past? And don’t the decisions we make today change who we are tomorrow?


-When it comes to traveling, you’ll meet people from all over the world who are there for various reasons. The reason is one thing and the reason behind the reason is a whole different story. I could say I’m in the Azores right now because my plan is to travel throughout Portugal, throughout Europe once my family migrates and settles here in Lajes. The reason is a means to travel more.

Yet someone could ask me further, why I come to the Azores in the first place and the answer to that includes numerous aspects of my story/past. Those stories- those memories are just as important, if not more important than the reason I’m here right now, but at the same time all of it is just one collective reason as to why I’m here.

Some people travel solely for business purposes and spend their time in other countries simply because those are the requirements/ job description.

Other people travel for vacation; spending their time in resorts, cruise ships, and perfect getaways from their busy lives.

We all travel for different reasons. What interests me are the people in search for existential answers to questions regarding mortality, self, and what composes a meaningful life.

I remember asking the Australian guy on the chiva bus tour in Cartagena why he was in Colombia. He kinda just laughed at the question and responded, “the same reason you’re here.” The truth, as I’ve wrote in another article, is that there wasn’t a specific reason besides getting out of the complicated, stressful muddle in Florida.

My friend and I wanted a break and an adventure we’d never forget. We got both those things and more.

Although my reason wasn’t solid, I don’t think it really matters since by the end of that South America trip I learned so much about myself in a matter of two months. A strong part me of thinks the reason for traveling anywhere can only be revealed once you return home from the trip and are able to form meaning out of your experiences.

Now that I’m thinking about it, you don’t really need a logical reason to go anywhere. Like Amanda, you just need a feeling inside of you.


This place I know so well used to be my childhood curiosity.

Now that I’m here, here again, my days spent living, learning, knowing seem like a chestnut dream.

I wake up in Lajes do Pico, here I am in summer’s flare recalling memories back when I only imagined so.


If you’re in a haze, snap out of it!

Walk looking forward, not downward.

The haze meaning a sense of frustration, sadness, confusion, anger, self-pity, jealousy. These are all normal to experience and feel, but if you live your life in a haze you’re wasting time. Feel what you feel but don’t allow yourself to perpetuate it any longer than its natural duration. Feel the emotion and then let it pass. Don’t let it linger.

Walk looking forward with purpose, you have somewhere to be. Don’t drag yourself around and fake a smile. Pick yourself up, breathe, come back to your senses and if it helps; count to ten. By the end of those ten seconds know that when you snap your fingers you’re out of the haze and into the clear.


June passed as quick as it could’ve. Last night I was taking in the view from the terrace atop Avo’s house. The grape vines completely cover the spaces between each faded post and the grapes themselves, although not fully ripe, are already plump and in abundance. Sitting down on a cement filled flower pot I was admiring how the sun struck the leaves in such a way that made them appear more gold than green. The pointed edges flapping like a flag.

I kept returning to my breath trying to prevent any senseless thinking. Minutes passed. A few more. More still, and with the last moments of daylight I sipped my last bit of coffee, placed it on the floor, stood up resting my hands on the bars above where the grapes grew, and stretched my arms, shoulders, and back. I felt slightly more relaxed before heading in for the night.

An Afternoon Getaway to Madalena: Ilha do Pico’s Main Port Town and Home of the Cella Bar

Madalena, located north-west of Lajes do Pico, is home to the main port which connects the neighbouring islands. The town acts as a centre for tourism, commercial shopping, communications, trading and basically everything else the smaller villas lack. For example, I wanted to buy a tripod for my camera but I couldn’t find one in Lajes so I asked around. Where did everyone tell me to go? Madalena.

If you’re arriving on Pico Island the chances are you’ll want to stay in Madalena for at least a night considering it’s the closest town to the airport and has the best options for lodging, food, and touristic activities like hiking, sailing, cave exploring, scuba diving, snorkelling, wine tasting, or if you just want to chill by the ocean. Whatever you want just name it, Madalena has it.

It was my day off from work when I looked through a travel guide magazine and came across the “Where to eat” section. The top pick was an architectural award- winning bar/restaurant called the “Cella Bar.” The front image was enough for me to decide to go.

Image taken from Cella Bar’s Facebook page

An hour bus ride later, I arrived in Madalena. I didn’t have a plan except to find the Cella Bar, nor much time to spend before the last bus left back to Lajes so I walked around snapping photos along the way to my destination.

The following images are from my afternoon getaway to Madalena. I hope you enjoy them.

Running away from Karma
I ordered a gin and tonic for my afternoon relaxation
caixa de pão/biscoito tradicional + degustação de azeite + gin and tonic = muito bom!

Photo Collection: Lajes At Dusk

By the time the sun starts to dip behind Pico mountain, the town of Lajes quietens and the soft glow of lamps cast their orange light over the cobblestone streets.

I always enjoyed going for a walk at dusk here. There’s something special about watching the day’s light dampen while the street lamps generate an inviting ambiance late into the night.

In this photo collection I take you on a walk with me around Lajes do Pico to show you the charming views that extend past daylight hours.

I hope you enjoy!

Living in Lajes do Pico, Azores: July’s Photo Collection

The twelfth of August marked two months since arriving in Lajes Do Pico, Azores, Portugal.

Besides working at restaurant Lagoa as a server, I spend my time as the locals do: cafe bouncing (from one to another), making conversation with friends, playing futebol and my personal favourite- taking photos of this town I’ve come to know as home.

In this article I share July’s photo collection with you which includes both candid and intentional images of Lajes, portraiture work I did with my good friend Barbara, and also my afternoon getaway to one of Pico’s main Vilas, Madalena.

If you want to read my travel anecdotes from July, click here

Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you enjoy seeing through my perspective (:


Lajes at Dusk

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Aromas e Sabores Pastelaria


Photoshoot with Barbara

View Complete Collection


Madalena

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Look at these awesome photos from Pico, Azores!

Hey guys,

I just passed the one month mark since arriving in Lajes do Pico, a small village on the south coast of Pico Island in Portugal’s archipelago. The last four weeks have been great. I picked up a job at a local restaurant, reconnected with friends, and on my free time I take photos.

Down below are a collection of photos I took on my second and third week. If you like these photos and are interested in seeing more, you can check out the photo collection from my first week and stay tuned for what’s to come!