Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wednesday, May 31st, 1882

Wednesday. May 31st Ponta Delgada.
At 8 o’c this morning we started in carriage for the Seven Cities in a rain – Mr Kent & Mr Lee were kept busy for the first five or six miles reefing and letting go the back of our carriage. The road lay along the sea, a smooth wide road and on cliff’s five or six hundred ft high. The houses & farms at the bottoms looked like pigmy life. The ruins were very fine. At the end of a two hour carriage ride we met donkeys of the worst possible description with a villainous looking old man, a wicked boy and a fascinating fez and with the eyes of Miss Smith’s Flores boy. The latter devoted himself to me. Then we followed a good mountain road through clumps of houses perched on the very edge of chasms, way up higher and higher where looking back we could see great furrowed hills rising one after another behind us – covered only with heather and at the very top where the train ran on the edge of tremendous precipice we saw the glorious sight – as wonderful as any-thing I have ever seen in my life of the wondrously beautiful mountain folding against each other and the great ocean at their feet – on the other side the crater with La Grande Lagra and La Lago Azul – of almost gen d’arme blue, the smoke of the charcoal burners rising from the mountains and such mountains! There was a genuine volcano before us in all its weird, strange beauty! We saw some very lovely cedar trees and as we went to the bottom of the crater which is called the Seven Cities (we could find no reason for the name) a flaming red rhododendron like one I saw at the Magnolia Gardens near Charleston. The road going down was shady and winding and precipitous. The donkeys insisted on walking as near the edge as possible and I was in agony much of the way. Down the ravines on either side were masses of large ferns. At the bottom are some little villages of squalid houses whose inhabitants seemed to make washing a regular business. There were miles of clothes out to dry on trees and rocks on the border of the lake and the swampy land which abounds there. We found water lilies. We crossed the bridge which divides the two lakes of the crater and on a shady slope took our dinner. The donkey men were very amusing. They begged for everything we carried from cigars to shawls & Mr Lee’s [?]. Tobacco is their greatest delight – and “the villain” beseeched Mr Kent for a cigarette, on his knees clasping Mr Kent’s knees and praying to him by turn – which all the time the old wretch, as it turned out had some in his own pocket. The wicked boy was smart and wanted the phrase book. He gave us lessons in Portuguese & we returned the compliment in English – Half of the charms of our trip here would be lost if we could speak Portuguese. Our struggles over the language and the attempts of the Portuguese, who are very clever, to extricate use add to the charm of this new life. The weather cleared off charmingly by long before we reached the Seven Cities and we came home 5 o’c hardly tired with our day’s jaunt though covered with fleas. Mrs Lee & I took a nap and after tea went shopping – Mrs Lee is very homesick and blue tonight. I have decided to go back to Horta as Mama expects me by Sarah. She wished to go too but Mr Lee is bound to go to the Furnas. The latter is the only thing worth seeing in the Islands according to the universal admin, Dr Robertson. It is full of boiling springs of different kinds. I feel perfectly satisfied with what I have seen already – One can not take in everyting and so I am ready to go back to Horta which I love. The other islands have been simply curiositys [sic] – Fayal is our home. St Michaels is a much finer country however.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Thursday, May 30th, 1882

Tuesday. May 30th Pinhuris[?], Ponta Delgada St Miguel [sic]
I prepared myself for a battle with the rats last night, placing all eatable articles such as my hat with feathers on it, one rubber s[?] with lace border in the top berth so that the beasts might have a feast without coming near me. I took my big umbrella in my berth so as to defend myself if necessary and put a rubber on the floor to throw at them – then stayed awake an hour waiting for the enemy who failed to come at all and I slept soundly only dimly hearing the boom of the gun which announced our arrival at Ponta Delgada. St Michaels is a large island and has more open harbor than the others; Ponta Delgada runs along the shore with high and large buildings. As the sunset last evening on Terceira I changed my mind with regard to it – it seemed as beautiful as Fayal and very similar – Ponta Delgada is a city of 20,000 inhabitants with imposing residences, public buildings, hospitals, theatre, churches, etc. and the resident portion of the place full of very large and beautiful gardens. The churches have Gothic towers and many of the houses square towers on top, sometimes a little at one side which gives the city a very different appearance from any other town we have seen among the Islands. We saw our first occupied Convent here, a large high square building, with wooden closed blinds and iron gratings over them. There seems less originality or rather fewer Azorean characteristics here than elsewhere – probably owing much to the size of the city and that so many English live here. We saw some English carriages in the streets. The only new sight was a cap worn by the men like this

and the women’s Capotes were hooked in front drawing the hood close about the face – in other respects like those worn on Fayal. We saw some hoes which have short handles always. The climate seems much more dry, clear, cool and bracing than Fayal. [?]. Mrs Lee and I went to walk in the afternoon alone and through the business portion of the town. Wherever we went the men came to the shop doors with insolent looks and stared and laughed. There are no good manners here, and the people have none of the simplicity that we saw at Flores & Fayal. We have seen the islands in the right way – the primitive Flores coming first, then going from Fayal & Terceira to cosmopolitan Ponta Delgada. Our boarding house, Mrs Brown’s is a fine old country place, with large rooms and every possible comfort – and a flower garden in front. There is a little chapel connected with the house which once belonged to a wealthy family. It bears the date 1725. We took a late breakfast there and found Dr & Mrs Robertson & Mr Townsend. The Browns are English people, a widow with [?] son and pretty daughter. We have an excellent table, in boarding house fashion & with beautiful glass, china & linen. Mrs Lee & I have a room together until the rest of Sarah’s passenger’s leave. There is besides a Miss Howell whom Mr Sanisberry spoke of as travelling everywhere alone and being eccentric. She is a great admirer of Bradlaugh – after breakfast we went to Antonio Broges garden very near the Browns, a very extensive place, laid out with artificial gr[?], s[?], walks, etc., greenhouses, etc. There are a great variety of plants and trees. It is like a tropical public park. The ferns are fine and the different variety of palms is wonderful, but there was not the real beauty of the Dabney garden. The gardens of St Michaels are considered among the finest in the world –

In the evening we played Whist with Miss Howell – 

It is very improper for a lady to go in the street alone here and I imagine somewhat unsafe. Kent says “this beats the world”.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Monday, May 29th, 1882

Monday. May 29th. On board Steamer Luso. Angra. Terceira.
We had a comfortable night thought the rats held high carnival in the quarters. My state room was full of small feathers off my turban, Mr Kent’s boots were nibbled and his shoe lacings gone. We had coffee from the steward and some of Mrs Dabneys rolls which she had given to Mr Sanisberry, for early breakfast – then we had difference a la fourchette[?] later – and went ashore when the rain disappeared. Terceira is next to St Michaels the largest island and Angra was formerly the capital of the Azores. The military governor is here yet. The harbor is shaped something like that of Horta but is without the firchue[?] of coloring and abruptness of Porta Pino. There are several Spanish fortifications less interesting than more at Horta. The town is larger and has some fine streets and some shabby ones. There are some very nice stores, huge churches, a public garden just being laid out, on a backhill, a very prominent monument to Don Pedro IV. There seems to be a greater distinction than at Horta between the well-to-do and very poor. We saw many people who looked more peasant like. Once in the town it is very pretty as it lies up and down hills. I have not seen as many signs of ecclesiastical control anywhere as here. There seems to be chapels at every corner and crosses on every other building. There are two kinds of cloak peculiar to this island, each hideous and one very uncanny, covering the face almost entirely. 

The former is usually brown, the latter always black. The poor men wear a little cap, dk blue broadcloth lined with red, worn on the back of the head. Its shape is like this

The donkeys have a saddle which has a little railing back 

The water jugs are of different shape from those at Fayal. The Fayal jugs are shaped

The Terceira jugs have a larger opening

and there are others like this

They also have absurd little wheel barrows with one small wheel in front

There are very large chimneys on every house which gives a very different effect to the houses from those at Fayal. The chimneys are like this

Tiles on the top. The tiles on the roofs project some distance and are painted pink underneath. As a whole the town seems older than Horta. The women have the reputation of being pretty and we saw more pretty faces in the few hours we were there than in all the time we have been at Horta, but the women cannot compare with those at Flores. There are horses here and better looking donkeys and mules. We saw several bookstores. On the top of a high hill was the place where the bull-fights are witnessed – circular stone (like the stone walls) building and we thought we could see a row of spectator’s seats around the top. We took a long rid through one or two villages and into the heart of the country. We saw a great many large fig trees, some [?] orange & nespras, few flowers and on the hill tops real bona fide woods, pine and American looking trees. Some of the valleys too were full of trees, the brooks seemed dry and everything gave me – the others did not seem to notice it – the impression of a cool climate. We stopped at  house where wooden shoes were being made, to take a drink of wine at a shop and bought some cookies and fed the children with candy. Each child kissed it’s hand to you as a sign of gratitude. Their manners were charming.

We dined at the Hotel Terceira a dirty place where we had our first thoroughly Portuguese dinner. There was everything on the table at once as is the Portuguese custom. There were two soup tureens containing all kinds of vegetables & herbs, like cabbage & mint and a spoonful from each was put in to your soup plate – then we had a dish containing salt pork, corn-beef, sausage and liver. Course No 2 then a boiled beef with tomato sauce, peas were served with it. No 3 – was roast veal with potatoes – No 4 walnuts and nespras, and we had Pico wine. We played Whist after dinner. Then starting to the Bull fight, which I was especially desirous of seeing, found that our steamer was going to leave too soon for us to see anything of it. We were disgusted. Mr Sanisberry came to the pier to see us off at 5 o’c. He seemed to feel very sorry to say goodbye and I was more son. He is such a splendid fellow. We hope to meet him again on our return by the Sara. He told me last night all about his engagement and his business affairs, and of the noble deeds of Mr Dabney & his son – of how they recently saved five lives at the risk of losing their own, etc.