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”.

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