Eye on Travel

Radio Guest List — The Azores Islands — August 3, 2019

This week, Eye on Travel  broadcasts from an amazing archipelago — and the nine westernmost islands of Europe, out in the Atlantic Ocean — the Azores islands. Peter updates on the 737 Max investigation — and as he predicted, the plane may now not fly until the first quarter of next year, or even later. He’ll explain why. He’ll also discuss the lawsuits filed by the Attorney General of Washington D.C. against Marriott, and a similar suit filed by the Attorney General of Nebraska against Hilton — for the same claim — “drip pricing” by hotels and trying to hide their resort fees from consumers.  Journalist Tatiana Ourique on the unique position in history held by the Azores, and Historian Francisco Maduro Dias discusses the surprising role the Azores played in the U.S. Civil War. And here’s another surprise — the real story behind the bullfights in the Azores — and how — and why — they don’t kill the bulls. There’s all this and more as Eye on Travel broadcasts from the Azores.


Click here to listen to the show streaming live from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 3, 2019.


Tatiana Ourique, Journalist at Açoriano Oriental, talks about Terceira Island and what it’s like living there. She mentions one of the great aspects of living on the island is safety. She discuss the weather fluctuations and the “four seasons in one day,” that you can expect to feel when you are there. Ourique takes her friends who visit the island to a volcano that you can actually go inside — the only place in the world where you can have that experience. Ourique shares other details about living on the island such as the bull fights, food and agricultural sustainability.


Manuel Gago da Camara, Furnas Lake Villas Owner and Beekeeper, explains how his 14-room hotel sits on a lot of land, making the stay there isolated and peaceful. He says that Sao Miguel has the largest population of all Azores islands, and he estimates that there are one million Azoreans living off the islands now. Gago da Camara also talks about beekeeping, exploring nature, horseback riding and other activities on the island. His one concern is that with heightened tourism, some parts of Azorean nature might be destroyed.


Francisco Maduro Dias, Historian and Museum Coordinator, speaks about Azorean history and its involvement in major historical events such as the U.S. Civil War. He shares its historical importance of being a United States airbase and a refueling stop for long-haul international flights that cross the Atlantic Ocean. He tells interesting pieces of architectural history, like that homes often have parts of old or wrecked ships in them as part of their structures. And Dias says the museums on the island should do two things: tell the history of the Azores and show visitors how the rest of the world looks like from the perspective of the islands. Dias believes that the biggest lesson someone can learn while visiting the Azores is that culture and nature are not in fact separate.


Cesario Pereira, President of COFIT and the Folk Azores Festival, describes the festival culture on the Terceira Island. He describes the Folk Festival happening on the island and the competitiveness to get an invitation to it. Of the 350 teams who apply to get a spot, only about 14 are selected annually, and he does not allow teams to come back for a second year because he wants to give different people a chance to see the island. He puts emphasis on making sure that all of the visiting teams have a great experience during their visit so that they tell their friends and come back independently.


Pedro Correia, of the Tertúlia Tauromáquica Terceirense, elaborates on the history of bullfighting and bull running on the island. Many years ago, bulls were put on the Sao Miguel to test if it was liveable. A few years later, the bulls were still living so the island was inhabited and that’s when bullfighting was born. Correia says that sometimes people get hurt, but bullfighting and bull running are still a large attraction on the island.


Nick Sueza, Travel Agent, now lives in Canada but says he comes back to the Azores each summer for family, swimming, the seafood and the quietness of the islands. Sueza tells his friends that of all islands he has been to, all over the world, the Azores are the best he’s ever seen. He shares his stories of the amazing transformation that the island went through to become what it is today.


Ruben Bettencourt, Classical Guitarist, walks through his journey of how he started playing the guitar. He started playing at the age of six, then went to Portugal to perform, headed to the Netherlands to get his master’s in guitar and finally started performing in large venues around the world. But he says no matter where he goes around the world, he always comes back to the Azores for peace and rest. Bettencourt also played a three-minute piece called Snowdrop by a Russian composer.


Eduarda Mendes, Journalist and Commission Member of the Festivities of the Village, talks about the festivities around the island and their religious ties. Her village is called Santa Barbara, but her village honors Saint Anthony. Mendes explains that a lot of work goes in to the festival. A year is spent just preparing the theme, and there are eight days of partying, 20 concerts and at least one bull race in each village.


Have a travel question? Then ask Peter. E-mail him at peter@petergreenberg.com, or tweet your questions to @petersgreenberg (include #AskPeter).