April 3, 2019 - This morning, the sun was shining as we ended our four days at sea, approaching the port city of Horta, Azores, Portugal.
After a quick lunch at the Pool Grill, we walked down the long pier where Regent Seven Seas Explorer was docked.
At the end of the pier, we found the waiting motor coaches for the 40-minute drive to Capelinhos.
Along the way, our local tour guide pointed out many interesting sights and historic facts about Horta. When we arrived at our destination, it looked like the surface of the moon. Everything was covered in meters of gray ash left after the volcano erupted. Only one story of the two-story lighthouse tower was visible in the distance.
The Interpretive Center and Museum is actually located underneath the lighthouse structure, and is quite impressive.
Our guide walked us through the museum, describing the effect of the Capelinhos volcano, which erupted in 1957 and continued to erupt for 13 months. The lava flow from the undersea volcano expanded the land mass by 2.4 kilometers.
Even though many homes, including the lighthouse, were destroyed by the volcano, nobody was killed by the event. After exiting the Interpretive Center, we could see the area affected by the eruption. The winds were blowing a very fine dust of lava ash that could easily irritate your eyes.
We departed Capelinhos for the drive back to Horta, learning more about the island along the way. We arrived back in time to watch from our balcony as Horta disappeared in the distance as Seven Seas Explorer sailed for Ponta Delgada.
For sailaway, we decided to visit the Observation Lounge for a cocktail, which we enjoyed to the sounds of Pavlo on the piano.
Tomorrow, Seven Seas Explorer will be docked in Ponta Delgada, Azores.