Bathing in the thermal pool of Terra Nostra Garden, in the Azores Islands
The Thermal Water Pool of Terra Nostra Park is without doubt a highlight of the Azores.
Built in 1780, by Thomas Hickling, the American consul who had the original idea for Terra Nostra Park, the Thermal Water Pool began to form part of the assembly dominated by Yankee Hall, a holiday house owned by Hickling.
The pool was significantly smaller at that time, but already consisted of an “island” in the middle, with a bridge linking it to the land.
The Thermal Water Pool was enlarged in 1935, acquiring its present form, with the refurbishment of the Park, operated by Vasco Bensaude.
It was also enhanced by quarry stone masonry, remaining unchanged to date, undergoing only a few minor repairs.
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Volcano Stew in the Azores Islands
Cats bury their food when they love it. On S. Miguel Island in the Azores, locals enjoy their food because they bury it, or so it seems. For centuries, inhabitants of the Azores Islands, an exotic archipelago mid-way between the United States of America and Europe, bury the Cozido das Furnas, a stew made of several meats and vegetables, including a local version of Taro, a plant originating in Hawaii, which grows on São Miguel Island with the thermal waters of the dormant Furnas Volcano.
There is a spot on this volcano where earth’s surface is shallower and locals take advantage of the heat from the depths of the planet to cook the Cozido. The geothermal slow-cooking process at low temperatures enhances the various flavours, involving all the ingredients into a unique combination, making it possible for you to taste something sustainably cooked inside a volcano, within Furnas Valley, one of the largest hydrological places in the world, with over 30 hot springs.
One of these hot springs reaches a bicentennial garden, built by Boston merchant Thomas Hickling, who in the early 1800’s added a house and an outdoor pool, where you can still bathe in today and replenish in thermal therapeutic waters rounding 95º Fahrenheit.
Here at Terra Nostra Garden, you can also find a hotel and sample in the restaurant the amazing taste of the Cozido das Furnas, right after it comes out of the earth. A must-do for all those seeking extraordinary new experiences.