I could compare my excitement about seeing Lagoa das Sete Cidades to the excitement of spotting the sea for the first time in a year, after a long school term. Even after seeing hundreds of photos of these lakes while preparing my first trip to the Azores, the best kept secret of Europe, I still had my doubts; Is it really so beautiful? Is it actually photoshopped? How big it is? I remember well approaching Miradouro da Vista do Rei and being almost unable to speak for a few minutes. Yes, it was beautiful, and no, it did not need any photoshop. There they were, two sister-lakes, one blue, and another one green. How come? There is a love story of the two lakes that explains it.
Once upon a time, people say, there was this lovely young blue-eyed Princess who lived in a great kingdom, right where today the village of Sete Cidades is. The Princess lived a simple life in the countryside, and she loved it. She used to look for flowers, walk around, or just admire the beauty of the surrounding mountains. One day while walking around, the young Princess passed by a herd of sheep in a meadow. A handsome green-eyed shepherd was taking care of the herd. The princess stopped by and started talking to the shepherd. They chatted about the nature around them, the animals and the flowers. And that was not the end!
From that day on, every day the Princess was looking for shepherd at the same spot, and they were spending long hours talking. Obviously, they fell in love, promising that they will love each other forever. However, when the King heard that his precious daughter had been meeting with the shepherd, he got mad. It was supposed that the Princess marries a prince from a nearby kingdom, and not a random shepherd. The poor girl was prohibited from seeing her shepherd ever again! Just out of respect for her father, the Princess accepted this cruel decision but she persuaded the father to let her meet him just one more, last time, so that she could say goodbye. The two of them met one last time, in the green fields where they first met. Once again they talked for hours, this time not only about their love, but also about the fact that they cannot be together. As they talked, they cried. The tears shed from the girls blue eyes streamed down the valley and formed a blue lake. The tears pouring from the shepherd’s green eyes formed a green lake. If they were separated, at least the lakes stayed together forever.
Not to spoil the legend, I will leave you this time without a scientific explanation of this phenomenon. If you are curious to know it, look for the other stories about São Miguel Island on itinari. In case you are looking for less traveled roads, check out the story about the western group of the island, how to get there and what to do once you are there.
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