With the about page we want to give you some background information on Casa Azores and your host Marijke Schiffers.
About Casa Azores
Natural stone has a magical spirit. It keeps the warmth of the sun for many hours after the sun has gone. It keeps a house cool inside in hot summer months. It protects the humans inside from wind and rain. The old stones enhance our romantic feelings. All houses in the Azores were once built with hand hewn stones.
When I decided to build a traditional guest house, the stones from the existing ruin were going to be part of the new building. They were put aside carefully like an archaeological dig. Then the new house was built in cement blocks with pillars of iron for strength.
The real art work came after that: the rebuilding of the old stone walls around the modern structure.
The result is a charming and comfortable house, an exact replica of the farm house that once stood in its place. Except that modern amenities were added, bathroom, sewer and electricity.
You will be able to experience the Sabugo feeling for yourself when you visit. It is a peaceful and relaxing experience.
Your Host: Marijke Schiffers
I was born in Amsterdam in 1953, grew up in that exciting city in exciting times. I went to the Theatre School and learned Contemporary Dance. After a few years I had an opportunity to continue dancing in Paris and took that chance with both hands.
So by the time I was 24 I was ready for new adventures and they presented themselves in the person of a man, haha, what else is new, who wanted to go sailing and asked if I would like to join him.
We liked each other so we set off for the south coast of England to buy a sailboat.
I had never sailed in my life and new nothing about boats. My friend knew a little more, he had done some sailing on a professional diving motor sailor in the Red Sea. We bought a wonderful little Colin Archer and I was hooked.
Her name was BOAN and we sailed her across the channel and through the canals of France to the Mediterranean.
There came a time that our money ran out and we found a job on a bigger sailboat as captain and cook/stewardess for a rich owner and voilà, our career was born. We continued to alternate between jobs and our own sailboats which we renovated and sold. We had the good fortune of seeing a lot of the world. We enjoyed sailing, meeting new folks, different cultures and culinary experiences. All the while we have been looking for a place, a piece of land, a house or a ruin, to settle down in the future. We looked in Turkey, the Greek Islands, the Caribbean, the San Blas Islands of Panama, the Society Islands, Tuamotos and Marquesas Islands in the Pacific.
It’s so beautiful here, I never go away.
Until one day we crossed the Atlantic and landed in Horta, the city and port of the island Faial in the Azores. We stayed a few weeks to repair the generator on the boat and explored the island. Especially after the Caribbean we appreciated the abundant greenery and fat cows in lush grassy fields.
We noticed plenty of ruins and pieces of land and you guessed it, we ended up buying one in 1989. There were not many foreigners on Faial in those days, a handful of couples, mostly sailors too. We all knew each other and shared dinners and experiences in rebuilding houses.
The ruins were not very expensive at the time. We bought the ruins adjacent to our property, which became the Sabugo House later.
My partner and I have separated, our lives following different paths, as so often happens. We both still live on Faial though, and are very good friends.