Azorean calderean – but no swimmean.

The parks and botanical gardens of the Azores I’ve already told you about. Now for something else no less important – the islands’ volcanisms; in this post, about two of them – the Sete Cidades Massif and Lagoa do Fogo (Lagoon of Fire).

Volcanism No. 1 – the Sete Cidades Massif – a stratovolcanic complex made up of a volcano, a caldera, and a lake in the caldera:

The caldera has a complex structure. It is some 5km in diameter (imagine the eruption involved to create that!), and inside it there are seven partly destroyed and very overgrown younger volcanic cones. Sounds amazing? Looks amazing! ->

Like with many ‘gentrified’ volcanoes (and some wildling ones too:), here you can do a round-the-rim walk or drive. Since it’s some 22km around the rim (as our guides told us), we forewent the full trekking option and went for a mix of half-on-foot and half-by-minibus caldera-circumferencing… And what can I say? Oh my gorgeous-green-volcanism!

Inward and outward – wow!

Inward – the monumental scenes keep changing as you move around the caldera’s edge:

The track that runs atop the rim is a good one too. Next time will have to drive the vehicles ourselves ->

Apparently one of the stages of the European rally takes place here – along this very track. And they say it’s the most beautiful stage of them all (one of the riskiest too, surely:). Check out the vid!

And here’s the lake down below:

As soon as we got to the lake – I was in it faster than those rally cars:

Volcanism No. 2Lagoa do Fogo, here.

Alas – we didn’t have time for a leisurely walk here as we were in a hurry to get to some waterfalls. We quickly descended the steps down to the lake, a few snaps, then back up, and that was that.

What was astonishing was that swimming in the lake is forbidden!

Why? Apparently the land around the lake is private, and the owner fears that tourists staying by the lake for lengthy periods would mess up the place. Maybe he has a point: some folks are rubbish at not dropping rubbish.

Another theory is that tourists swimming in the lake will dirty it up with their filthy bodies. But – hold on: tourists will have showered in the morning: hardly filthy. While ducks and seagulls, etc., for sure won’t have showered in the morning – yet they’re permitted to swim in the lake all day and night! Clearly not fair. Here’s to equal rights for all – ducks, seagulls, and humans!

Oh well. No more bathing this day. Not to worry really – we were in a hurry anyway: we had waterfalls and other volcanisms to check out…

All the pics from the Azores are here.

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