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The Azores are an archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, composed of 9 islands of volcanic origin. A few years ago, I visited São Miguel, which is the largest one, and has many lakes in both active and inactive calderas. One of the most famous is located near the village of Furnas, which owes its name to the hundreds of nearby fumaroles. In fact, the Furnas Lake is part of an active volcanic complex, and in several locations, it is possible to see the hot water reaching the surface and bubbling. The sulfurous smell can be quite strong in places.
It is easy to reach the area, either by car or public transport, and once there, there is the possibility of walking the circular trail around the lake. It is a beautiful walk that will take you through pristine forests and will keep you just a stone throws away from the water. On the day this photo was taken, the cloud cover over the valley was quite thick, but I felt that helped in enhancing the mysterious character of the place. I made several photos during this visit, but this one nicely portrays the lush greens that are typical of the Azores.
At the end of the walk, it is possible to taste the famous “cozido das Furnas”, a meat and vegetable stew that is cooked for 6 or 7 hours in a pot that goes inside one of the many fumaroles. Otherwise, there are man wonderful places to have a picnic.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor