Just a short hike along dirt roads, because it rained and it was our last day on Pico. But the colors! And the waves! I could stare at the sea forever during this kind of weather.
Our hotel had its own old whale watching tower. I sat there for a while, starred at the sea and tried to imagine how the vigias (the whale watchers) did do their work with only some normal low-tech binoculars. But I came to only this insight: The ocean is fucking big!
This trail was clearly one of our hiking highlights on the Azores. It follows an old water channel (Levada) through dense jungle-like forests and grasslands. As there was a hurricane just some weeks earlier, we had to climb over fallen trees a lot and there was even a bridge which was hit by a tree. On time we had to pass trough a tunnel.
As we have parked our car at the beginning of the trail we had to take a taxi to bring us back to our initial point. I guess it would have been much more exhausting if we hadn’t found one because the climb to the start was rather steep.
Unfortunately you can’t make a complete tour around Lagoa do Fogo. We tried to go back another way that we found on our map, but after the first 200 meters it became more and more unpassable so we turned around and walked back the same way we came from.
The Fumaroles of Furnas
If it weren’t for the view – definitely the best view of the Azores – the hike itself would be rather dull. We climbed up the steep mountain from the center of the village of Sete Ciudades and made the tour around the craters on country roads (yes, there were even cars).
Beth Olamin or Bet Olam is the Hebrew word for cemetery, meaning house of eternity. Unlike Christian cemeteries, the ground where the dead are buried should not be disturbed and graves should not be cleared. This means, that jewish cemeteries from the day of their inauguration, are keeping the memory of every community member for all times and are eternally growing. Eternally growing at least is not true for this sacred ground situated in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. The first burial here was probably in 1586, the last in 1936. Jewish life was nearly extinct from the region before and during WW2.
It’s this history of course which is on my mind when letting the special atmosphere of this place resonate with my small self in this vast forest and fields in the middle of nowhere far outside the village. But as well something more. Eternity is beautiful and visible here and makes me reflect on evanescence and being reclaimed by and becoming eternal nature one time.
Other jewish cemeteries:
We made an excursion to Cambridge which is a wonderful and very well arranged accumulation of British architecture. Our time was short and so we doubted at first if we should visit King’s College Chapel where there was a service accompanied by the famous King’s College Boys Choir. It would have been so wrong to miss that. The architecture of the chapel and the otherworldly chants impressed us deeply.
Our second favorite thing was the ice-cream we got from a Jack’s Gelato on Bene’t Street. Yummy Earl Grey and prunes flavor. Could it get more British?