What impressed me most here is the quantity of stones the original settlers had to move in order to clear the fields. Not only do stone fences abound, but one commonly sees enormous piles of them throughout the island, built by farmers when clearing their land. In spite of this, there is STILL a large scattering of stones lying in the fields! The stones here are very black and serve to protect the grape vines from the wind, as well as retaining the heat of the day. Pico's reknown Verdelho wine was once served at the Czar's table in Imperial Russia. Whaling, once necessary for the very survival of the islanders, has now turned into the business of taking tourists out for whale watching. Even into modern times, whaling as practiced in the Azores, was always done from a canoe, much smaller than the whale being hunted. Men who killed a whale smaller than their boat would have been subject to ridicule by the villagers.

The countryside yields less cows and more grapes

Pico is Portugals highest mountain and can often
be seen with a
snow-covered top

As throughout all the islands, the weather can put on a dramatic show

The main town in Pico
doesn't transmit much of an urban aire

An area of lava-flows and perhaps swimming for the more adventurous

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