Most people visit the Galapagos to encounter the marvelous wildlife. Yet how can we think of the animals
without a landscape? This is the theater in which the cast of animals play their roles. Some are not
impressed. Writing in 1854, Herman Melville (author of Moby Dick) likened the scene to "heaps of
cinders dumped here and there in an outside city lot". Perhaps it takes a discerning eye to enjoy the
stark beauty of volcanic islands, but there is no doubt that these islands present a natural spectacle that
visitors remember for the rest of their lives.