Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I have now seen the great Sicilian volcano that towers over the town and marina of Riposto. We were not planning on visiting Etna, mainly because the marina there is very expensive. They were charging 115 euros a night, maybe the second-most expensive marina I have seen. Then we heard the weather forecast for the next several days and did a 90 degree turn right towards Riposto. The forecast was for a gale in the wrong direction. So we got to see Etna. We had planned on passing it at sea, but if we were going to be staying right under it, we thought, why not? The mountain was awesome. We were almost ten thousand feet up, and the air was only half the pressure at sea level. Mom got winded, and all of us felt tired very quickly. We drove a rental car most of the way, then took a gondola thirteen hundred feet higher, then rode a jeep-bus thing the rest of the way. There was volcanic ash everywhere, and we took some back for our basil plant. We could see where the lava flows had solidified across the landscape, and apparently they kept having to re-build the cable car lines because they were destroyed by the flows. Etna was really cool, and I’m looking forwards to climbing the volcano of Vulcano.