Sicily and Mt Etna

Trip Start Jul 06, 2006
Trip End Sep 26, 2006

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Hey Kewlabahs!

I´m in Catania Sicily and am having an unreal time. I arrived here the other day after a ferry ride from Malta and haven´t really stopped since. I have just got back from a day trip to Mt Etna the most active volcano in Europe and am still blown away by the size and sheer power of it. I sat at 2000 metres above sea level and this is a little of what i wrote in my journal;

``I´m sitting at 2000 metres above sea level dressed like Indiana Jones and watching steam pour out of the mouth of Mt Etna. A short while ago i was at 2500 metres above and standing right beside craters that had been active as recently as July 15th. The main mouth at 3300 metres is currently off limits as it could erupt at anytime. Other tourists in all their wisdom ignore the warnings and continue to climb the mountain with the goal of making it to the top. My guide says that if an explosion occurs which is moderately likely they will all be buried in volcanic rock and ash. It isn´t a very clear day so the views arn´t as good as i had hoped for but through the haze i am able to make out the meditteranean sea and the city of Catania that lies at Etna´s base. Lava insulates itself quite well, i was shown an area dubbed the ´natural barbeque´ by guides which erupted in 2003 that is still steaming and will continue to do so for another three or four years. I kick some surface rocks aside and pick up a handful of small rock that burns my hand. If i went a further metre down i would find rock still smoldering at 300 degrees from the 2003 eruption. I am amazed by the tremendous power of this mountain that could completely wipe out Sicily and form a new larger island. I think i´ll sit and continue to simply look at it for a while before heading back to Catania.´´

I´m going to try and make my way to Rome tonight on an overnight train we´ll see how i go!

Keep Smashing it up!

Mr Kewl
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