Monday, July 14, 2008

Final Plans and Chasing Mt. Etna


Monday was yet another glorious day in Catania! We spent the morning at the office finalizing our plans for our return to Camarillo.

After much discussion about possible routes to take we decided to fly straight to Paris on Thursday, July 17th to celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary that night in the "City of Lights". We will spend four days in Paris before taking the Chunnel train to London on Monday the 21st.

Laurie flies home from London at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday the 22nd and I will follow her out of Heathrow in the morning Friday the 25th. That Friday will mark the 199th and final day of my European adventure.

Lunch in Capo Mullini

After a brisk morning of acting the part of internet travel agents, we decided to eat lunch in Capo Mullini at one of their quaint little seaside ristorantes. We found one that I had eaten in before, it was the one the night the waiter gave me a kiss for ordering spaghetti al nero.

We shared two great pastas, a tasty swordfish involtini and a very refreshing little bottle of a local white wine. The only negative is that both the temperature and the humidity increased mightily as we dined.

After lunch we hooked up with Brandon and Matt at the Dorm. They had just returned from a week in Finland visiting Matt's friends. If you recall, Matt played American football for a team in Finland last season.

We all drove back to Davide's office for a few last rounds of discussions about travel plans, the season just finished and next year.

Inspired by the incredible pictures Jason took yesterday of Mt. Etna erupting, you MUST see his blog, Laurie and I decided to go and chase Mt. Etna one last time for a finall view of the lava flow.

Escaping gasses are the first thing you notice.

It was about 7:30 p.m. as we approached Mt. Etna from the village of Milo.

Changing Landscapes

As you drive up the volcano the landscape is spectacular in it's variety. Here in the foreground is an old lava flow and in the distance lush vegetation.

Rifugio Citelli

This old station at road's end was first built in 1740. Today's version of the outpost serves as a launch point for tours of the volcano and a good spot to see and hear the flow from a distance.

Colorado? Vermont? Where are we?

On part of the drive, where birch trees were common, you would have a hard time believing we were still in Sicily.

The Lava Flow
Mt. Etna Molten Lava Red

Unfortunately, I do not have the zoom lens capability that Jason has so this view of the flow will have to do.

"What, me worry?"

My favorite shot, this man is just sitting in a chair outside his home watching the world go by on a hot July night in Sicily. So what if his house seems to be in the eventual path of the distant lava flow.

As Jason put it when he saw this picture, "Ignorance is Bliss".

video

Finally, the Sound of Mt. Etna

This is a short, 30 second video.

TURN UP YOUR VOLUME!

About half way through it you can actually hear the volcano erupting like the sound of waves crashing in the distance during a winter storm surf.

The whole experience was magnificent, I just wish my photos could have done it justice. Again, go to Jason's blog for inspiring pictures of Mt. Etna taken the night before mine were taken.


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