Our second day was spent in Sicily, the week before we arrived the Etna had erupted, nothing major, just enough to chuck out a load of ash and a few fireworks, but by the time we got there it had gone back to sleep. We took a trip from the ship as Etna was around an hour away from the port. On the way there we saw the locals sweeping up piles of black ash and putting it in black plastic bags, according to our guide the ash is removed by the local council.
Once we got towards the top we hit the snow, the guide told us that Etna is a very active Volcano, but it is also very well monitored so there is time for people to get out of the way if necessary. He also told us that there are in excess of 100 separate craters. We visited a set of craters called the Sylvester Craters, they last erupted in 1990-1992. The landscape was very bare with no plants, it takes around 50 years before the plants are able to start growing again.
Tom and I walked up the crater with the intention of walking around the rim and down the other side. Unfortunately it was bitterly cold and very very windy. So windy that the guide thought it would be too dangerous to walk the rim, so we were only able to go half way around. In the photo above we are standing in front of a 'lava bomb' These huge rocks are thrown out of the live craters during an eruption and can do a huge amount of damage.
Beth walked down into the crater and took this photo of us up on the rim.
Beth is in the middle of the crater above.
It was a fantastic trip loads of information and a close up of a volcano, if we had been able to stay longer we could have gone closer to the top, I was happy with a great day trip!!
Beth took a fantastic shot a nicely framed picture of the volcano showing the black of the last eruption and some wispy white smoke, framed by the clouds and the land!
Its hard to believe that we have been back nearly a week, Carl has returned from Florida and the kitchen is buried in washing again!!