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Island of Adventures

Posted by on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 in Blog posts.

Mount Etna is one of the most daunting natural wonders in the world. On Sunday, we climbed it as a group. Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and is caused by the converging tectonic plates between Africa and Eurasia. Etna was a few hours away from us, just outside of the Catania. When we arrived, the mountain was much colder than I expected. There was hail and strong winds even at the base, and I was not dressed nearly warm enough. We began to hike up a trail of old ashes of lava. While playing the Rocky theme song on Savino’s speaker may have helped, it was still a difficult trek through rough conditions. After a few hours, we reached the top of one of the craters. At the top there were over 70 km/hour winds. Hats and other belongings were flying off of people left and right. At the top of the crater it was extremely difficult to stand up without being blown away. I couldn’t imagine how severe the winds are at the very top of the mountain. I also have never seen such a quick turn from 80 degrees and sunny to below freezing and hailing sideways. Never before have I actually felt like the wind could knock me over. This once in a lifetime adventure was unlike anything I have experienced in the United States. There are no volcanoes that I know of in the northeast, let alone active ones. The wind, hail and cold were difficult conditions along with the possibility of lava erupting from the peak. I have written about this before, but just how unique and diverse the land of Sicily is continues to amaze me. It is very much like Greece in terms of topography. Not many places can you find cliffs, beaches, volcanoes, cities, and islands all within sight of each other. Sicily has been one of the most awe-inspiring places I have ever been to in terms of physical beauty. After the hike of Etna, we traveled to Taormina, which I thought was the coolest landscape for a city that I have ever seen. The city is built into the cliff with beaches and islands lying below the city and ancient ruins overlooking the city. The variety of landscape in Sicily explains why so many different societies have tried to settle the island.


Here is a photo from about 1/3 of the way up the volcano:

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Here is a photo from the ancient theater in Taormina overlooking the cliff:

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