Before I visited Etna for the first time, I thought a volcano consisted of one large hill with a hole at the top, from which smoke, fire and lava flow (more or less “Joe versus the volcano” vision). I was surprised to learn Etna was a hill on the slopes of which are hundreds of small, long-extinct smaller volcanoes that you can climb all over.
Etna, a Beauty
Just ten days before we went to Sicily, Mrs. Etna was puking lava again calling me to visit her again
Etna is the highest volcano in Europe with its 3,330 meters above sea level and it's considered one of the most active volcanos on the planet; it spews lava every year, sometimes even a few times a year.
Due to constant eruptions, Etna often changes its altitude as volcanic matter accumulates and deposits on the walls of the crater and then collapses.
You don't have to be afraid to climb Etna, they even call her “The Good volcano”. Experts are constantly monitoring its work and if there is any possibility that it could start working, they won’t let you go upstairs.
Etna, a Beast
We didn't climb to the top, we parked where all the restaurants are and where the buses leave the tourists.
The temperature was at least 10 Celsius lower than in Catania, on the foot of the Etna. They say the temperature differs by 20 degrees from the base till the top, where you can go only by a cable car.
Nope, it wasn't going to happen, we were semi-naked and not ready at all for climbing of any kind.
We were loitering around the small volcanoes, laughing at how many lava stones one can pick up here for free, while they are being sold in shops all around Sicily.
Up, on the Etna (I'm very sorry, Gucci) but I didn’t allow him any free running. There are too many craters everywhere and I was terrified he could fall into one of them.
I knew I sounded paranoic but only a few months later a family of three, a child included, tumbled into a volcano's crater near Naples and were boiled alive in scalding mud…
Etna, a Lady
I admit I'm obsessed with volcanos and especially with Etna, I adore Etna! (As if there's anything in Sicily I don't adore…)
There’s something hair-raising and fascinating at the same time about having all that latent power under your feet, telling us:
“I'm beautiful but strong, powerful, mighty. I could destroy you if I will, I can be kind and prolific if I decide so, your future depends on me, respect me, Do NOT mess with me!"
Etna is everything a woman should, in my opinion, be. Everything I ever wanted to be. Etna is not just a mountain, she is a powerful lady.