This morning, I got up early to watch the sun rise, then we left Syracuse and headed north to mighty, smoking Mt Etna (there, off to the left in one of the sunrise photos). A local and vivacious volcanologist went with us to the top, telling stories of getting bonked the head with flying rocks after a sudden eruption and about his job of trying to keep people who live on the slopes of an active volcano alive. When I told him I can see the glow of Halemaumau Crater from my bed at home, he knew right where I lived. During his talk he referred to Kilauea several times, which was pretty cool. Mt Etna is a different kind of volcano from the one I live on, but I saw lots of similarities, of course. The group was so impressed by what they saw today – everyday life for me back home – and I was reminded of how unusual the place I live is.
After the mountain we visited a winery on Etna’s slopes. The terroir makes for lovely, highly drinkable wine, I can tell you!
Now I am sitting on a terrace listening to live jazz in Taormina, watching the sun set on the Mediterranean, mainland Italy off to my left, Mt. Etna off to my right. Not too shabby. (And, yea, finally some decent wifi to catch up on my posts.)
Fun fact: Taormina was the home Polyphemus, of the cyclops Ulysses vanquished.
Here are some photos:
Live all you can. It’s a mistake not to.