So off we went to Mount Etna. Our landlords gave us directions, and hoping for the best we headed out. The road was lovely.
You are looking at the back of Etna. You can see that there is snow up there but not much snow. A big money maker for people around here are skiers who come in the winter, but this year they have not had enough snow for that, so the economy, once again suffers.
We headed up the Sartorius mountain, looking for a good hiking spot for us and Luca. The area is known for its birch trees. Apparently it is a variety that is only found here in this place.
It is still winter here, although it feels more like autumn to us. I'm sure this scenery will be totally different in a month.
We drove up to the Citelli Refuge for lunch.
Some information about Etna..First of all it's an active volcano with the last eruption going off was november 3 to Dec. 12, 2015. No one seems overly concerned about the fact we could all be turned into toasted Pompeii people, so I try not to think about it. Kind of like living on the earthquake fault in Oakland. I mean what are you going to do? Anyway, the name Etna people think came from the Phoenician word for oven. Sigh...not a comforting thought. The locals call Etna "mongibello" meaning beautiful moutain. It is actually quite lovely. It is about 11,000 feet tall...the size keeps changing when it blows its top....so it is the highest volcano in Europe. They say the lava rocks are around 350,000 to 500,000 years old, so it's been around for a long time. I thank the mountain everyday for our fantastic produce.
We finally found a place to let Luca out and he ran until his heart's content. A wonderful day here. I hope you all had a very buona domenica.
Note the ash on the ground...It's like a big asphalt parking lot in places...