Under Etna’s Peak, 24 Hours Before the Year’s 6th Explosion

Alas, all good things must come to an end and so it is with Southern Italian volcano tours. Yesterday I made it up Etna as far as you are allowed to go, about 3,000 meters (the top is a bit above 3,300, but it’s closed due to some recent eruptions). The wind blew heavy most of the time with gusts reaching 70 kilometers an hour, according to the weather report, enough to knock over somebody weighing 74 kilograms.

Heading up towards Etna's peak, 11 April 2012

Heading up towards Etna’s peak, 11 April 2012

Despite the dodgy weather and the occasionally extreme conditions, it was an excellent walk almost entirely through hard-packed snow. Even from my close up view from right under the peak for several hours yesterday, the peak remained obscured the whole time by cloud cover giving the illusion that I was at the top of the mountain. Today, of course, it has been clear with Etna’s peak visible from Catania. In the late afternoon a huge plume of smoke emerged from one of the top craters in what is sixth eruption this year.

Etna, 12 April 2012, compliments of Catania Today

Etna, 12 April 2012, compliments of Catania Today

It is with a bit of regret that I read the eruption is not expected to cancel any flights out of Catania today. Guess the volcano tour is really over. I will update with a link when my article is published.

7 thoughts on “Under Etna’s Peak, 24 Hours Before the Year’s 6th Explosion

    • Catania grows on you quickly, doesn’t it? Had the wind been blowing just a tad differently yesterday I might still be there. What were you doing down there in Catania?

    • it right, it’s just insane there. And not only is their drnviig crazy, they never stop for pedestrians at the crossing. You have to make a few steps from the sidewalk to the road itself, then someone might stop to let you walk over to the other side. Otherwise no one cares and just buzzes along.

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