Day Journal: 26 October
Published on November 20, 2005 By AvantiTexan In Vacations
Today we went up on Mount Etna. It was absolutely breathtaking, both literally and figuratively. It is about 40 kilometers from Cantania. We went up with Stefano. We left in the morning, with pullovers in hand, to see what God had in store for us to see. We stopped in a little town on the way there to get some breakfast. One of the workers there wanted to know were we where from, I told him Texas and he automatically likened me to Walker, Texas Ranger. He said that he shows up and throws everyone around; I told him that I do the same thing. Then I had to tell him I was just kidding.

On the way up you can see where past lava flows have arrived, which houses survived and which houses did not. Keep in mind that the houses here are not made of wood, they are made of rock, cement and stone, therefore you can easily see the remains of houses that once were. You can also see how new the lava flows are. I think Stefano said that it takes either 300 or 500 years after a lava flow for plants to start growing again on the dried lava. That was really neat to see.

It didn’t take long to arrive at the top and we were driving literally with our heads in the clouds. It was the first time that I had experienced that outside of an airplane. It was so neat. We arrived at that highest point that you can get to with your car. There was a lift that could take you even higher, and then from the lift a jeep that could take you to the mouth. Needless to say, we did not do those things, they wanted a little too much for them. However, we did get to explore a lot of the area with Stefano.

There was a place to hike around where lava has come out of in the past. It was awesome! I got a little adventurous and went two or three craters over from Amanda and Stefano, and then the clouds moved in. There was a time when I could not see them anymore. I wasn’t worried because there was a firmly packed path back to where they were, but from what I hear, Amanda get a little anxious. I think that it was mainly due to the fact that Stefano keep saying that I would get lost and never come back etc. Well, on the way back, I did almost die. Not from being lost but from climbing those craters. One forgets how light the air is up there, how much colder it is and much that affects ones ability to climb effectively. I might also be a little out of shape too, but I don’t think that had anything to do with it.

On the way down we got some more pics of houses that have been engulfed by lava. It was pretty impressive. We also stopped and picked up some chestnuts. The mountain side is packed with chestnut trees. We pulled the car over and spent about twenty minutes scouring the ground for nuts. It was so neat, moving the leaves around on the ground revealed a solid black sand. It was amazing. I had never seen anything like it. The dirt was black, jet black, pure black. And the chestnuts were beautiful. I figure tonight or tomorrow we will have a fun time roasting them and an even better time eating them!

on Nov 20, 2005
Sounds awesome! Got any pics?
on Nov 20, 2005
What a great adventure. I have such a desire to travel. I haven't even been able to get to San Antonio yet.

My husband went on a deployment to Siginilla Sicily. Have you been enjoying the italian pastries? I think that was my husband's favorite thing.
on Nov 21, 2005

Sounds awesome! Got any pics?

It was awesome Gideon! We do have some pics posted on our other website It's our offical website for our work here in Taranto.


Have you been enjoying the italian pastries?

So far I would have to say that has been my favorite part of the Italian life. The pastires are wonderful, especially in Sicily! Our friend Stefano, who is from Sicily, took us to a different bar every morning to try something new. Now that I think about it, perhaps that is why I almost died on Mt. Etna...
on Nov 24, 2005
I missed this when you posted it.

It sounds amazing, Jeremy. I'm glad you guys have had the opportunity to explore and see and experience so much. I got your email the other day, and I'll try to remember to reply to it later today (I'm so bad about email).

Happy Thanksgiving. Love you.

PS - I wasn't sure if you didn't post pics because you want to limit them to your website or because you weren't sure how to post them here, but if the reason is the latter, I'd be glad to email you on how to do it.
on Nov 26, 2005
I missed this when you posted it.

I didn't post this one in the forums, I don't know why though.

It was great to talk to you the other night! Love ya