Sunday, September 24, 2006

Off To The Aeolian Islands: Stromboli

Sicily up until this point (in the story posts) could be summed up in 2 words: AWESOME and HOT! With most of the major cities and sites that mark Silicy comleted it was time to hit the famous Aeolian islands for some more volcano's, hiking, sun and beach :-)

Hiking was a priority and getting the chance to go up the volcano twice, one during the day once at night, really rocked. Stromboli was the first island visited because I wanted to make sure not to miss it. It's often refered to as the best island and upon reflection afterwards each island (as you will see in later posts) was great in its own way, but Stromboli had that little extra "magic" that will reside in my memory for the rest of my life.

A nice view from about 1/2 the way up the volcano, you can actually see our bed+breakfast from here:

Hiking up the volcano through the reeds:

That black "sand" is actually vulcanic ash from the contant activity and mini-explosions from the mountain. Stromboli is the most active volcano in the world, so much so that heavy volcanic activity in any volcano is refered to as "Strombolic activity". Cool, but the socks and shoes I was wearing turned permanently from white workout to dress black ;-)

Can't beat the view... but not yet at the top:

The view from the top, above the initial cloud line... wow:

We have to hike up the left side of the mountain, the right side of course being too dangerous with the mini-explosions every couple minutes:

Here you see a bit of the end of an explosion, unfortunatly although there are explosions all the time my camera takes 4-5 seconds to take a picture so I never get the full height of the "stream of fire" that erupts into the air, quite a sight if you get a chance to visit:

Watching the sun go down on the top of the volcano, it's a great view when you're there but tough as hell to get a great photo because of all the ash and smoke from the volcano:

Full gear is required at the top as night fell and the smoke got intence. I kinda look like a miner here:

Once again I can't tell you how great Stromboli is, you really have to go and experience it for yourself. The restaurants, the small close nit community, the nature, everything... just perfect. If they had an arena and a white snowy Christmas I could definatly see myself getting lost on this island forever :-)

Watching the sun come up on the last day in Stromboli... nuff said:


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