The Road to Etna

It’s been raining for DAYS.  Again. I hate to complain about rain in Sicily, because unlike other places we’ve been (ahem, Oregon), the rain here is consolidated into a few short months.  So every drop of rain is much-needed, but as we are staying in a damp house by the sea I’m pretty sick of it!

So yesterday we decided to go for a drive in hopes that A) running the heater in the car would mean we would be warm, and B) that if we went inland enough it might not be raining.

We passed through several small towns, and eventually found ourselves climbing a hill.

See the black on the road?  That’s ash from the eruption last week!

We did, ultimately, find an end to the rain.  Instead we found this:

Now, I will trade rain for snow any day, so we kept on ascending the hill.

These trees looked pretty poorly equipped for snow, despite being pine trees.

I loved the contrast of the black lava rocks with the snow!  I’ll spare you the other 47 pictures I took of rocks.

One of the neat features of La Montagna (as the Sicilians refer to Etna) is that over the millenia the various fissures and eruptions of the volcano have made it seem more like a mountain range than a single mountain.

And my favorite picture, which makes it seem that we were up MUCH higher than we were (we were at Enta Sud, which is just over a mile up, and the summit is more than two):

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