Today was dedicated to the exploration of Mt. Etna, often referred to as Etna, or even more basic, (and perhaps the most frequently used) “The Mountain.” We had the pleasure, maybe more of an honor …and I mean every letter of that word, to be guided by Salvo (not to be confused with our Salvo-Sahib … I’m sorry but our Salvo will not be featured in this Blog piece). This year Salvo took us to a different part of “her” (as he personifies The Mountain frequently). Have I told you how passionate Salvo is? Have I told you that Dr. Salvo’s mind is almost encyclopedic when it comes to dates, temperatures, crystal sizes of lava, (I could literally write 200 terms here …but I won’t). Salvo turned to me today and said, “This is my life…the more I study her, the more I love my child.” No joke … Salvo is more of an “experience” than a “guide.” The passion in his descriptions is palpable. His hands are constantly in motion with broad sweeping gestures depicting various events. I suppose I neglected to mention that Dr. Salvo (Volcanologist/Vulcanologist, take your pick)) is arguably one of the world’s leading authorities on most aspects of Mt. Etna.
There is not enough time in this day or night for me to describe in words what sort of experience Salvo created for your Bulldog. We went to multiple lava flows, INTO a lava tube (scrambling up and out at the other end), hiked..and hiked…and hiked to some fascinating craters and a legit vent from the eruption of 1875. The spectacle was simply a spectacle. It was crazy good. Then we capped off the day with a trip to the birthplace of Mt. Etna….. The pillow lava formations at Aci Trezza and Aci Castello … on the coast, many kilometers away from the current main craters. I’ll plug in a few captioned photos and try to give you a feel for the day.