A Rocky Road on Etna

I know that most bears don’t say, “Let’s climb to the top of a volcano.”  But, I thought it would be cool to see Mt. Etna, Sicily’s volcano again, since I went there before when I was younger.

Mt. Etna can be seen from much of Sicily.  It is the biggest volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world.  But, don’t worry.  Since Etna is constantly letting off steam, the pressure is prevented from getting too severe.  So, there is less chance of a severe eruption.  Because of that, I wasn’t very scared.  Although, some people might still be frightened.  But I was brave enough to journey to the volcano.

I drove from Giardini-Naxos to Mt. Etna.  On part of the drive, I thought of how the rocks might look, since it had been a long time; so, my memory is kind of foggy.

The drive had villages that were at the base of the volcano.  Not that I would want to live on a volcano.  But they still lived there.  There were lots of trees on the drive.  However, I suspected that there wouldn’t be trees at the top. The land looked quite normal and there were a lot of beautiful plants and flowers.  The reason that there was a lot of greenery is that volcanic soil is very rich. 

I got to Etna’s lowest crater and went inside of the shops because my friend needed to buy a jacket.  Even though it was warm at the bottom, it would be cold at the top due to the high altitude.  At this level, you can also rent boots and jackets to help make trekking at the top easier.

I was very excited because I was going to be able to take a cable car.  Cable cars are like boxes connected to a wire that goes up a mountain so that you can get higher fast.  I’ve never taken a cable car since the last time I was there I stayed at the lowest crater and didn’t go up. I hopped onto the cable car and sat still for the way up.  I stayed still because not only was I really high up, but the cable car was wobbling.   I’ve never been on an amusement park ride; but I’m guessing what one of those would feel like now.

When I reached the top, I dashed off of the cable car since they don’t actually come to a complete stop.  They just keep moving slowly past you.  I felt like I was being mocked since I couldn’t move fast, having short legs. 

After getting out of the cable car, I felt like I was on another planet.  There was no greenery where I was standing.  It felt like a lunar scene from a space movie.  I noticed that some of the rocks were different colors.  Some were gray and others were black.  Volcanic rock is very light because there are lots of little holes in it; so, air passes through.  The strange thing about the rocks was that I thought I saw a speck of color on it.  I looked closer at the rock and saw a ladybug.  I guess that insects return first after an eruption, and then plants.  As I kept looking through, I kept seeing more and more ladybugs.  There was even a green bug and a yellow ladybug. 

I saw the word “Etna” written in rock.  It inspired me.  So, I went around gathering rocks.  When I had enough rocks, I spelled “Nounours” with them… it was wonderful.  I hope that one day, flowers grow on my rocks.

There are lots of fun facts about Etna.  Like, did you know that people come to ski on Etna in the winter?  They can see the beach, where people are building sand castles.  There are lots of tall rock walls that remind me of the Grand Canyon.  Eroded lava rock, (sand), is sometimes brought to Catania to make a black sand beach for lots of fun.

So, if you go to Mt. Etna; say hi to the ladybugs for me.  I think one of them is getting a new rock. Until the next post…

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