This is the little volcanic crater that we walked on first. It is at about 6,300 feet and you can litterally drive right up next to it. The full size photo (I had to shrink it for online) is 70 megapixels and you can see the people on the edge of the crater.
This is from Giuseppe's (our cab driver friend) farm where his family grows peaches, blood oranges, almonds, and apricots. He lets us all try a fresh peach as they are in season right now!
This was shot inside an old volcanic crater that we hiked around into first. It was a small one in comparison to most of the others around the volcano.
We did make our own letters with volcanic rocks. "C.A." for Camp Adventure! The goat and guy were hiking into the crater as we were hiking out. The goat would walk next to the man and eat out of the basket he had of fresh greens. It was just a baby goat that was running around next to him and was super nice. He let me take some photos before walking off.
The girls went to the edge of the mountain and I thought it made for a good photo of them looking out over the rest of Sicily.
On the hike up we spent plenty of time taking fun photos when we weren't scrambling up the steep slopes. Being used to the low altitudes of Iowa and lower areas of Sicily it made the air very thin and each step a challenge. We did enjoy most of it as we got filthy with Etna's volcanic dust that went everywhere.
Jill stopped to take a break and enjoy the view which made for another cool photo as she stared out. The little crater from earlier can be seen as the one to her left and to the right of a slightly bigger crater that had erupted in 2001.
These are the buses that were climbing up and down the sloped roads of Etna carrying the tourists that didn't want to or couldn't make the full hike. They also had the ski lifts running for people, but it is very expensive to take them as an expedition. Catching just the lift down off the mountain is 20 euros per person. Especially when compared to hiking it for free it is a major rip off!
Jill climbed on top one of the cooled volcanic lava flows which helps give some perspective as to how large these are. The cooled rocks are super sharp on top which makes it hard on shoes and on you if you fall.
The dust/dirt is very fine and warm because it is black and the sun heats it up very well. Jill and Kailyn filled a baggie with it during the hike up.
At this point in our hike we were in the clouds. About 8,500 feet high there was also some snow left on the volcano! All of this combined to make a neat photo to take especially with the two hikers on the right to give you sense of scale!
This area was meant to be a no access road without a guide. It goes up to the summit of Mt. Etna.
It looks like she is running here, but we were all so tired it is more likely she was mid-fall. Anyways, who wouldn't smile with a view like the one behind her!
I wouldn't recommend doing this because the rocks are sharp and shift under your feet, but Jill was enjoying the walk on them.
This is a shot up the wrong way to climb a volcano. We were going up the side of the mountain on a make-shift trail that was more meant for people to come down and not climb up.
This is a shot of one of the large craters on Mt. Etna. The one next to it dwarfs it by about 500 feet so we didn't climb this one because we wanted to go as high as we could on the mountain.
This shows the way not to climb Mt. Etna. We were about 15% of the way up this slope and ten minutes in before we realized that the shifty rock/gravel wasn't the best way of climbing the volcano crater.
After turning around and sliding down the mountain our shoes were filthy and filled to the brim with rock and dirt. Our socks, shoes, legs, and feet were completely covered in the stuff! We had to stop for a bit and empty and clean them off enough to bear the rest of the hike.
The flat-ish ground between the two craters holds a whole new world that is so different and unique. It feels like what being on Mars would look like in my mind.
The flat ground, fine sand, and small rocks scattered around is both impressive and stunning to see and walk around.
This is a shot of the summit of Mt. Etna from the highest point we made it to 500 feet lower than the highest point on the volcano.
This was taken as we walked back down the mountain along the road. The smaller of the big craters on top Mt. Etna can be seen in the distance.
This show the rim of the tall crater on Etna with the big group of people up on top very close to the clouds. In fact. we did have some clouds rolling through with very high winds dropping temps to 49 and visibility to 20 feet. We did not spend much time on top, but we did make the most of it.
There had to be proof it was us that made it there so we had a little photo shoot on top. We did have a guy take the group photo who was from somewhere in central Europe if i had to guess because of his accent.
This last photo is of Jill standing on top of a large pile of rocks on the edge of one of the many craters on top of Mt. Etna. I really like this photo because of the look and feel of it!