Tuesday, August 9, 2011
We started our day in Sicily watching the ship pull into the port and seeing Calabria across the water from where we were. Kind of cool seeing as how the Italian side of my family is from there. I waved at the land and then at the man driving the cute little tug boat guiding us in... he waved back... Calabria didn't. After a quicky breakfast we boarded the bus and started our 2 hour journey to the volcano. This was the excursion I was most excited about. Under the description it said we'd be walking along where the volcano last erupted AND there was a canoli tasting. I think it was the canoli tasting that sold me. The bus ride was... intense. I believe these drivers went to a school most likely called "how to drive as close to oncoming traffic, up narrow roads and as fast as possible without crashing" school. During the ride our tour guide was giving us information about Sicily and of course Mounta Etna. That's how she said it... with lots of emphasis on the "a" in Mounta Etna. If I had a dollar for every time our tour guide said "Mounta etna" I would've been rich by the end of our excursion!
We had a quicky stop for picture taking before getting to our destination... I think it was an excuse to wait for more traffic for the bus driver to dodge... he seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself.
Once we got to the volcano site we had 2 options. Walk the half hour hike up to the higher portion of the volcano or do the 15 minute one and shop a bit. Well duh... we chose the 15 minute one. It was pretty steep too... at least more for mom than me and there were lady bugs EVERY WHERE!!! You couldn't walk off the volcano without a shirt full of them. Here's how high we went:
What's funny is that opposite of us there was that half hour hike up the volcano... it's sad to say but watching people walk down it was pretty amazing. Most of them had to do it at a run because it was so steep... many were falling down.
Here's mom happy she made it to the top!
Once we made our way back down we decided it'd be fun to finally eat that free cannoli. I'm not surprised it was free. I'm not saying it tasted bad... not at all... it was excellent! It was just... really small!
After downing the cannoli and juice we did a bit of shopping. There was outstanding honey truck there... he had every kind of honey you can think of and kept giving us free samples. It was perfect! Other than that, our time at Mounta Etna was pretty uneventful. It was however, amazing to be at a volcano site and see smoke coming out of it. Not something I've really seen before aside from at a far distance when I stayed in the Andes in Ecuador.
Driving back was nice because we made a stop by the water in a little town whose name I can't remember for the life of me. It was very pretty though and we had some very nice photo opps!
When we arrived back at the ship we had just enough time to freshen up and meet up with our awesome dinner friends. Have I mentioned yet that the food on the ship is quite good! What I love about dining on a cruise is that you can try everything or ask for seconds and it's not an issue at all. There was another show tonight... I reluctantly went. I thought it was going to be the ships performers who like I said previously... really sucked. The show was really wonderful though! Some group they brought in for the night with Latoya Jackson singing. She was okay... the guys who were singing with her were great though! I actually enjoyed myself!
We returned to the room to find a cute little towel animal and completely passed out! Something else I love about cruising... the ship rocks you to sleep. :-)
PS- Mount Etna erupted this past July... go to this page to see video!