We started with a drive to Mount Etna. There were many Goldfinches about, and seemed to be the most common bird I saw/heard throughout my stay in Sicily. This one was in the coach park.
A picture taken through the coach window, of Mount Etna in the distance. Mount Etna is Europe's tallest active volcano (approximately 3,329m high) and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
You arrive at Mount Etna (at about 1900 metres) , then the cable car, taking about 10 minutes, takes you up to 2500 metres, where the visitor's centre is. You can also hire boots and coats to cope with the terrain and temperature. We were walking on snow and ice covered ground. As I'd managed to leave my waterproof walking shoes in my car at the airport (DOH!) I was glad to hire the boots!
.Some of us then boarded the jeep (see pic below) to go up further. The jeep takes you up to about, just under, 2900 metres
You then walk.. up further to get as far as the general public are permitted to go. Further than that you need special permits.
These pics were taken on the jeep journey up!
And this is where we were walking
The highest point, which we were walking up to, is where the group of people are standing as below
Views as we walked
and from as high as we could go.
It was minus 5 degrees, and the altitude did affect my breathing - it was also a very steep climb, but we walked slowly. Regretfully some people couldn't make it...
It was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. Before I went, I was uncertain whether I was brave enough to go to the highest point, but a comment from both, a very good friend, (and thank you D) , and also a neighbour made me think about it.. a chance of a lifetime in some ways.. so I booked the jeep ride. I'm so so very glad I did!
It was an amazing experience to walk up on a live volcano, and a memory I will always have.
After leaving Mount Etna, we then visited a traditional farm shop, ORO D'Etna Farm Costa.
Bee keeping.! Honey, Olive oil, and wine tasting.. all very good.
And then onto the highly situated town of Taormina. Perched on a cliff top overlooking two beautiful sweeping bay. It was really lovely and I wished I'd had more time to spend there.
First few pics taken from the coach en route!
and we arrive!
The Cathedrale of
and then a visit to the Greco-Roman Theatre.. which was amazing!
and views over the by from the viewpoint
and into the Duomo of Taormina