Monday, October 01, 2007

An "Easy" Walk at Monti Sartorius

Les & I set out on Saturday for a day on Mt. Etna. We went with a tour group from MWR because the trip was described as an "easy hour-long nature trail" that would finish with lunch at an agriturismo. The hour-long part was fairly accurate, but it wasn't what I would call easy, or even a trail. We traipsed over centuries-old lava flows and through tall brush, up and down and around several extinct craters on Mt. Etna. The scenery was beautiful, but the hike (not easy walk) was more than I bargained for.

Sicilian Fall on Mt. Etna - the ferns change colors

A lone pine tree in the midst of lava rocks

My hubbie really enjoyed the hike, he loves being outdoors

Some of the plant-life on Mt. Etna

The view from the top

Ok, so this wasn't actually the top, but it was as far as I went. The hill was steep and the rocks were loose. Falling on pumice isn't fun. I went about halfway up this particular hillside. This picture shows mainland Italy in the distance, the Ionion Sea, Taormina and Castelmola, and the foothills of Mt. Etna.

Les on his way down the mountainside

Les made it to the top though, this is him slipping and sliding his way down on the loose pumice. He's the one with his arms out for balance toward the middle of the picture.

A ladybug among black lava rocks

Cool looking tree

My best attempt at artwork like Bev Doolittle

The hill in the distance is the one that Les climbed and I made it about halfway

After working up an enormous appetite on the hike we went to an agriturismo for lunch. An agriturismo is a small, family-owned farm that serves meals and sometimes rents out rooms like a bed & breakfast. We feasted on antipasti, two kinds of yummy pasta, mixed grilled meats, ice cream for dessert, espresso, limoncello, and of course homemade red wine. It was wonderful! After we ate I ran around trying to get a few good pictures before we piled in the vans and headed home.

Flowers at the agriturismo

More flowers at the agriturismo

Where we ate lunch with Mt. Etna letting off steam in the background

Even thought the hike was tough I really did have a good time. The scenery was beautiful and my husband loved it. I'm not very outdoorsy, but he is so I'm making an effort to do things he enjoys too. Our relationship thrives when we spend quality time together.

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