Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mount Etna

After church on the base this morning, the Garber clan and I planned our hike up Mount Etna, a massive volcano about 30 minutes from Motta. No major eruption has occurred since the '80's so the trails are frequented by hikers on a daily basis. 

We found the Sicilian Mordor!

Jess and I have commented on how Middle Eastern the landscape looks, and yet many parts very closely resemble the plateaus of the Western United States. Etna was like nothing I had ever seen before: a curious dichotomy of bleak and barren against thriving flora and plains. Not to mention, lava ash as far as the eye could see.

This was also the first time in a while that I've actually felt cold. Under the first cloud cover I've seen in Sicily, we hiked in bug-less, zero humidity, cool bliss.

Jess and I came across the sweetest family of goats on the trail too. What dears.

At the summit we spotted a large group of hikers running/sliding/FLYING down the ash and trailing an incredible dust cloud behind them. Add one to the bucket list.

To finish off another perfect day, we stopped at Donna Fortunata, a favorite Pizzeria of Becca and Elliott's in Motta. Elliott foolishly ordered the most delicious and ended up having to trade away a good portion of his pesto ham pizza. Jess and I also had very solid choices: the classic Margherita and the Norma (salted ricotta, eggplant, and tomato sauce). Becca ordered an interesting pizza with anchovies and without it the pregnant pallet. 

Instead of bringing us a basket of bread and waters, we were given bruschetta and strawberry champagne. I'll be spoiled for anything less now. I also marveled at how inexpensive the menu was for items that would have easily been double or triple the price in the States. I guess the cuisine is just "no big deal" to Italians.  

I've been so blown away by how gracious the locals have been to us during my stay here in Sicily and this seems to be true of my family in Rome as well. Somehow I doubt that many immigrants (even tourists) to America feel that way about us.

This picture helps explain just how comfortable baby Lena has become with me. Walking home from dinner, I carried her through the Medieval Festival and quickly discovered a warm trickling sensation running down my arm and torso. Pee would have been a blessing. It wasn't pee. 

Later at home, Lena did pee...this time on the floor. Elliott appropriately labeled the scene of the crime as not just pee, but "pee with lava footprints." How's that for some culture?!


  1. Perhaps we shall pass in the air on Friday. We're heading back to Cyprus via Prague on Friday. Blessings!
    Jessica's Aunt Kathy