The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169570   Message #4098622
Posted By: Steve Shaw
21-Mar-21 - 07:32 AM
Thread Name: BS: new eruption in Iceland
Subject: RE: BS: new eruption in Iceland
I love volcanoes but, sadly, live in a country that hasn't got any save a few ancient remnants (there are pillow lavas a few miles down the coast from us but they're 400 million years old). When I've been on holiday in Europe I always make a beeline for any volcanoes that happen to be lying around. I've been up a few, including Vesuvius (twice, 47 years apart), Etna, La Solfatara near Naples, Teide on Tenerife and Vulcano. We've been to Stromboli too but we didn't go up it. The beaches on Stromboli island are black and they have big signs everywhere carrying tsunami warnings. Vesuvius, potentially the most dangerous mountain in the world because of the huge population within a few miles of it, was easily the quietest of that lot. All the others had stuff coming out of 'em, generally sulphureous, steamy and smelly and sometimes feeling threatening (Solfatara and Vulcano) and with no-go areas. Etna has been very lively in recent weeks. We've been to Sicily four times and the Aeolian islands once. I think Etna must be my favourite. It's a huge mountain, 11000 feet high covering a vast area. Luckily, because of its sheer size, most of the towns and villages around are a long way from erupting craters. Etna sits on top of loose deposits and is slipping into the Mediterranean at the rate of half an inch a year, which doesn't sound much but which is actually alarmingly fast. I love the scary feeling that nothing can control these huge beasts if they decide to lose their tempers.

You can walk to the top of Vulcano from sea level to the top in about an hour (once you've got to the island). We went on a clear afternoon with a few big cumulus clouds. You can see all the other Aeolian islands from the top and I swear it's the best view from anywhere that I've ever seen. A fair bit of the film Il Postino was made on the island of Salina, and Salina produces the best capers in the world. There a fair bit of Mount Teide and environs in the film One Million Years BC if you can take your eyes off Raquel for a minute or two.