|Pen, watercolour and coloured pencil|
This is a view of Mount Etna, Europe's highest and most active volcano. (Yes that is smoke coming out the top!) It took us a long time to drive there as we took the 'scenic' route and got lost a few times....the sign posts and maps here leave a lot to be desired! We headed for the North/West side of Etna to avoid the coaches and tourists going up the popular routes, and climbed slowly up through the foothills to start our walk at Bronte, a lovely little town famous for it's pistachio nuts.
We drove higher and higher through a lava flow from 1843 to reach our starting point, stopping for a picnic on the way.
|Pen, water soluble graphite and coloured pencil|
The crater landscape and lava give the whole area a strange eerie feel, like a moonscape. All around us were old volcanic cones that have been wooded for centuries and Etna (known as the 'old lady') looming up in front of us. There was hardly anyone else around, the silence was incredible and the views were amazing, well worth the long drive.
You can see the lava flow and the path we took in the photo, although Etna's peak is hidden by cloud.
It was impossible to explore the whole area in just one day, but now I know the way I'll be going back!