mount etna

It was our second-to-last day when we traveled to Mount Etna. (And in case you didn’t know, Mount Etna is an active volcano on the east coast of Sicily!) We woke up kind of early, put on our most comfortable walking shoes, hopped on the bus, and began to drive. 

This may be TMI, but the one thing I remember once we got to the side of the mountain was how badly I had to pee. There was no bathroom, so I had to hold it and wait almost two hours until we stopped for lunch. Now that I think about it, I guess I could’ve gone outside. “I once peed on an active volcano” would have been a good conversation starter.

Anyways, we didn’t walk up to the top; we just walked around the side and saw a couple of cool sites. We had two tour guides: one’s name was Pippo, and he didn’t speak English, so there was a translator as well.

Here’s one photo I took as we began our hike. It was quite colorless, but it’s still pretty neat.

It was insanely windy and cold up there! Thankfully we dressed for it and were able to stay warm, but it was quite the change of temperature compared to the rest of the week.

This is a crater we got to look down into. All I could think about while staring into it was the boys who got stuck in the Thailand cave. Ahh!

Here’s me posing with the funniest tree. They all looked like they had eyes, but this one was especially funny because of its lips.

After hiking, we stopped for lunch at a rifugio, which is a little restaurant/lodge they have on mountainsides in Italy. It was really cool, and the food was delicious. Plus, I got to pee!

We hung out in the rifugio for about two hours, sipping Coca Cola and drawing on paper placemats as we waited for food. After eating, we headed to a new area where we got to go underground into a cave! Here’s a selfie of me underground right after I hit my head on the top of the cave. Thank god for safety helmets!

After learning all about volcanoes with Pippo, we started to head back to the hotel. I’m so sad that I forgot to take a little lava rock home with me!

It’s really hard to see the letters in this photo, but it says “Benvenuti a Milo.” I took about 20 photos of signs in this town that said “Milo” because that’s my brother’s name! I sent him some of the photos, but he was not nearly as excited as I was. I’m not sure why, though; if there’s a town called Josie/Josephine, I would 100% want to go visit ASAP.

We stopped at a bakery to use the bathroom on the way back, and I got a few little pastries. My Italian teacher wanted to get us a cake since it was Easter and it was our second-to-last day there, but she didn’t realize that the one she bought was a semifreddo (like an ice cream cake)! So, we had to take our pistachio semifreddo and eat it outside the bakery. It was so funny and such a great memory. And, of course, it tasted amazing, too!

My friend and I wanted to hang out by the ocean that evening and collect rocks and try to find sea glass. The waves weren’t as calm as they were when I swam, but just wait until you see how big the waves were on our last day!

It was so nice to just sit on the beach and watch the waves with no crowds of people screaming around us.

I’ve been missing this trip so much lately. Relaxing on those gorgeous empty beaches is one of the things I miss the most!

Mmmmm. Another gelato. This one is coffee and chocolate. I got it at a little gelateria about two minutes from our hotel. I love how every place gives a different topping, whether it be a mini cone or a cute little waffle. Also, I need to branch out with my gelato flavors! I probably got chocolate (or some variation of it) almost every time.

This is all of the sea glass I found, and it’s all green!

I love this photo! I tried my best to find all the colors of the rainbow. And yes, I brought all of those rocks home with me. I know, I’m crazy for bringing rocks with me on the airplane. But they look great on my windowsill, and they remind me of Sicily every day, so it was totally worth the strain on my back.

Well… I’m almost done with my Sicily series. Only one more post to go! Writing this series has allowed me to relive the experience, sort of, so I’m going to be sad saying goodbye yet again!

See you tomorrow for the finale. Buonanotte!

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