Truth be told, we drove through Messina and straight to Mt. Etna. It was a 2 hour drive to the volcano and 2 hours back with an hour wedged in between. Turns out that an hour was more than enough. Thankfully we’d taken some large-scale pictures of the mountains earlier in the cruise so this was to be an up-close visit. Mt. Etna is Europe’s largest active volcano. It has around 400 craters and has burped, fizzled and erupted off and on for centuries. The bus driver may have been in training to be a Formula One driver – we passed trucks, cars and other buses all the way there and back.
We arrived, walked around the larger of the craters and sat down at a café doubling as a souvenir store. The colors and the patches of green reminded me of the monsters in Where the Wild Things Are or some other monster-related children’s book. They weren’t ruins though and that was refreshing. On the way down the mountain we passed an overloaded dumpster with a fox that sat politely waiting for scraps. Our tour guide and mentioned “Foxie” on the way up, but it was too early to see the semi-domesticated creature. Foxie was not a particularly beautiful fox, but she had some crazy silver-curled hair around her face and muzzle that did make her unique. The prostitute of the fox world, perhaps.
And now we sail home. We’re ready. It’s time to enter the world of our reality. And, we’re tired of shuffling everywhere.