Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mt. Stromboli Day at Sea

Mount Stromboli
Off the coast of Sicily
We were to start our tour on the Western Mediterranean. As such, the first day out of Rome was at sea as we had to go around the foot of Italy and then back up to Croatia. Mount Stromboli is in between the toe of Italy and the island of Sicily. 
 On the morning of the first day out, we came upon an island that was spewing smoke. Wow, an active volcano.
As it turned out, Mount Stromboli is one of three active volcanoes in Italy and has been in continuous eruption for the past 2,000 years.
 Just as surprising to me, note the cluster of houses on the lower left of the picture.
Ginostra is just one of three small villages on the island.

 The other two villages are on the northeast part of the island--still away from any lava flow.
Although the volcano is constantly active, the last major eruption was April 13, 2009. The constant minor eruptions are visible from many points on the island and from the surrounding sea, giving rise to the island's nickname "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean".  
As Mt. Stromboli fades into the distance, one is not surprised to learn that in the early 1900's a few thousand people lived on the island. Now only a few hundred live there.
Note the blue color of the sea, a stunning "Mediterranean blue".

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