Did you know that Vesuvius is still considered an active volcano, and a dangerous one? It could blow at any moment, theoretically.
That thought gave Caleb the added impetus he needed for the hike to the top of the caldera, a task that sounds more impressive than it was: you drive (or are driven) to the base of the trail and then walk the 800 or so meters to the top. Caleb expected to look inside the volcano and see molten lava, maybe a few boiling gas bubbles, but alas, no. Inside the bowl of the mountain were just innocuous trees and bushes–the only hint that we were seeing something other than a standard mountain were the wisps of steam wafting up through a crack in the rocks.
A few intrepid souls biked up the twisty mountain road to the base of the trail, but most of the rest of us tourists took small mini-vans or big huge motor coaches. Let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a ginormous bus coming down a tiny switchback road, bicycles weaving alongside, and your little minivan chugging up the switchback in the opposite direction–and all the drivers in question are Italian. TONS of fun, many Italian words that were probably not suitable for children, plus traffic jams. Here’s hoping all the seismic monitors along the edge of the mountain work in tip-top condition, or one day…kaboom…and all the motor coaches will be suddenly airborne. Or carbonized.
Anyway. The whole world, it seems, comes to Vesuvius, including monks from other countries, like this fellow, snapping a picture of another religion’s shrine.
It’s November 1 today and you know what that means: NaBloPoMo! That translates to: National Blog Posting Month, in which those of
crazy enough with not hing better to do serious about writing write a post a day for November. I’m taking the NaBlo challenge along with all the other writers at yeahwrite, and at Blogher, too. If you’re a writer, join in –and if you’re not a writer, then do us all a favor and read these posts so that we know someone besides our mothers is paying attention.