Monday, February 27, 2012

Skiing Etna

  

I don't know how many volcanos in the world are ski-able, but I had always wanted to experience that side of snowy Etna and finally did this weekend. We opted for the Linguaglossa side of the volcano (Etna Nord). The snow was piled high along the road and getting there was a bit of an adventure. At about 2 km from the slopes the carabineri blockaded the road to all vehicles without 4 wheel drive or chains, even though the sun was shining bright and the roads seemed merely wet with melting snow, so probably just a precaution. Of course we had neither, so we ended up parking on the side of the road and hitching a ride to the ski lifts. Renting skis was a bargain (50 euros for four people including the use of a sled), but the lift tickets a bit less so (20 euro for everyone older than 4 years old), especially considering that only one chair lift out of three was open for the first half of the day. No matter, after a little pleading we managed to grab one of the ski instructors for the four year old (we had missed our early reservation due to the road block), and enjoyed the beauty of the slope on the clearest of days. It really didn't matter that the snow was a slushy mess. Where else can you ski down a volcano while taking in the beauty of the Ionian sea with the jutting mountains of Calabria on one side and the bumps of the Aeolian islands on the other?  Definitely worth the trip and an experience worth repeating. Oh, and I almost forgot, the sledding area is great fun too.

                                                                                Road block traffic                                                                                       
                                                                 Pretty Linguaglossa
                                                      
                             

2 comments:

  1. You are so brave to ski a volcano which has been so active lately!! It does sound great, though--especially the views and warm weather.

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  2. Hi Jann, I know, but the lava flows rarely happen on that side of Etna lately and the ski area is way below the crater so it is less scary than it seems :)

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