Geography Trip to Sicily

Thursday 28th March 2013

A group of 10 geographers have returned from an inspiring four day field trip to Sicily. The main focus of the trip was the study of volcanism. This included an ascent of over 3000 metres by cable car and jeep up Mount Etna, the largest and most active volcano in Europe.

On arrival at the summit we could see evidence of last week’s most recent eruption as many lava bombs were scattered over the snow covered slopes. We walked around the crater produced by the 2002 eruption and could feel the heat of the volcano in the ash. The next day we took a ferry trip to one of the Aeolian Islands, Vulcano. The island is dominated by a volcano that last erupted in 1889. We walked to the summit of the volcano and studied its many characteristics including the numerous fumaroles that were producing distinctive sulpher fumes smelling of rotten eggs. On descent of the volcano we enjoyed the mudpools and observed some hydrothermal springs. In addition to our study of volcanoes the trip included a visit to the beautiful town of Taormina where we enjoyed some shopping as well as its spectacular Greek theatre. We also visited Sicily’s capital, Palermo where we did some sightseeing including its cathedral.

All in all it was a very enjoyable trip, in addition to our varied activities we indulged in a variety of sicilian food and made the most of the opportunity to enjoy some sunshine and warmth.

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