There is no site more beautiful then seeing the Mount Etna volcano erupt. This was the welcome back to Taormina I received last night after spending 2 nights on the main land...and what a welcome back it was. I have never seen anything like this before. The eruption I saw the other night was nothing compared to this the main reason being that finally, after what felt like eternity the scirocco has gone back to Africa and left us with clear skies once more. The lava is coming out of two craters and is flowing quite low down onto the base of the mountain. It is nothing to be worried about as the lava itself flows very slowly so if needs be people have more then enough time to evacuate. Normally the eruption lasts for a few days sometimes even over a week so hopefully tonight the skies will once again be alight!
Enough about Mt Etna and back to where I have been for the past few days. I went to visit my bel ragazzo in Calabria, which is the 'toe of the Italian boot.' He lives and works in the province of Cosenza and I had to cross the sea, in a train to get there...Sounds strange taking a train over the sea doesn't it? It is quite simple really and you don't even have to exit the train if you don't want. I take the train from down on the sea level of Taormina and then when we get to Messina the train goes onto the ferry. There the carriges are detached and left on the internal train track. It is the same ferry the cars and foot passengers use, the trains are left on the lowest level with the cars above. You are free to climb the stairs to the top deck and sit outside, have something to eat etc... or you can stay in the train carrige. Once you reach the other side the trains reattach and move on once more.
Bel ragazzo's village is only 26 kilometers from Cosenza and is surrounded by lush mountains. The town itself is very beautiful and quite small with a current popuation of about 900. I was very cool, even cold during the night I was there as the town is 728 metres above the sea level. I wore jeans and a cardigan and still I was cold! I have not been cold for a long time, here in Taormina although the scirocco has gone it is still hot in the days and nights. It was such a refreshing change to experience different weather. The days are still hot in his village but being surrounded by mountains there is a refreshing breeze. I do worry about spending the winter there, as most years it snows. Not necessarily large amounts, but bel ragazzo has shown me pictures when the whole town has been covered in snow. Pretty to be sure and I will have to wait and see what mother nature has in store.
So now I am back in Taormina, with bel ragazzo still in Calabria working, however he will be coming here very soon as we are going to see a concert in the Teatro Greco.