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Published: October 4th 2019
We all liked this and regularly had it for lunch
Lipari was one of our favourite places when we visited in 2005. I am glad to say that we still love it as much as we did back then. We booked a place with a nice pool, so we could relax in between sight seeing activities. We also did a lot of the things that we did back in 2005, but this time we showed Nathan and Craig what we loved about the Aeolian Islands so much.
Lipari is in the middle of the chain of islands, which Craig noted looked like the Hawaiian Islands on a map. That is because they are also volcanic in origin. Two of the islands have active volcanoes on them too. Stromboli is the most active and in 2005 we were able to climb to the top to see the eruptions at night time. Unfortunately, there had been a major eruption earlier this year and for safety reasons we could not climb it this time. Instead we took the boat tour around the island and saw some pretty cool eruptions from the sea. The best time to see them is after dark, so the tour is timed to be there at dusk and we
had 45 minutes to admire the frequent spurts of lava way up near the summit. Because Nathan had heard we were going to climb this mountain (900 metres tall) and then his hopes were dashed, he asked if we could come back to the same place again next year for our next holiday. No such luck Nathan. I told him it was 14 years since we last came and in another 14 years, he will be 22. So that means he has to pay for himself!
Another day we went on a much smaller boat, just 6 on the tour and two crew. We were joined by two friendly Italians, Luigi and Anna and we had a great day enjoying crystal clear waters at various swimming places around Lipari and Salina. These two islands are very close together and small boats have no problem navigating between the islands. They are best for getting close to the shore too. The best way to explain what the water was like is to show you the photos. Check them out below. One thing that stood out to me was the volcano shapes that make up Salina. I could see at least three
Close up to Stromboli
It takes about 90 minuted from Lipari to get here. We stopped at Panarea on the way.
volcanic cone shapes that were joined together to make the island.
Throughout our trip around Malta and Sicily, Nathan and Craig have really had fun together. It has been handy for us to have a third adult (and I use that term loosely) to keep an eye on him. Nathan loves the funny things Craig does, especially when he uses the fart app on his phone. They often have extended “why?”, “why not?” conversations like you might hear in a primary school playground and Craig has the persistence to win his fair share of them. So, it was a treat to all of us when Craig offered to look after Nathan one night so that Leanne and I could have a grown up’s dinner and visit a wine bar without any “why?”, “why not?” conversations. Craig made sure that Nathan had just as much fun as we did with carefully orchestrated gelati, pizza, pringles, more gelati and chocolate meal planning.
Another good day trip was the visit to Vulcano one morning. In 2005 we climbed to the top, where you realise that this too is an active volcano, but not like Stromboli. Vulcano is the stinky sulphur gas
The beach is black sand and stones, but the water is clear. This section of it had lots of fishing boats and a few tractors to put them in and out of the water.
producing type of volcano. At the top there are vents of warm gas coming from the caldera. You can clearly see them on the way up and you certainly smell them at the very top. Then at sea level there are some mud baths where you can get some more of the rotten egg smell, and this time it soaks into your bathers and the pores of your skin. As I write this on the airplane, I pity those who sit in the rows adjacent to the Stevenson family. But that’s the risk you take when you buy tickets for a budget airline.
The weather throughout has been fantastic, as I’d expect in late summer and early autumn in the Mediterranean. But the night before we left Lipari there was a storm. On the bright side, we had done all of our sight seeing in the best weather possible, but we did cop a rough ride back to Milazzo on our hydrofoil. From there we caught two buses to Catania. At the halfway mark, Messina, we said goodbye to Craig as he will continue his 12-month jaunt with a stint in Bulgaria then former Yugoslav nations. We got to
Dusk lava show
There were eruptions every few minutes.
Catania by mid-afternoon and were dropped at the front door thanks to a generous bus driver. We stayed near the airport in a hotel with another good pool. We didn’t go looking for any special sights in Catania, as we were only using it for its airport to get home. There is one sight you can’t miss though. Etna stands high and mighty over many towns on the east coast of Sicily and from any point in Catania you can see the biggest volcano in Italy.
We had completed our circuit of Sicily and only left the hotel to get dinner at night. Our hotel was on a main road, and when I say “On”, I mean no footpath and with your first step you could be cleaned up by a truck. We did find a way through a shopping centre carpark and a fenced park to the beach, where we ate our last pizzas for a while before we went back to find the gates to the park had been locked. This left us the option of walking down the highway with the trucks and buses or paying for a cab. We decided that our lives were worth
We stayed for 40 minutes and saw more eruptions as we made our way back to Lipari.
more than 15 Euro and took the cab. And that brings me to the end of this six-and-a-half-week adventure for me and three weeks for Leanne and Nathan. For once in our lives we have no holidays planned. I’m sure that blank slate will not stay blank for long.
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