We were spoilt for choice today.   We planned to drive up Etna today but were a little disappointed that it was overcast with the top in cloud.   Nevertheless we drove up and were absolutely amazed by the lava flows,  many of which are only a few years old.   Etna is Europes most active volcano and regularly erupts.  In fact in March this year (3 months ago) there were a series of loud explosions heard in Catania (where we are staying tonight) and a large lava flow started heading for the town causing considerable panic.

My main picture shows the view from the crater where there was a major eruption in 1996 looking down towards Catania.   My extras show the amazing dead trees dotting the lava flow from 2008 and the beautiful carpet of flowers that are springing up.

Despite all this regular devastation and danger they keep the road open and there are restaurants and cafes all over the place.

The cloudy conditions caused gorgeous light and the colourful flowers looked luminous against the black lava.

A fascinating day

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