The International School of Geneva arrived into Catania airport looking slightly bleary eyed after their early morning departure. They were, however, soon settled in to their hotel and getting to know their surroundings by exploring the local beach and town, before heading out for the afternoon in Giardini Naxos to complete some settlement and tourist evaluation studies.
Another early morning start on Saturday morning for the groups trip over to Vulcano, a volcanic island in the Aeolian archipelago. Pietro, our guide met us off the ferry, and armed with hats, sunscreen and plenty of water we started the climb up Gran Cratete to view the volcanic crater.
The smell of sulphur dioxide was more than a little pungent as we reached the top and the landscape was ablaze with yellow patches where the mineral was being deposited on the ground, the perfect setting for lunch with a view right over the Aeolian islands.
After lunch, the group enjoyed a relaxing dip in the naturally heated mud puddle on Vulcano. Another pungent experience, which left the teachers smelling their elbows for days afterwards, still catching a whiff of that oh so very distinctive volcanic smell on themselves!