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Geography trip to Sicily October 2018

21 Year 13 students and 3 staff travelled to Sicily for a geographical and cultural experience.

Day one was a very early start from school and then a great flight south to the island of Sicily. We then headed to the beautiful hill top town of Taormini for a tour of the Greco-Roman theatre. There was also time for pizza and ice cream in the town before we made our way back to Giardini Naxos to check into our hotel which was right on the beach front with every room having a balcony. The waves on the beach were amazing and certainly kept me awake at night!

Day two was a trip to Messina to see the narrow strait that separates Sicily from mainland Italy – it was so windy there! From here we headed to Tindari viewpoint from where we had an amazing view of the spit and lagoons from the cliffs above. The sun was shining and we walked down through the olive groves to the Oliveri-Tindari Lagoon and beach that today is a nature reserve. We walked right to the end of the spit in glorious sunshine and very strong winds! In the evening, we did pizza making in a local restaurant hosted by Roberto. We learnt about the origins of pizzas and got to make our own and then cook them in the oven – they tasted so good!

On the third day, we awoke to glorious sun and clear skies for our trip to Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world! Stage one was a coach ride to 2500m through lava flows and past volcanic cones all around us. From here we took a cable car to the next station and then into large jeeps for an amazing drive through the ash fields to the lower craters where the guides took us to the site of the last big eruptions. We could see where the fissure had opened up and made several new cones and a huge lava flow down the volcano. All the while, we could see the main craters smoking behind us at over 3,300 m! The evening was spent playing games and a trip to the local Gelato shop!

The final day was a tour of the Alcantara Gorges with incredible basalt formations and steep sided gorges eroded by the river. It rained and rained! We also visited the lava formations in the sea off the coast formed 500,000 years ago by undersea eruptions.

Thanks to the staff and students for making this such an amazing trip for all of us.

Richard Briggs, CTL Geography