Friday, January 02, 2009

Katakalon and the Stromboli Volcano

Our next stop on the cruise was a small village called Katakalon in Greece. We didn't book an excursion for this place, mostly because we were exhausted. But we did walk around the town a bit. Any by town I mean the one street that ran right through the center and was chock full of tourist souvenir shops. The good news is, I found tablecloths for everyone on my Christmas list, the bad news is it took like 2 hours of wandering to find them. But find them I did!

Here's the view walking towards the village from the ship. I told you it was small.

The main drag, lined with shops.

The next day we had a treat. We cruised by the Stromboli Volcano, a volcano on a small island off the north coast of Sicily, containing one of the three active volcanoes in Italy.

Stromboli stands 924 m (3,031 ft) above sea level, but actually rises over 2,000 m (6,500 ft) above the sea floor. There are three active craters at the peak. A significant geological feature of the volcano is the Sciara del Fuoco ("Stream of fire"), a big horseshoe-shaped depression generated in the last 13,000 years by several collapses on the north western side of the cone.

Stromboli is remarkable because of the length of time for which it has been in almost continuous eruption. For at least the last 2,000 years, the same pattern of eruption has been maintained, in which explosions occur at the summit craters with mild to moderate eruptions of incandescent volcanic bombs at intervals ranging from minutes to hours. This characteristic Strombolian eruption, as it is known, is also observed at other volcanoes worldwide. Eruptions from the summit craters typically result in few second-lasting mild energetic bursts emitting ash, incandescent lava fragments and lithic blocks up to a few hundred meters high. Stromboli's activity is almost exclusively explosive, but lava flows do occasionally occur - an effusive eruption in 2002 was its first in 17 years.

Extreme close-up!

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