First view of Etna
Once I'd returned to Ferla this afternoon — from my visit to Pantálica — I took the road north out of the "valley of Pantálica" area, and up onto the ridge that comprises the north edge of the Monti Iblei. I'd originally planned to head west to the village of Buccheri this afternoon, and to spend the evening near or beyond there; but upon reaching the north ridge, I decided that it was getting too late in the day (about 4:15pm), and that Buccheri was too much extra ascent (the town is marked on my map as being several hundred metres higher than Ferla). So instead I turned east, and headed along the ridge road towards Sortino. Along the way, I turned my gaze north: and boy, was I greeted with a vista and a half! Spread out below me was the broad, flat expanse of the Plain of Catania; and beyond it, rising up out of the horizon like a stone monster, I had my first sweeping view of Mt. Etna — the highest mountain in Sicily, and the tallest active volcano in all of Europe.
Mt. Etna: hell of a view to end the day with.
Also saw some interesting local, fruit-bearing cactus along the way.