“If you wanna have a stunning view on Sicily and all Aeolian islands, hike up in Salina island to the 1000 meter-high Fossa delle Felci (Fern Crater), and climb down next morning after the sunset”  – and so we did. Of course with tripod, camera, lenses, filters, batteries, remote control and even water, we left useless sleeping bags home: “We will sleep among the ferns!” – the photographer said with excitement!

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From the shores of Capo Faro we first followed signals to Valdichiesa, a monastery at the feet of the volcanic peak, to then proceed towards Mount Fossa: the crater at 1000 m.s.l. was waiting for us!

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We would have loved to “pick” some Sicilian cherry-tomatoes from the monastery yard for dinner, but the shield was clear: “It is strictly forbidden to collect tomatoes”.  We left the monastery and started the long uphill.

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Soon the forest roof covered our heads: in this tree labyrinth shields with different shapes showed us the way to the top.

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In the few forest openings, the stunning views on Vulcan Etna peaking out Sicily towards West. Behind us the lower peak of Salina with Alicudi and Filicudi islands on the horizon.

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We finally reached the top, just in time for the sunset: towards West, the sun was going down in the mist behind Alicudi and Filicudi. Towards South the island of Vulcano, with its big, pale crater (click the picture to enjoy the amazing details). Around us not a  single sound, just colors.

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Then the sun left us, and the moon and the starry sky welcomed the 1000 meter-high, sleepingbagless night. After a few night-sky pictures, the wind raised up bringing creepy noises from the dark forest… suddenly sleeping among the ferns lost its appeal: time to look for a shelter! TO BE CONTINUED