June 7, 2017
Ok, it’s unusual to have two blog posts in two days, but the Aeolian Islands are full of surprises. This morning we took the hike up to the rim of the Gran Cratere – about a 3 kilometer round trip, to a height of 386 meters (almost 1,300 feet). It’s a rough, steep trail, but well worth the effort. Serafina is on a dock in Porto di Levante on Vulcano, waiting for some westerly winds to blow through. Tomorrow we’ll go back on anchor to continue our exploration of Vulcano, and then the other islands beyond, including, of course, Stromboli.
All the islands have some degree of volcanic activity, Stromboli most famously and spectacularly, and all are of volcanic origin. They are named after Aeolus, (Eoli in Italian), who was a sort-of historical Greek figure claimed to have settled the islands just north of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Sort-of historical because he was supposed to be a son of Poseidon, and the grandson of an earlier Aeolus. His kids got special mention in Homer for living, happily, in incest. They were founders of the “Aeolian race.”
Since one of the Aeoluses was considered to be god of the winds, it’s often assumed that the Aeolian Islands are windy places – but we have seen no evidence, so far, of either strong winds or incest – but we’ll keep you posted.
They are beautiful, rugged, lightly populated, and touristy (where settled) in a low-key, laid back sort of way. We may spend a month here, when we’ll know much more about them, and try to pass some of it on. There are many good anchorages, and many things to see and taste.