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Sunday, December 30, 2012

POST 1030; DECEMBER 30, 2012; NAPLES, ITALY



POUZZUOLI, ITALY (5 miles north of Naples)


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BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON:  Yesterday, walked 4 hours on Meridian Avenue - main roadway to Lynden, Washington and the Canadian Border.  Along the way, arranged with Circle A Trailers to use my "for sale" trailer on Wednesday to pick up my love seat (couch) and Kitchen table w/chairs from my "former" fiancee', who booted me out two years ago when my 32-year company finally closed down...so much for relationships based upon "love" instead of $$...wonder if I should ask her to return my custom-made engagement ring - which cost many thousands of $$...Hhmmmm

In any event, walked some 14 miles without any damage or further knee pain.  Did, however, strain my right achilles tendon a bit while forcing myself to power climb a long steep hill - must remember to slow down in transitions to avoid injury.

This morning - now 10:00 am - the achilles tendon is no longer painful.

Will hit the road again in a couple hours...waiting for the Sun to warm things up a bit...fog to ground level and heavy white frost covering everything at the moment.

Looking forward to listening - have no TV - to the 4:30 pm SEAHAWKS football game against the St. Louis RAMS.  Should be a ripsnorter of a game.

Whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies and have some champagne on ice...just in case someone drops in this New Year Eve...

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NAPLES, ITALY...1957

Nearly everyone in the world knows about the local Volcano, Mount Vesuvius - which buried POMPEII and HERCULANEUM back in AD 79...

...well, it erupted again in 1942 - in the midst of the Allied invasion of Naples during World War II.

What is not so well known...is that from our (Joanie and I) apartment on the top of Posillipo Hill above Naples...we look down to the Northwest into the valley in which lies the ancient city of POZZOULI...and, a SECOND VOLCANO "SOLFATARA".

SOLFATARA lies at ground level only a mile or so from the Bay of Naples...it lost it's top at some unknown historic moment lost in time.

SOLFATARA is, however, a very ACTIVE volcano...reminding me very much of YELLOWSTONE in Wyoming, USA.

Since our apartment is only 5 miles or so from smoking SOLFATARA, joanie and I have visited it many times.  SOLFATARA has the "old" main highway between Naples and Rome passing only a few meters from the "entrance" to the "crater" (there is really no crater, as everything is at ground level).  A favorite vacation spot for visitors from Europe, one drives his car through an opening in the 50-foot high crater wall, immediately driving onto the one-meter (3 feet) thick solid - but HOT - lava surface of the 1,000 + foot diameter cone.

Surrounding the cone is the 50-foot high wall - about 200 feet wide at the base - in which numerous caves have been hollowed out.  Parking the car in front of the "rented" cave - yes, parking directly on the hot solid lava surface - one sets up housekeeping for a week or so INSIDE the radiating walls of the cave.

Numerous caves line the circular wall...while, only a few feet away lie,  ever-changing in location, open bubbling liquid lava cauldrons, throwing lava into the air.  The cauldrons are roped off from tourists strolling all over the place. 

Scoop away a couple inches of pumice, the scooped out surface will certainly burn the flesh -Jumping onto the hot hardened surface, the entire surface vibrates as the pigskin on a drum...

Needless to say, SOLFATARA is an awsome place.  More interesting still, is  that when Mount Vesuvius is "active", SOLFATARA goes to sleep.  When Mount Vesuvius - some 80 miles away in a direct line under the CENTER  of the city of Naples - is dormant, SOLFATARA wakes up by buring it's way through the 3-foot cone covering and continues to throw bubbling lava about.

Some scenes of SOLFATARA:

Solfatara - (TK)





The surface of the cone of SOLFATARA is in constant change.





Mt. Vesuvius as seen from Pozzuoli, Italy...Naples is to the left.




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