My holiday to Sorrento wouldn’t have been complete without a trip to the crater of the ever present Mount Vesuvius. It’s not the easiest walk on a hot day but the views are worth it and with the right camera, if the weather allows, you’ll capture some spectacular panoramas.
Picture the scene; you wake up on the first day of your holiday in a luxurious hotel, shower, dress, and head down for breakfast. You opt to sit outside and walk out onto the 2nd floor terrace in bright sunshine and almost unnatural warmth for the time of morning. Taking your seat at a table, you survey the picturesque horizon and staring right back at you from across the Bay of Naples is Mount Vesuvius. What a view!
Mount Vesuvius itself is a stratovolcano and the only one in Europe to have erupted in the last hundred years. Fortunately, I could eat my breakfast in peace as it is not currently erupting. It is probably most famous though for the eruption in AD79 that led to the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Having seen the volcano from across the bay that morning was enough to pique my interest and I knew from that moment at some point during the holiday I had to pay a visit. I planned to take some cameras too and unfortunately on the day I forgot the Spinner 360. I was devastated as I was hoping for some amazing panoramas from the crater. I did remember to take the Vivitar UWS loaded with some Fujicolor Reala 100 so it wasn’t all bad.
The journey to Vesuvius comprised of taking the Cirumvesuviana train from Sorrento to Pompeii Scavi before jumping on a bus to take us up the volcano. The stop is 1km from the crater (although only 200m vertically) and you have to walk this final part. It is pretty hard going, especially in the heat of the summer but frequent stops on the way up will enable you to take in some of the views.
As impressive as the vistas are, you will soon reach what is for me, the main attraction – the crater. Staring into this gaping hole, it’s difficult to imagine the ferociousness of an eruption as the scene is so calm and quiet. Trying to take in the size of the crater though gives some impression of what might come one day and left me awe inspired. Although there are no magma, lava flows or vents showing signs of activity in the crater, it still does not disappoint.
Having taken some photos to record the visit, we headed back down the volcano and, given that, the walk down is easier than the walk up made sure to make the most of the views.
I’d never been up a volcano before and granted it’s not for everyone, but I’m so glad I did it. If you plan on visiting Pompeii it’s also nice to get up close and personal with the very thing that destroyed the city years ago. Just remember that the volcano itself is possibly overdue for an eruption so if you go and see it today it might not look the same tomorrow!