Land of Ash and Shadow Picture

Mount Etna (Latin: Aetna, Italian: Etna, Sicilian: Mungibeddu) is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of the island of Sicily, Italy. It is the tallest active volcano on the European continent and one of the most active in the world. Currently, Mount Etna stands 3,329 m high, covers an area of 1,190 km2 and has a basal circumference of 140 km. In the region of Europe and North Africa, it is only surpassed by Mount Teide on Tenerife. The forges of Hephaestus (Greek: Ἥφαιστος, Hēphaistos) are said to be located underneath the mountain, according to Greek mythology.

Exploring the Mordorian ash plains in the highest regions of Mount Etna under a thick fog of clouds which could literally be touched in some places. I kind of felt like Frodo, walking across the plains of Gorgoroth towards the Mountain of Fire. One does not simply walk into Mordor...

“Ash and dust and thirst and pits, pits, pits! And Orcses, thousands of Orcses! And the Great Eye watching, watching!”

Sicily, Italy ~ July 2009

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