654 Hambledon/Denmead Bus
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45 Year 10-13 students and 5 members of staff went on a 4 day, 3 night trip to Sicily during the October half term holiday.
We departed School at 1:00pm to Gatwick airport, arriving in Sicily at around 9:00pm. We made our way to the ‘Nike’ hotel, where the building was themed to the God ‘Nike’ from Mythology, with wall engravings and stained glass.
On the second day, we visited the Alcantara Gorge which was very beautiful and surrounded by Lemon and Olive orchards. Then we visited Mt Etna, and the altitude meant that our ears were blocked and some of us were feeling sick. Mt Etna is an active Volcano, and whilst we were there, one of the secondary cones was erupting. At the summit, the tour guide told us to dig the earth up a bit and sit down and the ground warmed our bottoms up, which was welcome as we experienced freezing temperatures and heavy snow towards the summit!
On the third day, we travelled on a boat from Milazzo to visit the Aoelian Islands of Panarea then Stromboli. The sights were beautiful and luckily it was very warm that day. Panarea had many cats on, and on Stromboli we stopped for two hours to paddle in the water and sit down on the black sand. In the evening we ate dinner on the boat (well, we tried but the swaying of the boat made most of us feel sick). When it was darker, the Strombolian eruptions became evident from the boat. However, The best part of the trip was on the way back when Mr. Bamford noticed that Mount Etna was erupting. We could see Etna in the distance which was a massive mound of earth stretching widely in the landscape, and lava was flowing, which went 300m high in the air! Considering we were about 30km away, and we could see lava bombs flying out of Etna, they must have been massive! The view was even better from our hotel (7km away) when we were able to see the lava flow down the mountain (pictured above left).
On our final day, we visited Taormina, where there was a Greco-Roman amphitheatre where we took some group photos then we had some spare time in the town centre for shopping and eating Ice-Cream and Pizza. We then made our way to Airport, then a 4 hour flight home.
A big thank you to Mr Bamford for organising the trip and to Mrs Shepherd, Mrs Broadway, Miss Lewis, and Mr Tindal for accompanying us.
S. Strange - student