A Fiat Panda 4x4... up Mount Etna
An epic TG mag adventure from the past 20 years: we drive the Panda up an erupting volcano...
Posted: 15 Oct 2013
But the Panda is small and relatively light, and leaves no trace of its passing, apart from disturbing the foggy cloud that cloaks this level of the Etna landscape. Except the weirdly humid and wispy cloud cover isn't cloud at all. It's steam. As we climb higher, the temperature drops, and it becomes obvious that what we assumed was low-level cumulus is actually vapour rising from the floor.
The Earth's magma blood runs hot and close here. The sandy, rocky ground is jet-black cooled lava, bracketed by patches of snow. There is blood-warm steam everywhere, and deep-fried crispy terra underfoot. But again, stark as it is, it's got a kind of grim charm. A strain of violent grace. But it's the kind of beauty that makes you nervous. The kind of beauty in the potential of, say, a mountain-shaped grenade.