#AtoZChallenge: “V” is for VOLCANOES

30 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2014, History, Travel, Writing/Blogging

Mount Vesuvius

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Day 22: April 25

Today’s post is about famous volcanic landmarks.

[Cover photo: Mount Vesuvius, Naples Italy]




a mountain or hill, typically conical, having a crater or vent through which lava, rock fragments, hot vapor, and gas are being or have been erupted from the earth’s crust.

canary islands volcanoes

My first experience with volcanic landscapes was in Puerto de la Cruz, on the island of Tenerife, Canary islands. Refer to earlier article. This is a chain of seven islands, located off North Africa’s west coast, which began to emerge from the ocean depths about 23 million years ago.

Tenerife’s volcano, Mount Teide and its surroundings comprise Teide National Park, which has an area of 18,900 hectares (73 sq mi) and was named a World Heritage site in 2007. It is one of the most visited National Parks in the world, with a total of 2.8 million visitors and the most visited natural wonder of Spain. – Wikipedia

mount teide, tenerife
Mount Teide, Tenerife
[Photo Credit]

The last eruption to have occurred in Tenerife was in 1909. It started on November 18th and lasted 10 days.

Topographical Map of Tenerife [Photo Credit]


mount vesuvius
[Photo Credit]

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius, located in the Gulf of Naples, Italy was responsible for the demise of Roman cities Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD. From Wikipedia:

That eruption ejected a cloud of stones, ash and fumes to a height of 33 km (20.5 mi), spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombings. An estimated 16,000 people died.

Hubby and I visited the ruins at Pompeii in 1990 and were in awe of how the volcanic ash had preserved everything.

Mt. vesuvius and Pompeii
Mt. Vesuvius overlooking Pompeii
[Photo Credit]

Of special interest were the plaster casts of the bodies left behind:

pompeii body
[Photo Credit]
pompeii body 2
[Photo Credit]
pompeii bodies
[Photo Credit]

Mount Vesuvius has erupted numerous times since Pompeii, including six times in the 18th century, eight times in the 19th century, and in 1906, 1929, and 1944. There has been no eruption since then, and none were as large or destructive as the Pompeian one.


Santorini Map
[Photo Credit]

The volcanic islands of Santorini were featured here the other day. To re-cap:
Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic explosion that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. A giant central, rectangular lagoon, which measures about 12 by 7 km (7.5 by 4.3 mi), is surrounded by 300 m (980 ft) high, steep cliffs on three sides. The main island slopes downward to the Aegean Sea. – Wikipedia

Like Pompeii, the settlement at Akrotiri was destroyed by a volcanic eruption around 1627 BC and buried in ash, which preserved the remains of fine Frescoes and many objects and artworks. Unlike Pompeii, the town’s residents had already fled, probably due to an earthquake, and there were no casualties. Akrotiri has been suggested as a possible inspiration for Plato’s story of Atlantis.

Slideshow photos ©DDB

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We had a marvellous view of the volcano from our hotel, which was aptly named “Hotel Volcano View”:
[photos ©DDB]

Have you ever explored volcanic landscapes?

Looking forward to your comments!

atozbanner 2014

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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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30 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: “V” is for VOLCANOES

  1. What an explosive post! Enjoyed this, Debbie as I always enjoy your posts. Reminds me of Latin class where we had textbooks about a family living in Pompeii just before the eruption. How devastating it was! Amazing how they have so much evidence left over from the eruption. Grisly to see all the contorted bodies in those plaster casts and yet fascinating, too.

  2. Volcanoes have always fascinated me. Especially after I read the book about Herculaneum. The preservation of that city and it’s daily life was incredible. Great post!

  3. We lived in southern British Columbia when Mount St. Helens erupted back in 1980, and we were close enough that everything around was covered in a fine layer of ash. A little creepy, I must say!

  4. By the way…I took a wonderful field trip to the Pinnacles in Hollister, California. Amazing formations from this ancient volcano.

  5. Wow! The earth is truly amazing. This post is a cross between geology class I took last year and the art appreciation class I took. Beautiful view from your hotel room! That must have been quite a trip for you and your husband.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the article, Linda. 🙂 Yes, that was the trip of a lifetime, in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Thanks for dropping by!

  6. Great post, Debbie! I had not seen the plaster casts at Pompeii before – that was haunting! Eruptions in the last decade have definitely affected our air quality and climate changes; volcanos impact lives thousands of miles away when they are active; I can’t imagine living near one that could potentially “blow”. The Big Island of Hawaii is literally volcanic rock – it was a lovely and wild place for us to explore.

    1. I would love to visit Hawaii one day, Sammy! 😀 The environment has definitely suffered from volcanic eruptions over the years, but, you can’t fight mother nature.

  7. Those Plaster casts scared me a bit :(thanks for introducing me to a new place. Have always wanted to see a volcano but scared at the same time !grt pics there. Dropping by from a to z –

    1. Those casts are a little eerie, for sure. Volcanic landscapes are often beautiful, as long as the volcano remains dormant. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

    1. Yes, the Pompeii eruption is what most of us think of in reference to volcanoes. It was incredible how well preserved the whole town was. 🙂

    1. I’ve never seen a volcano erupting, but that would be interesting from a safe distance. We enjoyed our trip to Santorini and would love to go back. 🙂

  8. There have been a few volcanoes rumbling in their bellies in recent years. They are amazing forces of nature but I sure would not want to be near one when it decided to throw out the fireworks. Thank you for this, there were some of these volcanoes and sites I had not known about.

  9. Volcanoes always reminds me of the fall of Pompei and its always said in the same breath


  10. Great post and wonderful photos. I have not yet explored a volcanic landscape but I want to visit a village near Pune, India that has volcanic ash on the bank of the river which is several hundred years old.