Campi Flegrei – Rione Terra

Rione Terra seen from the yacht harbour.

Rione Terra seen from the yacht harbour.

One of my favorite pastimes is Google-walking along cities and volcanoes.  I normally try to get hold of an online tourist guide for the area, and then I walk along it flying above the ground alternating with the street view.

Yesterday I was Google-strolling around Campi Flegrei following the guide linked to below. I will one day go and take the real walk, with a couple of added stops on the list that is even more interesting. As I “walked” I found a part that I did not really know about even though I have been in the area before.

http://vulcan.fis.uniroma3.it/excursion_campi.html

Rione Terra

The city of Rione Terra was the first settled part of Pozzuoli, the first known Roman habitation hark back to the second century BC.  As in most old Roman cities Rione Terra has layers of civilization and buildings layered on top of each other. It is though quite possible that the Greeks came here first in the year of 529 BC and that they used it as a landing fortress for the colony of Cuma.

But it was not until Puteoli was inaugurated as a Roman colony in 194BC that Rione Terra really came into power since the Romans fortified it heavily to protect the harbor. Further fortifications were done when the Romans built their western military base in the area, the Portus Julius.

As the Roman Empire waned from power the city of Puteoli shrank down until not much more then the Rione Terra fortress remained. It was during this era that the city really started to stratigraphy as people tore down the roman buildings and built their shops and homes on top of the old foundations. For instance the cathedral of Pozzuoli was built straight on top of the Augustine Temple.

Terra Rione was a heavily populated up until the sixties, but the place had by the more modern standards of those days started to be seen as heavily unsanitary and unhygienic and was mostly inhabited by the poorest in the City of Pozzuoli.

Rione Terra during the 1970 evacuation.

Rione Terra during the 1970 evacuation.

So, as the first bradyseismic period happened 1970 the authorities closed the Rione Terra and moved its inhabitants. Unlike in other areas the inhabitants were never allowed to return to their former houses. The area was further damaged in the earthquake of 1980, and the second bradyseismic period that followed during the 1980s.

As the two bradyseisms happened one should know that it was far from the first to happen in the area. The largest known is the 6 meter bradyseism that took place in only seven days before the 1538 eruption of Monte Nuovo. After the eruption the land sank down to a level lower then during the Roman days. During the late nineteenth century a couple of bradyseisms lifted the area again. From that time the area slowly sank again up until 1970. The area of Pozzuoli is on average 2 meters lower today than during the Roman times, but that might really change any day.

The Decumano Archaeological walk through the old roman layer.

The Decumano Archaeological walk through the old roman layer.

During the nineties the city started to renovate the old fortress city and while doing that they started a large scale archaeological project that is still ongoing. Among other things an archaeological walkway has been prepared partly under the city showing the old roman foundations and the various stratigraphical layers. Rione Terra has though as of yet not been opened to the public since the renovation are not finished and it is still not deemed safe to admit tourists there.

In the end few places are so inundated with volcanological history, it was after all here the Pliny’s lived and where the younger Pliny wrote the tale of the Pompeian eruption.

CARL

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132 thoughts on “Campi Flegrei – Rione Terra

  1. This is what is bad about learning. Years after you have been somewhere, you find out interesting things that would have been really farking cool to see had you known what you now know.

    I have been to Naples several times, but our fascination was how or why the same transvestite hooker could be wearing the same outfit, (yellow bikini and fur coat) two years after seeing them in the same park, two years earlier. (Giardini Pubblici). My primary interest at the time was the castle like structure Museo Civico di Castel Nuovo, but it was always over-run by Gypsies and people hanging out on the grounds for me to want to see it up close. Generally, the group I was with were more interested in finding a bar, which is a noble cause unto itself. I whiled away the walk by marveling at how tightly packed the buildings were and how congested the traffic. This was where my foot got ran over and all I noticed was that my hat was stolen (scooter bandits will snatch your hat if they can reach it while driving by)

    If they ever have a volcanic crisis, good luck getting people out of the city. In my opinion, that could cause more mayhem than the volcano because it isn’t going to be pretty at all.

    • I have the opposite view, yes it is slightly annoying to learn later how cool it was at a place you have visited. But, to me the day I stop learning new things is the day I will probably die. Curse of a curious mind as you know.
      Now I know that I missed the transvestites, I am though not going to go out of bounds to find them next time I am around. Museo Civico is actually really nice if you can come at an hour where there are not to bloody many tourists. For some reason I never count myself into the heard of tourists…

    • Don’t get me wrong, I like learning. It’s just that you always have a good chance of getting pissed that you didn’t snap a photo or focus on something else while you were there.

      I’m still trying to find that natural bowl where the ball fields were at. All I have are memories of it, but I know now that it was a ginormous scoria cone… with softball and baseball fields in it… and a running track.

      About that park. On the western edge of it is a raised road with a line of trees and a sidewalk where you can look out over the park and the bay. While walking back to the boat, a shipmate and I noticed the cars parked at the base of the wall that the road was on. In one of the cars were a couple… doing something. Not copulating. We stood in amazement for a couple of minutes trying to figure out what the guy was up to. From his motions, it appeared that he was operating a ratchet wrench. After we shook off the cold shudder of what that could mean, we wandered onward to the pier.

      The fountain at the pier was prone to people putting AFFF in it. AFFF, when it foams, can make clumps of bubbles that look like huge chunks of Styrofoam floating through the air. At the time, there were a large number of ships from different nations there. I have no idea of which ship did it. I do know that when the fireworks were going off, the Turks grabbed some highway safety flares out of their helo and were running around the pier with them. I watched them do it, shrugged it off. Then stood in amazement as the entire city disappeared into the smoke of the new years fireworks. Tip told to us by the USDAO office at the time, avoid being in the alleyways or next to buildings at midnight on 31 Dec…. they take the “out with the old” bit seriously. People have been injured by stuff thrown out of windows.

      • I have been to that field, nowadays part of it is closed down, especially the old dressing rooms/bath and shower part. One day gas started to come out of the ground percolating through the floor tiles.
        In the beginning it smelled just a bit sulphuric, today it is lethal to go inside without a breathing aparatus. I have seen photographs of the interior with sulphur “mushrooms” covering almost every surface. It was and is the reason they moved the base further away. Even the head of the INGV Osservatorio Pompeii says that “there is a monster living here”. Ie, that was the central focal point of the 1970 – 84 bradyseism, so the gases emaneting are from the fresh batch of magma, making it the most logical spot for the next eruption.

          • Sorry, it took me a while to find it again on the map. There be Dragons!

            40D 51’10” & 14D 06′ 30”

            • I think it was nicer when you where around, it is fairly decrepit now.
              But, all in all, it must be one of the few highly volcanic ball fields around.

              Edit: “when you where around”… Oh my, that slipped through my language filter unchecked. Did I just bump off Lurking? Or am Lurking a talking Zombie..?

            • You actually came close to prophesy this morning. I did the one legged surf scoot across the kitchen, riding on a floor mat. I was able to catch myself before I whacked the counter with my noggin. The dog heard me cussing the entire way and went to hide.

            • Yeah, I am the worst prophetic ever, but I am good at close calls. Remember my stats with Etna. Out of 11 trips I missed a paroxysm with 1 day on 3 occation, and a week on 4.

              I am a world champion close call prophetic.

            • That was probably the smartest thing the dog could have done. He didn’t want to be around when the acrobatics came to a conclusion. (either under or near)

              Got home today and ate a potato chip. Dropped on on the floor. Called the dog over to come look at it. (he has a fondness of chips). He just stood there and looked at it, then looked at me. So I called the other dog over, as soon as he shows up the first one snags the chip and takes off with it. I walk to go change out of work clothes and I find the first dog sitting there looking at the chip. I say, well, if you aren’t gonna eat it, it’s going in the trash. As I reach down he growls and blocks the chip, then gobbles it down. Little asshole. After changing, the second dog, who also turned his nose up at another chip but didn’t fiddle around about it, came over and hopped up in the chair next to me for an ear scratching.

            • Life isn’t that bad if one has a dogs ear around to scratch, I miss dogs on occation. But, when you tend to travell a lot it is a nogo to have a dog.

    • Best pizza in the whole world, nice beaches, warm water, sun, volcanoes all around, fumaroles, roman and greek (Pompei, Herculanum, Stabia, Cuma, Paestum) ruins everywhere, fungi porcini sold at every street corner direct from the mountains, costa almafitana, mozarella di buffala, nice friendly people. There are drawbacks also, but….I’ll get back some day. Voir Naples et mourir ! I did not know about Rione Terra, I’ll check next time. There’s also one of the entrances of Hell nearby I think, some underground volcanic cave known to the Romans.

      • Whens the trip story comming?
        I just did the Rione since I knew you hadn’t been there and I was feeling nostalgic 🙂

          • Silvery pictures, that was a new one 🙂

            Nice, one can see the sill and how it elongates into that less seismic material but is still visible on the way to Bob.

            • Nice, it shows the progression up to the 10km sediment layer, and returns around 5km.
              Best progress chart I have seen on the start of Bob.

            • Well I thought that it was only doing a few plots, but there is really a lot to do (Moho, dykes and the like). I think now I have to mull over it and do a lot of plotting before producing something worthy.

            • Just had an insight with density plotting. Why not change the rules ? Then we should get a nice view of the Moho under our little island.

            • Now you have my attention, nothing like a bit of rules bending. Looking forward to the result.

            • Nice one dfm. Really clear and as Carl says, it shows the sediment layer distinctly.

            • Nice plot, thanks!

              It probably is just me, but the formation of the terrain catches my imagination; think about a canvas, streched on a frame, bend 3 fingers so that their tips form a triangle, then start pushing the canvas up from the middle… anything familiar in the shape of the canvas?

              Next question is what happens, when the “canvas” can no longer strech?

              Caveat:I know nothing, and have had a few beers along with too little sleep… 😉

      • For the non Franco- phones: “See Naples and die!!!”
        I’m just back from Madrid; my favourite city, not volcanic, but igneous 🙂

        • Ooh – you lucky thing! I like Madrid a lot, too. Not so keen on the airport though – have spent way too many hours there. It must be the world capital of missed connections.

        • Lucky fellow. I work for the Spanish division of our company, and have spent some very good time in Madrid. I love the food out in the suburbs, once you get away from the touristy bits. Spent a few weeks staying in suburban Torrejon de Ardoz (near our office), and could eat & drink well every night for not many Euros.

        • All I ever saw was Rota. Luckily enough, the guy I was with (the commodores cook) had been stationed there and new a few of the locals. We meandered the sherry bars while the rest of the squids were getting trashed at the disco bars.

          On the way back I discovered that roadway idiocy is not just a US thing. Some guy had dumped his bike and slid all the way up to the guard posts in front of a bar… promptly got up, went inside… I imagine to have a drink.
          Personally I would have soiled my underwear had it been me.

          The most entertaining bikers were the ones in leathers and chains on tricked out mopeds in Toulon FR. I have never seen such small bikes with full fairings.

  2. Campi Flegrei is perhaps the worst-situated volcano on earth. It is near one of Italy’s largest cities, it has an explosive history and it is hard to find out where the next batch of magma will surface. Sounds like the area is quite nice, but it is not the nicest place beneath your feet.

      • It is. Volcanism wasn’t taken into account by those who planned Naples. It is going to create the most disorderly evacuation ever if CF erupts. There are quite a lot of dangerous volcanoes on this earth that aren’t as monitored or recognized. Luckily, CF isn’t one of them.

        • Campi Flegrei is though a very well monitored volcano, and so are the two other large volcanoes in the city. Campi Flegrei is a big volcano, but people have a tendency to underrate both Pompeii and Ischias potential severely.
          But, it is not a large eruption from Campi Flegrei that is the most likely, the problem is that even a small eruption would be dangerous to the public due to problems when evacuating.

          • Yes, they are still there too. I predict that the evacuation will cause more problems than the volcano itself. It is rather unfortunate that many other volcanoes on this earth are not as monitored but just as dangerous.

  3. OT: Looks like we’re going to get another Derecho in the midwest (USA). Hopefully this won’t knock power out for 2 straight weeks like it did in parts of my city last year when we had a huge Derecho come through (Columbus Ohio). Erik Klemetti wrote about it last summer as well as he apparently lives quite close to me.

      • Straight line winds.

        It’s a relatively new term being used by US Meteo guys… (okay, new to them.) A few mechanisms can cause it, but air dropping from several thousand feet and splating into the ground can produce a significantly strong gust front. Think of the outflow from a microburst and you get the idea. There are other things that can make them, such as a jet stream winding up being pointed at the ground.

        • Isn’t that called a Downburst? Or is a Downburst a form of Derecho?
          We had one in 2011 hitting Pukkuelpop, a festival with 60 000 people. Wind topped 180 km/h, and 30 l rain fell within 15minutes, and 30m+ trees got uprooted like nothing. At the end there were only 5 deaths and 140 wounded. The weird thing was that from air you could see a strip of land 3 km long 60 m broad were the damage was. A lot of people attending the festival outside this 60m strip didn’t notice what happened until some hours later (this was to avoid mass panic and easier to evacuate)

          (warning: the word horrible is a very good description)

    • We’ve had those here in finland, I remember a day some 16 years back, when i was repairing an ISDN line on countryside, got it up and running, got on my way back to the office and about 4 km:s from the client there was about 200m wide section of forest down, All trees poining to same direction. Also on the road I was driving, got stuck there for 4 hours. no alternative route, had to wait ’till road was cleared. Don’t know how long the path was, it was longer than I could see, so at least 10-20km I Think. Pretty scaring as I had been on that spot only about 35 mins earlier…

      • Read in a magazine article years ago.

        An orange fireball frightened a Shepard and his entire flock. Turned out to be an ASCM missile that had locked on to the northern coast of a Nordic country and had flown inland at several hundred kph…. just over tree top level. It came from a missile test range to the North.

        Not related, but what you reminded me of from your tale.

  4. One thing that has always puzzled me is why there aren’t more volcanoes in the Aegean and Italian subduction fronts. I know that there are more volcanoes there than what is recognized, but even then, compared to any other arc-based subduction front, there is an extremely low volume of stratovolcanoes from italy to the greek islands.

    • What?!?!?
      I can see an interesting string pattern of quakes stretching E from Hveragerdi to Hekla, but what do you mean by a “hidden eruption”? 🙂

      • It is gone now, The strain counts was set to -500 on the scale and a line was down the middle of the page, after that was blank. No plus value was seen. all the colour lines was looking to be going down. Due to that the fact I have been awake all night

    • Errrrrrrrrrrrm! If Hekla erupted I don’t think it would hide. No deep glacier on top like Katla or Grimsvoten et al. The Hekla strain is still onwards and upwards. If there had been a failed or full eruption the strain would have dropped like a stone. The magma movement would show up on the SILs.http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/oroi/hau.gif . It’s actually very quiet there apart from tremors from some road works or river in spate through late morning to afternoon.
      Sorry not to agree with you Rick 🙂

        • I work in a D.C. 7 night shifts. 🙂

          So still in work, About monkey, Random Stuff is all, will go to sleep around 09:00.
          Maybe they were testing some thing? It was fun to see nothing on the webcam.

          Carl, I think he was checking the area to see were this inflation is all going, I attempted that, I failed to see were it was going too.

          • I got somewhere…
            But it was odd, so I asked Lurkmaster to have a look. Still waiting for his comment on it.
            There will most likely be a post about it, but first I need my head to grasp it better.

    • Mmmmmmm! I shall look out for those clouds. They may come down our way too. Most interesting. More mysteries.

  5. My comment never made it! Again….. Carl thank you. I would like to go back. Pozzuoli area has special memories for me.

  6. Well I’ve just had a look at google maps and I’ve been there…nearly.
    I was once camping right in the Solfatara (it is a camping ground….and getting to see the crater is free in that case).
    I went to see the Roman temple in Pozzuoli which shows some of the effect of Bradyseism (marine shells on the temple colums). It is less than 500 m from the place you described.
    Going back up the hill on foot, we visited the Roman arena.
    So I was very near that place, but I never visited it (curse the “Guide du Routard” !). Drat, it makes me more envious to get back there ! It was in 2002.

    • oh! dfm I have always told everyone about the campsite in Solfatara and it’s so long ago now I was beginning to doubt my memory.. We were camping too, but Dad (sensibly) didn’t like the idea of knocking ten bells out of a tent peg into a volcanic crater crust! My rubber flip flops got all tacky walking across near the boiling mud and that was scary too! I suppose it would have been warm and cosy central heating in a tent!!! These days there are warning notices all over and I suppose the campsite would not be allowed, health & safety etc. I know this because I have looked at the recent YouTube clips. back in 1960 somethingelse I remember seeing was the odd person huddled into alcoves in the side of the crater rim. We were told they were people who suffered asthma and other lung problems and they sat breathing in the Sulphurous fumes as a cure!!!

  7. My OT thought for the day: are Roman race courses and amphitheatres round or oval because they were sited in old craters / cones? Or is this completely coincidental?

    • Well, since nobody took a picture of how the strain looked I can’t say a thing.
      But after checking the available data (and your descriptions) I would say it most likely was a malfunction somewhere.
      But there are a couple of quakes showing.

      GPS is still moving for Hekla and northwards.

      • All the Hekla strains went offline for an hour or so earlier today and they’ve been restarted so look alarming as the scale is very small while they start up.

  8. Interesting… I was reading up on Kistufell and found this tidbit:
    “The isotopic heterogeneity within the Iceland mantle plume may thus be viewed as a result of mixing between plume material rising from a layer of subducted slabs (which have partly maintained their geochemical integrity and heterogeneity) and lower-mantle material (FOZO) entrained in the initial stages of plume formation.”

    The layer of subducted slabs is thought to be at 670km. But what is hellishly interesting is this part of the quote:
    “in the initial stages of plume formation”

    Say what??? If what is proposed in this paper (which is extremely well written and based on the best testing I have seen in any scientific paper on Icelandic petrochemy) we have to rewrite the entire idea about the Icelandic mantleplume. This out of it being in the phase of formation, not declination as most seem to think. In less scientific words, a few million years down the line it is really going to piss in Iceland.

    (be warned, extremely technical content in the source)
    http://petrology.oxfordjournals.org/content/43/2/345.full

    • To just make this clearer. The Alpha Ridge hotspot with its associated plume apparantly entered in under the Greenland craton and never excited. Whatever now happened to that one is a completely different story. Alas, a new one is apparantly forming. It explains my pondering on why Iceland never connected to Greenland.

      Now I am in an utter state of befuddlement and Erik Sturkell is not even slightly involved in my current confusion (he normally is).

      • So if that were the case, it would imply that Iceland isn’t the same system that caused the Siberian Traps, right?

        • I would be surprised if it was that to beginn with. Alpha Ridge Hotspot created the Alpha Ridge, the The Arctic Atlantic plateau, parts of northern Canadian islands, and then the Labrador/Baffins, and then parts of Greenland. Nice traceable up untill that Craton. That was in turn believed to have moved under Greenland and then blossomed up as Iceland.
          I once wrongly calculated the Alpha Ridge Hotspot into being the same (perhaps) as the one causing the Siberian Traps, but got the plate movements all wrong.

      • As a non-expert, I have always wondered why the MAR took a detour through Iceland (i.e. turned east before emerging northwards. Has it meandered round a craton(s)?

        • Downloaded the paper. It does not look too complicated after some of the stuff on Tolbachik 😉 Or perhaps struggling through a section of an OU textbook last night helped a bit.

          Will look at it properly tomorrow 🙂

  9. *rant mode on*
    Hey, Carl, told you many years (years already?) ago ther there was no hotspot or mantle plume under Iceland. Parts of Iceland is simply drifting over a “piece bit of old (continental) crust” that I called a large rock, a “rock” that is ripping the bottom of Iceland … i.e. Iceland will sink after passing it!
    Aided by emptying of the “Icelandic oilfields under the East Coast”(Copyright)TM
    How to drill a 10 km hole with a 8 km drill bit ?
    (I guess maybe less depth)
    Easy. First dig a mine shaft or inclined tunnel to 2000 meter deep
    and move drill down there!
    Or make same tunnel go 5 or 15 km out from under the coast, to depth that can be cooled. and drill inclined from there to the edge of the continental shelf (I think the oil is there)
    Then you are drilling outside the land, and no risk of sea pollution, warfare or Icebergs.
    All under-ground and no structures visible. Possibly a Tank Farm for export ashore
    beside a skeleton harbour and Bojo for loading of the Super-Tankers.
    Thats easy, right. (I think that is at least a million dollar idea)
    *rant off*

    • What, you do not belive in this? 😉
      There may have been a sale on some beers. Do not use that stuff.
      Ok. Possibly there is less oil than stated in RUV news tonight.
      But anyways. We have heads up… http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/oroi/vat.gif
      Awakening of the Vatn-öldur ? (think of Zombies)
      Spring floods? or Bulldozers.
      A ship passed by on trailers?
      Look at “pulses” at VAT on internal IMO link ….

      • Yepp I watched it all day.
        Missed that they had found oil, I guess the ones who will start a war would be the Norwegians, and to be honest. All you need to do to keep them away is to hire a Finn (singular).

        Isn’t there a small hydropower plant there?

  10. And could someone from England come over and get your weather, it has ambled over here and is currently crying all over the place looking for Devonshire… 🙂

    • Haha, I am so pleased it is crying somewhere else for a change!!!!!!!!!!!!! It has been whining and snivelling and then flooding us with tears for a few days now. Now it appears to have the air dryer on trying to clear up the mess. Gale force winds in early June are NOT funny! 😦 Tomorrow when it calms down a little I have to go out in the garden and clear up the mess the gales have made. If I am lucky I may even be able to mend the hanging basket it blew down before I removed all the others to the shelter on the lee side of the shed. So PLEASE don’t send your horrible weather back over to Sussex. 😉

      • No, this one is not our bad weather. I had an umbrella, it broke under the deluge, and it was not even any wind. Definitly looking for Devonshire.
        Our bad weather comes in the form of a snowstorm that uproot trees.

    • And that was the answer for how to do Dianas much sought after dance!

      Time for me to hit the sack as well.

    • Yepp, same BBGN here, but in a few hours (I am later in time as they are)
      Must do some reading/figuring out.. 🙂

    • Rofl! Karen. They would be no good in Glastonbury festival. The mud there would cover the sound system 😀 😀 😀 Good for the allotment veggie patch though, I could really get digging to the beat of Metallica 😀

  11. Voting in America.

    Worried that you may not win the election? Just send some volunteers to go steal two 400 lb safes from the Supervisor of Elections. Even if you can’t stuff the safes full of enough absentee ballots, you can raise enough of a stink to have it go to the court system and get the election turned your way.

    According to the News there were 33 absentee ballots in the safes that had been received. (those voters have been contacted so that they can re-cast if they wish) The current looser is behind by 275 votes and refuses to concede due to the issue with the stolen safes. This fact, and that the thieves went directly to the registrars office, passing the tax collectors office and never even looking at the 32 inch plasma TV that they all walked past tells me that they were specifically directed as to what they were supposed to do.

    Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if the safes turn up with substantially more than the 33 cast absentee ballots that were known to be in the safe.

  12. And now truly OT.

    Caniformia. Ever hear of it? I know Diana has. Caniformia is a subfamily of Carnivora that includes Canidae, Ursidae. Ursidae is the family that include bears, one species of which is Ursus maritimus. AKA the Polar Bear. Polar Bears have been known to raise up and plunge both front feet onto the ice to punch a hole through it. Repeating as needed to open it up.

    I found this youtube of a dog (Canis lupus familiaris) trying to kill a board quite interesting in that it is using the same motions.

    Note: Back off on the volume if the cackling hominids annoy you.

    Ya know, with a little training, it might be possible to teach him CPR. Now THAT would be a service dog to assist the EMS crew…

    • Love it!.. Many animal “Tricks” are actually remnants of very sensible behaviours. Watching Poor Meg here as she battles with her hormones through a very rough False pregnancy. Watching the perfect mothering behaviour, nesting, lack of feeding herself but trying to regurgitate for puppy (one of her squeaky toys) carrying “baby” to safety, warning growls even to me to protect her “nest and young”. All this would appear totally alien behaviour for anyone not sensible enough to read up about what is wrong with their pooch. To a behaviourist it’s fascinating.(But still bloody annoying with the incessant whining).
      What is more than fascinating is when you ask the question ” How does Meg know what to do”? “Instinct”, you say. SO…….some behaviours are programmed genetically? Humans are animals too. So ….behaviours could be modified , a tweak here and there during the embryonic development…..end of scary rumination and off to get Coffee #2

    • I grew up with boxers… Miss ’em drooling monsters of love.
      Thing is that they are way more brainy then they look. We had one that was the Houdini of Doghood. He not only knew how to open doors by pushing the door handle, he also figured out how to unlock the door. This normally happened around the time the bitches came on heat, so off he went producing all sorts of half breeds around the neighbourhood.
      He also used to open toilett doors. After opening the door he just sat outside laughing his arse off at the stupid human pooping indoors. Probably feeling very smug and superior.
      The same dog also probably saved my life on a number of occations. When I was about 3 I spent a summer trying to play in the river. The dog would have none of it, he just bowled me over. And when a Boxer bowls you over it is like being hit by a truck, after a few attempts even the most stubborn 3 year old learns his lesson. I still remember how pissed off I was at the dog.
      He was also a raving alcoholic, if you looked away for even a second he had absconded with the content in the glass. He was normally the first to become drunk at any party.

      I miss the old pirate souled scoundrel…

  13. *sigh…

    What is with the modern generation? I have a grand-kid that went fishing this weekend and should have returned to his unit. I know that he made it back safe since my wife saw his musings on Facebook. I have sent him three texts and have yet to get a reply. I was hoping that he had snapped a couple of pics on his ichthys quest. I had planned on using them in a post that I am thinking of writing…

    • Lurking . It’s so frustrating..Nay! Angry making. These days it’s so easy to communicate. It takes no effort or time…. 4 out of the 5 kids I have nurtured find it difficult to take 2 minutes to phone me and say “I’m OK. How are you?” yet they can spend hours on Facebook or texting each other. Without Facebook I would not know what the kids and families were up to. It’s sad but it’s the thoughtless way of the 21st century.
      (Thoughtless.. not just uncaring but actually lacking in effort to apply a learned brain function, possibly through lack of use or exercise!!!)

      >>>>>>>>>> Joins islander in the ranting corner>>>>>>>

      • I blame diet sodas… One of the known properties of ’em sweeteners is to melt the brain stem. Give diet soda to a developing brain and you get a moroon…
        Rant without any scientific evidence (except the brain melt that occurs if you pour it onto a rat brain).
        >>>joins Lurking, Diana and Islander in the rant corner<<<

  14. @Diana

    About the camping ground in solfatara I was there in 2002. The camp is a bit removed from the solfatara crater itself (so no danger), but there is definitely some H2S smell in the air (good for sinuses). From what I remember, the camp was quite pleasant and good by italian standards.
    We made the crater tour several times, because the crater does not look the same in the morning (when you see the fumaroles quite better) and for instance in the afternoon. There are 2 small caves on the north side of the crater where indeed some people go to breathe the sulfurous fumes. The result is that they cough …. a lot. I tried one of the small alcoves, it was just like a steam bath (literally), and I had to get out quickly because of the irritating properties of the sulfur gases (eyes and throat burning, coughing) so in there there should be more SO2 than H2S.
    There are some colored (yellow to orange) man made piles of rocks over some fumaroles (probably sulfur and arsenic compounds).
    In the middle of the crater, you can get a glimpse of a boiling mud lake.
    If you throw a stone on the ground, the sound produced is hollow.

    A definite must see if you are around.

    • I absolutely agree it’s a great experience dfm. It’s the nearest I ever got to being up close and friendly to a volcano

  15. @KarenZ
    Thanks for link to Boris Behncke’s photos…
    Mouth of the monster
    To anyone who hasn’t already seen Boris’ recent photos, they are well worth a look: amazing portrait of Etna

            • Has there been any alert from Surono about Merapi?

              For those wondering, volcanologists in Indonesia are a big thing, localy the volcanoes are seen as deities. Previously they had mystical priests known as Gatekeepers. But since the Gatekeeper at Merapi was killed in the last eruption, a man called Marijan, the volcanologists are now seen as the new Gatekeepers. This mainly due to Suronos accurate predictions. So, Surono has been upgraded into having only one name. Think Brazilian football players and you get the picture. There is only one Pelé, there is only one Surono.

            • Worrying. Read that the recent eruptions (sorry don’t have the dates to hand) at Merapi could be a precursor to a larger eruptions, or not.

            • Yes, but I would bet that this time around nobody would stay on the hillsides of Merapi.

  16. A new post will be up at 16.00 Blog Time.
    Riddles from Kilgharrah and a bit of friday volcanic musings from a befuddled mind.
    I sneaked a peak on Kilgharrahs riddles and I am now an official brainwreck 🙂

      • My braincell started a civil war with itself after seeing the riddles… Only thing I can come up with is having a friday beer to calm the poor cell down.

        • Oo-er I’ve got just over an hour to work on the riddles tonight and then I need to go out, so I’ll probably be thinking about them all night after that.

    • Regarding fotball stars I prefer my old neighbour and BBQ buddy: Martha

      Edit: And there was Surono with the word on Merapi.
      The Indonesians are really good actually.

  17. And completely OT since it is Friday…

    I just saw a Dodo out flying. In this case the Dodo constituted a SAAB I have never seen before. SAAB is interesting, they made fairly few models, and they are quite common hereabouts, so I have seen them all.
    So seeing one come up parking in the parking lot at the neighbourhood store that I have never seen is quite something. It did not have the telltale SAAB emblem (The Gryphin), instead it just had SAAB written on the radiator grill and no modell name anywhere.
    The fun thing was that it did not have any engine sound whatsoever, so it was probably electric, but to really confuse things it had two massive exhaust pipes with no smoke comming out. Probably a very peculiar set of serial hybrid configuration.
    Out of the car jumped a woman that looked so much like a test driver that she was almost handicapped, and when I asked about the car she jumped back in and speeded away.

    Normally I would have laughed at a small start up who bought up a second time around bancrupted car company. But the names tell a different story, it is headed by the former Chairman of the worlds largest producer of trucks, the SCANIA/MAN group. And behind him are two of the large financial dynasties. So, it is no ordinary little “we wanna build an electric car” daydreamers. And the car mirrored it, it was no small little thingy, it was flipping large for being an EV.

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