Stromboli is a very hot location to work in the month of July, as such, the morning climb was made bright and early at 5 am. Even so the morning sun begins to heat the morning air rapidly, needless to say, by the end of the 2.5 - 3 hour climb, a change of shirt was necessary! However, this does make for some fantastic morning views during sunrise (see photos below).
On the last night we ate at the Osservatorio Pizzeria, a fantastic restaurant with great views of the craters at night - lo and behold we saw 8 explosions in 2 hours! Given the low activity observed at the summit and lack of incandescent material I neglected to bring my camera and telescopic lens, a decision which I now rue. It could of course be that we just couldn't see or hear these explosions at the summit or the volcano was toying with us! I also had my first opportunity to travel around the island on one of the many boat tours to see the Sciara del Fuoco (the large scar on the side of the volcano) and visit Strombolicchio and Ginostra. Experiences I will blog about soon. For the meantime, this trip reiterated the unpredictability and the ability of a volcano to present, what I would describe in a human, as moods.