Campi Flegrei or Phlegraean Fields - the burning heart of Italy

2000 Years after the last giant eruption which destroyed the area around the famous vulcano, we visit Vesuvius and Campi Fegrei. A volcanic unstable area in mid Italy, now populated by many, many people again. As was the case in 79 AD, when an impressive eruption of Vesuvius destroyed cities like Pompeii and Herculaneum, killing over 10000 people. I have read the book 'Pompeii' by Robert Harris for reference. I liked it a lot and now want to see things with my own eyes.

For years and years I knew I wanted to see lava. I just never knew where to go to, until my work made sure I got connected with geologists. I learned about Stromboli soon enough. A volcano, close by, erupting 360 days a year in the Mediterranean. In May 2010 I finally made the trip to Stromboli & Sicily with some friends. We arrive in Catania, get our rental car and drive to the north.

"Roads were made for journeys not destinations" - Confucius

In September 2008 we went to China. My friend was going on a business trip and asked if I wanted to join. China was not a destination in my top 10, but curious as I am I just went along.

"If destiny does not fit you, fit yourself to destiny "– Jordanian proverb

Amman, March 2005. A hectic city, capital of Jordan. We, 2 girls, arrive in our hotel in the outskirts of town and receive our rental car. How are we going to drive in this mess? Well, beeping the horn, stepping on the gas and driving like a kamikaze pilot. On a three lane street, 5 cars can easily overtake each other. I close my eyes and just drive. Without a streetplan we manage to get around, even though many signs are in Arabic.

"Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui. Be strong, be brave, be steadfast."

After 7 weeks on Te Waipounamu, we arrive in Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island). First we enjoy Wellington. A bit of a change after all the beautiful nature we have cycled through in the past weeks. Still it is laid back. We visit the Te Papa Tongarewa museum, where the geological and the Maori sections are real highlights for me. It feels great to be in a city again. Vibrant, historic buildings, people, a nice Turkish meal (a welcome change to the simple meals we cook on our camp stove). After a few days we take the train to National Park and cycle to Whakapapa village.