Do you know what’s the origin of the phrase ‘Once in a blue moon’?
In 1883, a volcano called Mount Krakatoa in Indonesia had one of the most explosive eruptions of all times – (and copying from wiki) it was equivalent to 13,000 times the nuclear yield of the Hiroshima atom bomb. It ejected approximately 21 km3 ,of rock, ash, and pumice. The sky had so much volcanic dust, and that too for months, that the moon appeared blue. Now, such a big eruption does not happen very often. In fact, this one is considered to be the single largest recorded eruption. Hence, the phrase ‘Once in a blue moon‘. An event that happens very rarely.
But why I happen to know all this? Because I was crazy about volcanoes when I was a kid. Geography was my favourite subject (No wonder, I ended up loving travel so much) and geology was my primary field of interest. Aconcagua, Cotopaxi, Vesuvius, Krakatoa were names on the tips of my fingers. In those days, when the internet was just a baby (that makes me sound so old!), I read up every possible book on volcanoes and geological phenomenon that I could find in my school library. I had posters about newspaper articles on volcano eruptions and although India doesn’t have much in the name of volcanic activity, I was proud of the fact that India did have one active volcano – Barren Island – in Andaman and Nicobar islands – which was quiet far away and difficult to reach. In those days, getting a chance to visit a volcano would have been a dream come true. Probably more a bucket list thing, though I was not aware of the concept of bucket lists when I was 13!
But why am I telling you all this?
Because that dream just came true.
On my trip to Naples, I got a chance to visit Mt Vesuvius. In fact, it was probably the main reason I decided to go to Naples. And Senor Vesuvio did not disappoint. I do not mean that it erupted! That would have been tragic (and no offence Pompeii, but amazing as well) – but I mean, the visit was absolutely worth it – I did a mini-hike to the top and saw the crater! More about it in my next post!