Climb Mt. Vesuvius with your Dog | Dog Travel Italy

“In the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” ― Jack Kerouac

Do one better and climb a goddamn volcano with your dog! We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend an afternoon on the beast itself, Mt. Vesuvius, the reason why Pompeii fell hard to it’s knees and brought all life to a standstill in 79AD. Too heavy to take in? You can get an ice cream at the top!

There is no escaping Mt.Vesuvius, it’s presence looms over the landscape no matter the direction you are heading in, rising up in front of you through the front windshield, or watching you through your rear view mirror as you speed along the autostrade.

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View of Naples along the climb to the crater.

 

After a morning of exploring the streets and houses of Pompeii that were once covered by volcanic ash, we jumped in the car and headed 10 minutes up the highway to explore this mighty hill. After coming off the main road,  we drove another 20 minutes up the side of the volcano and arrived at the parking area, basically a side road with cars parked all along the shoulder. Here is where the adventure begins.  You can can start walking up the continuation of the main road to the top parking lot (reserved for buses) or take a shuttle – it’s about 45 minutes to walk and we decided on the shuttle as it was a little late in the day and we were keen to drive back along the Amalfi Coast in the daylight. Don’t worry, I haven’t mislead you, there was still a big  climb for Tikka to do.

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Tikka enjoying her volcano adventure.

The shuttle is just 5 min, with a quick stop to buy your park ticket and it drops you off at the base of the crater portion of the volcano, the steep path right in front of you, and a couple souvenir stalls of course…

The air was fresh and cool and the crowds were manageable – very busy on the wide path taking you up, up, up to the top, but no one really got in your way. There were all types of people making the hike – locals and tourists from all over, and every age imaginable. Families with little kids being carried and adventurers over 75 that left us in their volcanic dust. There were even a few gals carefully hanging onto their boyfriends as they made the climb in their heels, the bravest of all.

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Viewing area and concession stand at the top of Mt. Vesuvius.

And one Canadian dog, happy to be out in the air and getting some really good exercise.

The walk from this top parking lot is  about 30 minutes and it’s safe but a steady, reasonably steep climb without many switchbacks. Nothing to scramble over or watch your step with, the path is well maintained and little cars go up it to reach the concession stands at the top. Take it at your own pace and you’ll make it, no one is judging if you stop for a lot of breaks. Ok, Tikka might, she was all go!

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Overlooking the Bay of Naples

The views you are rewarded with are as you would expect, breathtaking. Naples is laid out in front of you and as you reach the crater you have a clear view of the Bay of Naples and the sky and water mesh together in a big, blue painting.

The path continues half way around the lip of the crater and there is still steam rising from the fissures. Don’t expect a lake of bubbling magma as you peer over the edge, it’s pretty much a big hole with a lot of rocks and gravel, kinda like a quarry. We spent some time enjoying the vistas and chatting with a few people that were interested in us having a dog with us, had an ‘almost’ cold beer bought from the concession at the top, grabbed some water for Tikka and then started to make our way back down.

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Steam rising from the Mt. Vesuvius crater.

Quite an amazing day, seeing the cause and effect of how a volcano took out an entire population. Here is a link to the Vesuvius Park website to plan your own volcano outing with your dog. http://www.vesuviopark.it/pnv/home/index.asp

Next on our list is Ravello on the Amalfi Coast, a real treat for 2 and 4 legged travelers. Coming soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Day Goes to the Dogs | Dog Photography

Vancouver was hit this year with more snow than usual in the city centre and each time the flakes came down Tikka eagerly awaited going outside to have a good ‘ol romp in the white stuff. Unfortunately being right in the city core, it didn’t build up too much and would turn to slush and then ice faster than she would get her fill.

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Dog Friendly winter trails at Mt. Seymour, Vancouver.

 

It was time to get her up onto one of the local mountains for a proper run in the snow, so we headed up to Mount Seymour on the North Shore for some fun. This area is becoming popular for snowshoers and there is a great little trail system that is dog friendly and very well marked. The paths were well packed down so we skipped the snowshoes this time (but very interested in trying it out soon. Hint.hint…an upcoming post). There were a lot of dogs that had also convinced their owners to take them up the mountain as well, and we were surrounded by pure furry happiness.

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On Squirrel Patrol

 

This mini trip was a bit spur of the moment and we intend to get up there again and spend some more time exploring, take a lunch for the trail and try out those snowshoes. Any tips on snowshoeing with your dog?