My dad told me it's one of the most active volcanoes in the world. I'd like to believe it, but I haven't looked it up to verify.
"Most active" or not, it was super tight. I looked INTO a volcano. I walked across a field of cooled lava, climbed from base to rim, walked to the edge and looked INTO a volcano. I felt I needed to throw something profound into the abyss of ash and steam, but as I was all out of rings that would effectively save Middle Earth, I settled for a shiny volcanic rock. But instead of throwing it into the volcano, I put it in my backpack. Rocky Mountain National Park would disapprove, as they've taught me to leave everything alone, but it was miniscule, and it seems France employs no one to work in their parks to keep tourists like me in line.
Standing on the edge of a enormous hole in the earth, seeing rock so hot it was flowing, looking out: only seeing ocean all around me going on and on until it bumped up against the sky, standing above the clouds, above any birds, above any trees, any houses, seeing nothing but rock, hearing absolute silence, I felt incredibly small, and it made me feel so much better about everything.