Siracusa & Mount Etna

Trip Start Jan 11, 2007
Trip End Jan 15, 2010

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Flag of Italy  , Sicily,
Sunday, February 15, 2009

I really wanted to see the Greek ruins at Siracusa. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday at noontime when we finally made it to the historical center of Siracusa, which meant all the families were heading out for Sunday lunch. We should have known not to head somewhere important just before Sunday lunch!  The entire town of large Italian families was all headed to the exact same place.

Since it was Carnevale season, there was a big festival on the waterfront. All the kids were dressed in Carnevale costumes, which look a lot like American Halloween costumes. There was also a marathon race in the streets of the old town. It all combined to create one massive traffic jam near the ruins. So, we essentially never made it to the ruins.

After sitting in traffic for 2 hours, getting lost even with the TomTom and never finding a parking spot, we left Siracusa and drove back towards Taormina, cussing about the Italian civil engineers and road builders all the way. Scott said apparently the same people who built the roads and intersections in Naples built the intersections in Catania, because it was just as difficult to find the exit for the Auchan shopping center in Catania as is it in Naples.

We finally found the Auchan, did a little shopping, and were happy to finally reach our peaceful, quiet hotel. We decided to save Siracusa for another trip.

On Monday, we left Taormina and drove around Mount Etna's snow-covered slopes. It was eerie to see the dried lava from previous eruptions, and the absence of trees and vegetation except for scrubby bushes. In some areas, it looked like the eruption could have happened 2 months ago.
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