Taormina and Siracusa, Sicily

Trip Start Sep 24, 2006
Trip End Sep 01, 2007

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Where I stayed
Hotel Aurora

Flag of Italy  ,
Monday, December 25, 2006

Internet cafes are hard to find in places in Sicily and was not able to update from Taormina, so here goes:
Arrived from Palermo (was glad to get out of there,the traffic for one thing, and Museums etc. are only open in the morning and then closed or re-open late afternoon). In Italy, siestas from 1-4 p.m. are still practiced, meaning most touristy things close then, including many cafes etc.  Anyway, took the morning train from Palermo, changed in Messina to another train which left in 5 minutes, and arrived in Taormina ( population about 10,000 and is a beautiful tourist place, with a Teatro Greco, castle, etc on the Ionian Sea) at a train station a few miles away from town. Bus schedule was incorrect, must have been for summer, so waited and waited with an older gentlemen who eventually helped me find my b and b, although he hardly spoke any English, went out of his way to approach people to ask for directions.   Then I eventually after a lot of walking, found my place high up in the town and was the only guest in the building, owners lived next door,. Only heat was a space heater sowas quite cold, kitchen not heated at all and it is damp and chilly here (but im not complaining!).  Anyway ended up spending 4 nights there, one day going to Francavilla  on the bus and then walking up the mountain with Darren and Dmitris from Greece who I met at the Tourist Info center, to Castligione another ancient town with a beautiful view of Mount Etna and then we took the bus back to Taormina.   Then the next day, wet and windy, we took the funicular to the beach and then a bus to Castlemora, high on the mountain, in the fog and rain could hardly navigate walking much less seeing too much, but took a few pics anyway. My landlord (whose daughter Claudia is apparently a famous movie and tv actress here in Italy) took me to the bus yesterday a.m., and I arrived here in Siracusa, via bus with a change in Catania.  That train station (where we waited) is a very scary place on Christmas Eve I can tell you!  Glad that Darrin and Dmitris were meeting me later, as they had gone out in the wet and wind to sightsee while Istayed behind to try tocall mom and dad.  No one was around except those with no where else to go, and the pay phones were on Platform 2 of the train station, where no one was about except one guy who looked like he was hanging out at the phones to see who can along but it turned out he was making a call!
Anyway found my b and b in Siracusa in the rain and almost dark, on via della Maestranza, almost right on the water, and I can hear the waves from my room. I was booked into the b and b by my Taormina landlord, and turns out Iwas the only one booked into the b and b and they also have a hotel (ironically the Hotel Aurora!) and they gave me a beautiful hotelroom for the price of the b and b because they didn't wnat to htink of me all by myself on an upper floor!  Very nice of them.  Darren and Dmitris and I hooked up for dinner last night after negotiating the rain and wind again at 8 pm. and I think we'll spend Christmsa dinner tonight as well.  Christmas decorations are the same as at home, and I hear "FI'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" and O Come All Ye Faithful wafting out from here and there and I think it is so funny!  Here I have been dreaming of a green Christmas! Every Piazza (square) has a beautfully decorated tree in the centre, but today I noticed in the Piazza Duomo that the beautful tree was on the ground and blocked off as it had been knocked over by the wind. I took some pics this am before the torrent of rain started again, of the coastline and the breakers coming to shore and across the rocks. Very beautiful.I think I'll be going to Venice on Dec. 27 overnighting on train and then may Dubrovnik, Croatia, venturing back to Frankfurt for my hot adventure in Thailand.leaving Jan. 9.
All the best in 2007 everyone! see you in the new year!
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