Christmas in Siracusa

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

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and experienced all the wonderful traditions, such as turkey! Well, Christmas without turkey didn't seem like a real Christmas so I will be arranging for a delayed one when I am back in Canada! Darrin, Dmitrios and I met for a drink at a local Enoteche and then went to one of the few restaurants that was open on Christmas Day evening, a Trattoria selling the standard fare of antipasto, pizza and of course pasta. I had the Pasta Norma and some red wine, on the orders of a few friends at home, thanks it was great. Pasta Norma was made with aubergines, tomatoes and ricotta cheese and is a traditional pasta dish of Sicily.  Of course it was still raining and even though tried a semblance of being dressed up, had to wear plastic bags over my socks as my shoes were not dry from 3 days before when it started raining in Taormina and we had been out in most of it there.... I  did end up reluctantly buying an umbrella in Taormina and it promptly broke in the wind; it's been a long time since I experienced wind like that! 
So Christmas was wet this year, it did clear up the day before yesterday (26th) so we took the bus to Noto, pop about 22000, about an hour away.  It is on the UNESCO list as well, was completely destroyed in the earthquake that affected these parts in 1693... and rebuilt at 16 km away. It is an awesome place, with huge Duomo (Cathedral), Chiesas (churches), piazzas and so on, built in the 1700s. In the evenings, people promenade up and down the streets, very typical of life here and they were out indroves in the evening there.  Anyway we misread the bus schedule for a 'Festiva' holiday day, and missed the bus we should have taken, and I ventured to the train station and it was all locked up like some saloon in a dusty midwestern USA town ... but itlooked like another was coming in about 2 hours, if we could trust our interpretation on the phone of times. Fortunately one came later in about 2 hours;meanwhile a local taxi driver was trying to get our business by I think telling us there was no hope to get back to Siracusa and why donąt we hire him to take us back?  We had gone up into this Chiesa tower and down to look at the view, and for some reason my quadriceps on my legs started toache. I thought it was from the climb up and down but I do a lot of climbing and walking on this trip so thought it was unusual.Anyway I started to feel achy all over and eventually realized I had the flu, by the time I got back to Siracusa at 8 p.m. Both bus drivers to and from Noto played radio stations with good old American rockand roll so made me feel quite at home!  Buses are relatively cheap, about 2.75 euros each way. 
After returning back to Siracusa,  I met D and D for a drink at about 9:30and said my goodbyes because I knew I wasgoing to be in a bed for awhile. I had planned to leave yesterday but delayed it for a day or 2 and just ventured out today.It is a nice b and b, the staff are great and caring, and I have a tv (in Italian lang only) and remote heat and my own bathroom so things could be a lot worse. I amfortunate if I was to getsick i am here and not in some scuzzy hostel and believe me I have seen some of them.... But i ventured out this afternoon to try to book my train out of here - I couldnąt do it at the machine in the train station a couple of days ago and it won'tlet me book on line either so I will have to venture tot he train station, about 20 min walk from this internet joint, inthe other direction from my place. There is a train that leaves at 3:30 tomorrow and instead of walking to the station now that it is dark I think I'll try to get out of here tomorrow by just getting tot he train station but it won't be convenient like most are.  Maybe the staff at the hotel can phone Trenitalia for me.  It is very bizarre- they have great self service computers that I use at the station but it hasn't let me book this trip and now the computer doesn't either. I am trying to get to Venice and maybe Dubrovnik and not necessarily in that order.  Iwanted totake a ferry from Bari, Italy to Dubrovnik but there isnąt one until Jan. 3 now, arriving on the 4th  and that is cutting it fine as I need to fly out of Frankfurt on the 8th and wanted to be there on the 6thand the train from Dubrovnikt o Frankfurt probably takes at least 12 hours.  Oh well I'll figure it out!
We'll see where I spend New Years at this rate!  Have a nice lead up to New Years!  
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