Shearwin's in Europe 2014 travel blog

Swordfish at the local market

Photo from the Bar Roof Garden of the tip of Ortigia

The view from our window - our white car parked by the...

Kaye waiting on Pizza's overlooking the Mediterranean


We had a light buffet breakfast in the Hotel before driving to Syracuse; 65 km away.

The road is well developed allowing a top speed of 130kph, however, the penalty to the system are the head high barrier railings along its length which the heaviest of trucks could not penetrate.

Entering Syracuse , the initial, impression was such that a good tourist promoter would have their work cut out promoting the city. Even more so when crossing onto the island of Ortigia where the narrow roads converge and cross, making Venice ( without the water ) look organized.

After several circuits of car infested lane ways, we found our hotel. The staff were very welcoming and while allocating our room was simple, trying to find a car park for us was not. In the first hour we moved the car several times and now are only waiting for a white painted parking spot to appear before we feel we have somewhere to call a car park.

We placed our bags in our room and immediately set forth for a market that we had passed on the way in. It was mainly fresh with everything ,fish in particular, exposed to the elements. Fresh meat appears to be of low priority. The market was an impressive find and is obviously popular with locals and visitor. We continued our exploring by circumnavigating the island to establish it's boundaries. In doing so we noted that all five star hotels were on the western side of the island and many four star on the east. We then checked out the five star Des Etrangers Hotel, moving to the Bar Roof Garden on the 5th floor for a refreshment. The view was excellent and we exchange photo opportunities with a newly married American couple. Following our break and an absolutely lovely ice cream (I will return), we completed our perimeter movement by 1430 hrs. It was time for a rest

Relaxed after our rest,we walked the inner area of Ortigia coming across the Cathedral di Sicily and a virtual graphic show on the history of Syracusa. Crowded with school children we decided to research the cathedral tonight and visit tomorrow. We continued walking the many randomly placed side streets looking for a pizza restaurant, however after one predominantly seafood restaurant and one restaurant with a staff member with attitude we settled for one in which we were the only customers. Two pizza's and a bottle of red later, we were thinking of bed and completed another transit of the outer island to get back to the Hotel.

On our return, the hotel staff and customers were still trying to juggle parking spots.

Bed at 2100hrs seemed like a good idea and so it was to be!!

A perfect traveller's type of weather day.

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