Shearwin's in Europe 2014 travel blog

"Rocks" from the Temple of Apollo

Fountain of Arethusa

The Cattedrale di Syracusa

Kaye confirms these columns are from the Doric period

Church of Santa Lucia

1000hrs we leisurely depart after breakfast in the hotel.

The itinerary for the day:

A brief walk through the markets we visited yesterday. A cheese maker introduces us to a smoked cheese with firm outer and soft centre - very nice - we give it a thought for lunch. The carcass of yesterday's sword fish still in the same position.Kaye forgoes the lovely rich red strawberries today ( tomatoes just as red).

A photo visit to the 2400 year old ruins of the Temple of Apollo . Kaye still sees such sites as piles of stone, however, the layout is distinctive enough to see the temples footprint with several elevations still in place.

A photo visit to the Fountain of Arethusa - a natural spring ,still flowing ,with a mythological tale. Goddess Artemis evidently turned Arethusa into the spring etc. There are also other versions.

A visit to the Cattedrale di Siracusa. We had visited briefly yesterday but the "plague of school children" encouraged us to visit today. We were disappointed that the audio presentation in English was under review and not available. Instead photo's were the best we could achieve at the time. The church however is fascinating in that it's origins begin as the Temple of Athena with a roof supported by Doric columns of which most have been incorporated into it's christianized form.

To view the 3D cinema presentation " Syracusa Reborn". This was an excellent presentation of the early period of Syracusa, unfortunately, it did not cover beyond 600AD. Worth a view; not only for the great graphics; and

To visit the church of Santa Lucia, the patron saint for the city. Evidently, martyred early AD. Her statue resembles that of the Virgin Mary but distinguished by the sword hilt protruding from her neck - not a nice way to go. Her statue sits upon a stand that is carried through the streets on her feast day; both are richly presented in silver.

As we had spent our entire time on the island we ventured briefly to the "dark side" before returning to the hotel to rest and catch our breath. The area of Syracuse in close proximity to the island did not offer any thing of significance, however, in the distance, we could view the ultra modern Madonna Del Lacrime church; very prominent and impressive from a distance.

Later in the afternoon, we launched another assault on the Bar Roof Garden for a wine or two and to view the city protected from the wind that had started to blow. The Garden ( not too many plants) offers a great view and is worth a visit. Returning to our room to prepare for dinner we attempted to find this highly recommended restaurant for dinner. Unfortunately, the restaurant had moved leaving us to seek an alternative from the many that are concealed amongst the many side streets of this 1km by 500m island.

2000hrs ,which is late for us,we wandered the streets trying to find that special restaurant. I finally got it right when we were back at the Bar Roof Garden. The dinner was superb to say the least. I had the beef slices pan seared with garlic and rosemary on veg caponata, while Kaye had the eggplant ravioli with smoked scam orzo cheese, cherry tomatoes, light pesto & basil. We shared a Bronte pistachio warm pie with strawberry coulis. The house red like their blanco was also excellent.

Like all good people we were back "home " in bed by 2300 hrs. A lovely day!

Weather as of yesterday - perfect for the traveller for most of the day, winds later in the afternoon which settled towards still at night.

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