Mediterranean Meanderings 2014 travel blog

In the Plazza St. Giuseppe in Ortigia

Ortigia, Syracuse


Before my trip, I thought that if I can get through the first week and build some stamina, the riding would get easier. Luckily I never imagined how hard the first day would be. My plan was to ride about 100 km to Noto, the first gem of the "baroque triangle", visiting Syracuse and especially Ortigia along the way. By the end, I was just happy to cover the 70 km to Syracuse. For the first 30 km out of Catania I faced a strong headwind and a baking sun that drained my fluids and legs. After a break with delicious Ganita, an espresso and a liter of water, I pushed on along the main roadway that began to undulate with long inclines and declines through 30 kms of industrial zones. This was not the seaside cruising I had dreamed of. Finally, before Syracuse, a local road veered off towards the coast and a slice of pizza and a cool ocean breeze revived my spirits if not my heavy legs and I road on to be met by the grand baroque architecture of Ortigia, a small island attached to Syracuse. With a magnificent Duomo, quaint narrow lanes and awash with the Mediterranean, Ortigia was soon eclipsing memories of the ride.

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