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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Sicilia, Italy

Nov 7, 2017 - Avoiding the rain

After I returned from the dentist, it was time to meet the group for today's activities. The forecast for Trapani was pretty crummy - chilly and 70-80% chance of rain, so the guides decided to hire a bus that drove us south to the other side of Sicily. By doing short excursions (not really hikes), we would never be too far from shelter if it really began to pour. We did have some heavy rain (with lightning and thunder), but managed to avoid being out in it most of the time. It was cool and windy, so I was glad I had taken along a fleece hat...

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Nov 6, 2017 - Egadi Islands

Egadi Islands Written by Lois There are 3 small islands just west of Trapani, called the Egadi Islands. They were settled by the Phoenicians and over the centuries, have been taken over by a variety of other cultures. As we found out, there were settlers there thousands of years ago. While we are hiking around this area, our second guide is named Eduardo. We kid him that he really doesn't look Sicilian; he's about 6'2" and has a lot of curly red hair. His English is not as good as Irene's, so if he has to hunt for a word, she is there to...

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Nov 4, 2017 - On to Trapani

Lois begins: On Friday morning November 3 we returned to the Palermo airport, where we met the group for our Road Scholar hiking trip in the northwest corner of Sicily. I didn't realize quite how close we are to Africa; it's easy to see why so many refugees end up here, and why this area has been a center of civilization for thousands of years. Today our guide was showing us a building that was built in in 600 BC! She mentioned the Punic Wars. I wish I remembered more from my World History classes. The weather has continued to be stunning,...

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Nov 2, 2017 - Arrival in Palermo, Sicily

(written by Lois) We were all up at 3:15 to meet our driver 1/2 hour later, and then were dropped off at the Naples airport. Security was kind of slow, but at least we still had plenty of time to hang out by the gate area for our 6:40 plane. They even had couches in the waiting area, so we managed to nap a bit, since the plane was only about 1/3 full. The 30 minute flight took off just at dawn, and I managed to get in a small nap as we flew over the water of the Tyrrhenian Sea. All four of us were running a bit low on Euros, but the...

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Oct 14, 2017 - Last day in Sicily

Our last day in Sicily. The sun is shining as usual. Can’t believe the weather has been so fabulous. Saturday morning is busy here in Siracusa. Just a short walk over the bridge to Ortigia is the fresh food market. The fish are not as spectacular as Catania, but the fresh produce, dried goods and spices are gorgeous. We have bought 2 litres of water and some fruit, dried figs, almonds and a bit of dark Sicilian chocolate to munch on the 8 hour train journey tomorrow. Hopefully there will be vendors on the train selling coffee shots at steep...

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Oct 13, 2017 - Southern Sicily - Siracusa

After some delay of trains, we finally caught a train to Siracusa. We were entertained by group filming this baby sitting in a remote controlled convertible, looking a lot like a minature Grace Kelly. We passed through extensive gas,and oil storage areas. Floating oil investigation rigs moored at big jetties, along with many naval vessels. This part of the world was most significant in WW2. The Americans did a landing down here, and chased out the Germans and axis forces (Italians) from here. Catania is more old world, and gives a feel of...

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Oct 12, 2017 - Cruising in Sicily

A short taxi ride to the port in Reggio and we joined the queue, bought a ticket for the ferry to Messina in Sicily. The smooth 7 km ride takes 30 minutes across the Messina Straits. A short walk to the station and jumped on a train to Catania. Catania sits at the base of Mt Etna. She is puffing smoke, but has decided to be moody and hide under cloud for our entire stay in Catania. So the tour on an old train around the base is not worth it, neither is the 4 wheel drive all day excursion to the cone at the summit.. In 1669, Etna erupted and...

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Oct 11, 2017 - Catania

Just A few more foodie pics and others. After our market visit, we found this fab restaurant and they had an incredible array of food. And there were vegetables! Love Giana and Marco. Thanks to every one for the birthday wishes. I did have a splendid birthday in Calabria! Love Giana and Marco x

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Oct 11, 2017 - Food market

The photos are self explanatory. Just an amazing display of fresh food. I need a kitchen to start cooking now....... The fish mongers, mostly men, stand behind their stalls, cutting, gutting, even gutting and removing the spine of sardines with their fingers - no knife, whilst they talk amongst themselves. As you walk from stall to stall, this friendly market place smells of freshly chopped garlic and crushed herbs. After this mouth watering feast for your eyes, we took a hop on , hop off bus tour to see the sights of Catania. It was...

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Oct 3, 2017 - Messina, Italy

This morning we cruised by the Island of Stromboli and its village. Stromboli is an active Volcano so no sure why anyone would want to live on this tiny island, but they do. Then we made Port in Messina, Sicily and took a tour with three other couples that covered places the Godfather movies were filmed. Throughout the tour it rained on and off. We first went to the Village of Savoca (known as Corleone in the movie) and apparently bears no resemblance to the real village of Corleone. Visited Vitelli's Bar where Michael Corleone asks to...

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Trip Journal


Adriatic Cruise

May 19, 2017 - Erupting Etna and the G7 circus in Taormina

On my free weekend in Taormina, I went on a small group tour to visit Mt. Etna, the highest, and one of the most active, volcanoes in Europe. The group comprised five students from my language school (1 Spaniard, 1 Swiss, 1 Swede, 1 Argentinian and me) and another young woman who had booked with the same travel agency. Mt Etna is about 3,300m high, but because of recent eruptions in the last few months, it is currently only allowed to ascend to 2,700m. Some of you may have seen the video clip from March 2017 when a group of BBC journalists...

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May 14, 2017 - Torturing the Italian language in Taormina

I am at the 'work' end of my trip and have just finished my first week of Italian classes in Taormina (I'm studying here for two weeks). The Babilonia language school is in a lovely setting with its own private garden and restaurant/bistro, only two minutes walk from my AirBnB apartment. In addition to the classes, the school organises social activities including a film night (in Italian with Italian subtitles), seminars (recent topics have included slow food and Sicilian literature), a dinner on the first night and Friday night aperitifs....

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