Saturday, 20 October 2007

Visit to Sicily

Yesterday Wendy and I went for a day-tour to the beautiful island of Sicily. The tour included a visit to Taormina and to Mount Etna.

As we journeyed to Sicily on the Maria Dolores ferry, the sea was quite choppy. Although this only made me feel a bit dizzy, it had a fairly negative impact on Wendy's stomach. Given that we did not take any medication with us, I asked one of the crew members for a pill that could help. I gave it to Wendy, but we were already close to Sicily when she took it. Hence, the effect appeared to be negligible while on the ferry, but she felt much better when we arrived at our destination.

Shortly after our arrival, we had a 10-minute breakfast break at a very nice bar in Pozzallo. I had a delicious chocolate croissant. Still worried about her stomach, Wendy did not eat anything. While the other individuals in our group were still having breakfast, Wendy and I took some pictures on a nearby breathtaking sandy beach.

After our brief stay at Pozzallo, we headed towards Taormina. The coach trip was quite long, but we really enjoyed the view as we went from one area to another. Our guide was a very pleasant fellow and he provided us with some interesting facts about life in Sicily.

Taormina is a spectacular place. When we got there, Wendy and I were extremely hungry. We bought some souvenirs, took a few pictures, and we then had lunch at a beautiful pizzeria. I ordered a pizza 4 formaggi while Wendy, being a sea-food lover, chose a pizza with shrimps, small tomatoes, and mascarpone cheese. Both pizzas were DELICIOUS!!! They were not too big and the base was not overcooked. Sadly, when we eat pizza in Malta, it seems that the edges of the base are often burned as a result of negligent cooking.

While we were having lunch, the weather changed completely. A few claps of thunder were followed by extremely heavy rain. Totally ill-equipped to deal with such terrible weather, we were trapped in a small alley. The rain prevented us from visiting many of Taormina's spectacular spots. In order to avoid losing our bus, we dashed to a souvenir shop and purchased a couple of plastic raincoats. Although our heads were covered, when we got to the bus, our jeans were drenched!

After our adventure in Taormina, the coach moved on to Mount Etna. We stopped at Il Refugio della Sapienza, which is the highest spot that can be accessed by such a means of transport. The temperature stood at around 11 degrees celcius. There were thick clouds of fog which often enveloped the entire area, making the various people walking around look like ghostly apparitions! The sky was overcast and even though the rain was not as strong as at Taormina, we got a bit wet once again. While there, we bought some more souvenirs. In particular, we bought a small doll of Orlando Furioso, a couple of chocolate bars produced in Modica, and two honey jars (one of these contained almond-based honey while the other one contained pistacchio-based honey).

Since the weather was quite cold outside, Wendy and I went into one of the bars there for a snack. I had a small pastry and a delicious capuccino while Wendy had a canned drink. The place was very cosy!

Following our short stay at Mount Etna, we boarded the coach once more to go back to Pozzallo. While on the coach, we watched an interesting documentary about the volcano's history. Looking out at the dark sky, it was possible to observe the almost-constant flashes of lightning.

Although one does not get to see or do much during a one-day tour, we really enjoyed it! Indeed, we are already looking forward to our next visit to Sicily!!


Andre said...

Ah it looks really nice - I've always wanted to go on a day trip since I've never been. I might give it a try once we switch to the Euro (less exchange charges lol!). Maybe it would help me demonise the Euro less and less if I have something to look forward to!

And that honey sounds delicious!

David Cuschieri said...

Hi Andre! Oh yeah, the honey is really good...and don't forget to try the Modica chocolate! The production of the latter is based on an old Aztec method. You can also find chocolate-based liquors, which are delicious! Ah, come mi piace la Sicilia! :)

maressa said...

Nice! chocolate! I was considering the Virtu ferries day-trips too, but the trip you went to is not available after November. But the winter tours look cool as well.

La delirante said...

The raincoats didn't help much but at least we didn't get soaked completely! :) Yes, we enjoyed the day.