Monday, July 15, 2013

Our first port day, heading to Sicily!

Monday, June 10, Sicily

I woke up early again! I love sitting out on the balcony. The sea is just beautiful! There are some islands in the haze. 

We must be getting close to Sicily now!

We don’t dock until 10 am though. I woke everyone up for breakfast at the Windjammer, which is the buffet restaurant, so we’d have time to eat before our tour. It was a bit of a crazy mad house there. I don’t know how many times I want to eat there for breakfast. Far too hectic for me! But have no fear. We all found something to eat and we found a table for six too!

Once we passed through the Straight of Messina, we docked. Sicily on one side and mainland Italy on the other! We’d later learn from our driver that the Straight is only 1.8 miles wide! 

Today we’re going on a tour with fellow Cruise Critic members Catherine and Ger from Ireland! We’re meeting them at the Champagne Bar at 10:15. We’d met yesterday at our informal gathering, but we’d arranged a few months ago this meeting spot so we could walk off the ship together to find our guide from Sicily Life. Today we’re going to Mt Etna and more!

We did have a bit of wait to debark, but once we were off the ship, we found 
our driver with no problem.

Antonio was his name and he was as friendly as could be! Catherine and I shared the front row seats with him. As we drove out of Messina and towards Mt Etna, Anthonio shared much of the island’s history and many interesting facts with us. Unfortunately the others in the van couldn’t really hear a word of our often very lively conversation! Megan, Keith and Alex slept for much of the ride. 

We drive for maybe about two hours and shortly Mt Etna came into view. We could see the peaks and the wisps of smoke puffing out of the top. A reminder that this is indeed one of the most active volcanoes in the world! Antonio told us how these puffs indicate that by letting off steam that it’s a good thing. The pressure isn’t building up inside. They constantly are monitoring the activity and yes, we’re safe!

Next up....a stop at a local honey farm before we get to the volcano!

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