Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The other side of Sicily!

After our Mt Etna experience, we piled back into the van and began our decent to Taormina. We were all hungry and we were all a bit sleepy! Antonio mentioned that this sleepy phenomenon happens all of the time and that it’s from being at the higher elevation with less oxygen. Sure, I’ll go with that! We enjoy our views as we ride along and in about an hour we arrive at the first of one the most charming little towns we’d have the pleasure of visiting this trip! Taormina. Antonio dropped us off at the top of what seemed to be the main street and told us when we should meet him again, in order to be sure to be back at the ship in plenty of time. He also gave us a perfect restaurant recommendation for lunch. Tucked away just a bit from the main road to not draw only tourists, but close enough to satisfy our growling stomachs!

Amongst our group we had pizzas, pasta dishes, bruschetta, calzone, mozzarella, and of course wine. Everything was fantastic! Megan and I shared the bruschetta and a pizza Diavola which was spicy salami (this is our pepperoni), onions and hot pepper flakes. Yum! Grand pop had a pizza with gorgonzola, ham and walnuts! There were many different varieties to choose from. 

After lunch we walked the medieval streets of Taormina. It was charming as could be. This would be the first port where we visited and I would say “I LOVE this place” with absolute enthusiasm, but it certainly was not the last!

It may have been over run with tourists and the standard tourist shops selling postcards and magnets, but going beyond that, the buildings and flowers and the charming art shops and gelaterias were enough to make you stop and take it all in and just soak in the charm of this ancient town! There were stairs leading up, steps leading down, all covered in the most beautiful flowers. Every terrace had its own flowers as well. We even saw a wedding party at one of the churches. 

The view of the sea from one of the main piazzas was so beautiful. The perfect place to stop and enjoy a gelato! This time I had orange and Nutella! I also got my magnet – I collect magnets from all of the towns or cities where I visit in the world and hang them on my “magnet” board in my office. It’s going to fill up nicely after this trip!

We had enough time to stroll the Corso Umberto, but wished we had a bit more time. We didn’t have time to get to the Greek amphitheater. I guess we’ll have to put Sicily on our list for a definite must return to place! For sure we loved it here and for sure there is so much more we’d love to see.

The beauty of a cruise – sometimes you get to a port and experience the island or town and feel as if you have seen what you came to see and coming back would be ok, but there’s not a great need to do so. Other times, you go to a place and fall in love with the country or city – the people, the landscape or just something clicks and you just know you will be back. Well, I felt this way here! We’ll be back to Sicily at some point!

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