Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Messina, Sicily

The Port of Messina
Village of Taormina...a feast for the eyes...

We arrived in the Port of Messina, Sicily, Tuesday May 21, 2013. First morning photo 8:45AM. The day was overcast and very windy, a jacket for sure.
We booked a transfer through Holland America to the Village of Taormina. It was tempting to stay in town, as there was a lot to do there and only a short walk. We stuck to our original plans and were so glad that we did. Our tour would depart at 11:45AM.
Our guide’s name was Christina, she was excellent, she spoke clearly with a Italian/British accent. Italian’s use a lot of r’s when they speak, coming originally from Boston, Massachusetts, where r’s are non-existent, we were sometimes confused by the dialect of some of the guides. Not so with Christina!
Driving through the countryside was a bit disappointing. The mountain sides were brown and looked very dry! I don’t know this for sure, but it seemed like there had been a lack of rain for quite some time. The landscape painted with factory like buildings and apartment like very old and dated structures. No steeples or castles that I could see. Keep in mind however, that they all faced the Med. 
On the rosary bead scale of ten, I would say that this drive was a six, compared to the Amalfi Coast drive, the day before. Still a Mama Mia, Hail Mary journey, none the less. Twisting and turning on two lane roads, on up the mountain. Of course, crazy drivers on their way down. 
What were we in for, I thought??? We arrived in Taormina, forty five minutes later and took an elevator up to level seven. Thank goodness we did not have to climb stairs on this one. Still not very impressed. We walked through a terrace with beautiful views, things looked promising. The temperature had risen and perfect for touring.
Look to the right, Christina advised. There are three sections, it should take about twenty minutes to walk to the last courtyard, she said. Was she kidding!
That right turn brought us to a medieval village that we meandered though, for two hours. We could have spent several more hours here. Very large in comparison to others we had visited.
Once again I was suspended in a time warp, captured in a fairy tale. Churches, cafes, overlooks and the smell of delectable delights filled the air. Street venders and artists were selling their wares, musicians played their instruments, people sang along. The shops were incredible but expensive. This is where my investment in camera equipment pays off, I explained to hubby! I’m too busy taking pictures to shop. Look at all the money I am saving you! Priming him for that new wide angle lens! 
Sicily is known for it’s cannoli’s, we split one. Delicious! A gelato shop beaconed us in, we had some! Refreshing! Sicilian pizza, o so incredibly good. Basically we ate our way though the village, happier than two little pigs in s__t! Thank goodness I had on my elastic waist pants! 
I have a passion for old windows and flower boxes, they accented the stucco structures that lined the streets, as far as the eye could see. I had to keep mindful of the uneven roads, while shooting up!
Well folks, another day in fantasy land. Our ride back to the ship relaxing. Passengers who stayed in Messina for the day were disappointed. A great deal of traffic, they wished they had booked a tour! 
A welcomed sea day on Wednesday, then off to Greece. We may have pillaged our last gelato shop. Not sure if they serve gelato in Greece, but I’m willing to bet they have something to replace it!!! 

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Gail Dixon (La.Belle) said...

My grandfather's father came from Sicily. This is a place I've always wanted to visit. Glad you're having fun. Keep the pics coming! They are beautiful.

hootnonny said...

Glad you have an adventuresome gene. Messina is beautiful!

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