Our Sicilian Holiday.
15.07.01. After the first night in our room we quickly realised that there was only cold water. Breakfast was dried bread and, if you where quick you could also get (very) thinly sliced ham and cheese. The whole lot could be washed down with a glass of orange juice which looked more like lemonade than juice. But we where on holidays and took everything in our stride.
After breakfast we went to the information meeting in Copa Cabana. Our guide told us all about Sicily and the tours they arranged. We decided to take the tour to Mount Etna even though it started early next day. After the meeting we took a quick dip in the 25 degree water. Just what we needed in the 38 degree celius heatwave. Som lunch later and more sun and beach. Great to be on holidays! Allan and Anette where also on holidays in Sicily so we got in touch with them and decided to meet in Taomina at 19:00.
Our guide said that it just took 20 minutes to get to Taomina (even most of it wnet uphill) so we decided to walk. It took us about 30 minutes to find the path up to Taomina and just as long to "climb" up to Taomina. Finally, after asking the way a few times we made it to Taomina. We also found the pub where we met Allan and Anette. They where going to a concert in an old Roman amphiteatre in Taomina where a well known Italian singer Carmen xxxx was singing. So we decided to hook up and join them. It was a great concet. We sat at the back of the amphiteatre and had a great view. In the background we could see Mount Etna, which was bubbling quitly down the side of the mountain. A great experience. Afterwartds we decided to take the cable car down and a taxi home.
Today the 16.07.01 - Happy 40th birthday John - we're off to Etna. The bus leaves at 08:20 from Hotel Antarres. Angelo was driving again. Jacob, our guide, told us loads of interesting things about Etna and what was in store for us. 10 o'clock and we reached our destination, 1900m above sea-level. Last week Etna erupted. Some of the small craters on Etna's side where bubbling. We went down to an old crater and got som lava to bring home for Sean and Axel. A few people went further up Etna in small busses while we relaxed in the cafe.
We went down to Mount Nero, one of the bigger craters on the side of Etna. A very sttep path down with loose lava. Going down was easy but coming back was a little more dificult. After we got back we looked at the souvenir shops and had a typical Sicilien lunch. The restaurant we had lunch in was rebuilt in 1984 after an eruption had destroyed it. After lunch we returned to Letojani.
We where covered in dust from our tour to Etna so we decided to go for a swim. The waves where very strong, even though there wasn't much wind. A sign of what was to come. That night Etna erupted and lave flowed down the south side of the mountain.
17.07.01 No planned activities today. We slept until 8:30, first time in fives years we had slept so much. After our lucious breakfast we decided to take a trip up to Taomina. This time we took the bus and cable car. Walking around we looking at shops. We met Allan and Anette in a cafe. They where waiting for a bus. Afterward a quick capochina we continued our tour of Taomina. A town built on the mountainside but very "touristy". We bought a pair of sandals for me and a dress for Gitte.
Because of Etna there was lava dust all over the place. Mind your drinks. The wind got stronger through the day. We had washing hanging on our balcony and we wondered where it would end up when we got home. At siesta time Taomina more or less closes down, so we went to the cable car and went home. Our washing was blown onto the roof outside our balcony. My boxer shorts blew into our neighbours balcony. All fun and games.
18.07.01 Today we decided to go on the "Visit the locals" tour. Up to hotel Antarres and off with the bus. First stop is Savoca where we looked at some old churches.
After that we hadt a typical Sicilian breakfast at Maria's. Maria had a secondary role in the Godfather and the restaurent was in Godfather 1. Afterwards we visited the catacombs where we saw mummies from 1776 and 1876. Very well-kept. Next stop Forza d'Agro. Our guide told us some more about Sicilian and the mafia. In Forza D'agro we saw an old Roman castle. Unfortunatly, the Americans bombed it after the second world war. In the castle there was a lot of old graves. There was also a cool breeze, so we decided to stay there for a while and cool down. On the way up to the grave we passed the church where Al Pacino married in the Godfather 1.
Afterwards, a great sicilian lunch was awaiting us. After lunch we went to the Alkantara valley, where we could bathe in the ice cold water. A long staircase down to a lovely valley where there was a waterfall inside a cave in the mountain. After a lovely Italian ice cream we returned home.
19-07-01 Breakfast was quite entertaining. As soon as the thinly sliced ham and cheese, everybody rushed so they could get some. We all thought it was funny. Our "mudder" however, didn't understand what was so funny. Anyway, we decided to stay on the beach all day and enjoy the sun. We should meet Allan and Anette again for dinner in Taomina the evening.
After the beach, we left early for Taomina to buy some presents for the boys and mormor and morfar. We met at our "usual spot" - Arco Rossa. Etna erupted again and there was a lot of lava dust while we ate. The dinner was really great, good food and good wine. It was great having Allan with us as he ordered the wine. Again we forgot our camera, so unfortunatly no pictures of out time in Taomina with Allan and Anette.
20.07.01 Etna was bubling again. The souvenir shops we visited, at 1900m above sea level, where washed away by the lava. Our Guide Jacob said that the Etna tours wern't allowed up as far as we where last monday. Allan and Anette took on their own tour up to Etna and managed to get within 5 meters of the hot, flowing lava. A great experience they said. There was also a huge grey lava dust cloud over Siciliy, that day, There is not doubt of who's in charge in Sicily, ETNA.
We went off to Taomina again, this time with our camera. We had lunch in an Irish pub in Taomina. We walked around the small streets. There was Italian restaurants at every street corner. Another great day in Taomina. So we wnt back to Letojani and relaxed before we went out for dinner agaon.
21.07.01 Back to Denmark today. We had to leave our rooms by 10:00. The flight home wasn't until 21:30, so we had a long day ahead. So we decided to spend the day on the beach, before taking the bus the airport.
We arrived in Billund at 01:00 and stayed over at a hotel nearby before driving up to Gunner and Jytte to collect Sean and Axel. It was great to hear they also had a great time.