t2.bmp (300054 bytes)  Sicily

 

May 15, 2010

Rainy day!

Reminds me of Seattle!

Lou took this photo from the bus.

Pretty countryside from the bus

Rainy day

So, here we are at the Silvestri Spent Craters, almost 6,400 feet above sea level . It is COLD, WINDY, and FOGGY. But we are game. We head up a short hill to the easiest crater. We get maybe halfway up, with the wind beating the sand into our exposed skin like tiny needles, when we both get black volcanic sand in our eyes. We are crippled by this, and head back to the restaurant.

At the restaurant, we stand in line for 25 minutes so Karen can visit the ladies room, and then we get our complimentary coffee and pastry. Total yumification.

Now we are going down the mountain, down through the fog...

Scary hair pin turn!

We have passed through the fog and cloud at the top of Mt Etna, and we are in sunshine and warmth for the rest of the day.

Welcome to Taormina!  Ancient walled city!  Shopping mall!

This is the square where we will meet in 2.5 hours to go back to the bus. Must remember the horse fountain...

See the orange seats along the left side of the street?  That is the cafe where we ate pannini's. We watched a street performer attacking passers-by while we munched.

Beautiful roof line against the blue sky!

One plaza offered excellent views of the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Prickly pear, just like in Arizona!

Madonna and child mosaic

This was a quiet nook behind a private locked gate.

Here we are at the end of the day, back at the fountain, ready to board the bus.

 

Excursion :

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Taste Of Sicily: Mt Etna & Taormina - MY29

 

Depart from the pier on a scenic ride to Europe's largest active volcano. While en route, enjoy the countryside of vineyards and orchards, while passing the villages of Santa Venerina and Zafferana. You will see the remnants of the last eruptions of October 2002 before arriving at the Silvestri Spent Craters, almost 6,400 feet above sea level where you can walk along the rim of these craters. After visiting the craters, enjoy a refreshment with a typical Sicilian cake at a local restaurant.

Return along the same route to Taormina, well-known throughout the world. The town is perched on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. You'll have approximately 1.5 hours to explore the village at your own pace. Enjoy shopping among the boutiques on the Corso Umberto. Be sure to also visit the Greek Theater which dates back to the 3rd century BC. On a clear day, it offers views of the snowcapped peak of Mt. Etna.

Note: Walking is at your own discretion. Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. No traffic is allowed inside the city walls of Taormina; therefore, all touring must be done on foot. There is an approximately 0.25 mile incline from the bus parking lot to the village gates. This tour involves approximately 1.5 hours on your own while in Taormina. This tour does not include entrance fees. If guests should miss the return bus, transportation back to the vessel is their own responsibility and at their own expense. While at Silvestri Spent Craters, caution is advised for walking across the lava and rocky ground where crevices still exude fumes and heat. It is recommended to take a light jacket or sweater for the trip to Mt. Etna. The ascent higher than 6,400 feet is not recommended to those suffering from heart diseases and/or high blood pressure. The visit to the Silvestri Spent Craters involves walking uphill 330 yards over uneven terrain. There are no facilities available at the Silvestri Spent Craters. This tour is conducted mostly on foot over flat, uneven, paved and cobblestone streets with slight inclines. Tour order may vary but all listed sites will be covered.

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