Sicily has been amazing, so far. People are
incredibly nice, only one experience with a local
bully who fleeced us for parking  near the Greek
Theater in Sricusa,we were too easily pushed
around. But hey, it was the first day and we were
not quite confident. The most amazing experience may
have been the emotional transformation both Sue and
i experienced when we reached the Ortygia section of
Sracusa. It is an island, the oldest part of
Siracusa. We had been tired, bored by the
archaelogical museum, and wet. Then we found our
hotel, run by nuns, peaceful. Our rooms both looked
out on the harbor, with the wind blowing and waves
crashing.We immediately relaxed and felt more
energized. Instead of napping, as we had planned
when we left the museum, we went and walked for h
ours in the rainy mist. Visiting shops, churches and
just walking to see a little bit more. We felt so at
home, in this incredibly ancient place. the main
church, the duomo, was built in and around a greek
temple, to
athena. You can still see some of the pillars of
the original temple. The next day we
saw Agrigento, the valley of the temples. We
stayed in the only hotel that is right in the
ruins,the rooms looked out at greek temples,
illuminated at night.
Then to Enna, a hill city, lots of wonderful places.
cant describe them all now. lots of wonder ful
people, good food, and ancient stuff.  tomorrow to
taormina, then cefalu, erice and finally to palermo.
it is going so fast… karen

Published in: on March 7, 2008 at 1:22 am  Leave a Comment  

My first travel post,Oct.2003,Naples

We spent the bulk of the day at  Pompeii. Hard to be
excited enough in email speak! walking on the stones
with chariot ruts worn there over 2000 years ago was
very emotional. The remaining frescos, pompeii red,
yellow with images of both lovely scenes and erotica
are brilliant and seemingly modern in their imagery.
Abstract patterns adorn walls, mosaics covered both
floors and some pillars with the tiniest pieces
imaginable. It is an enormous site what has been so far
uncovered (after only 200 years of excavation) with
streets laid out in a perfect grid, shops, with apts
above, villas in private locations, take-out food
stores(yes, really)and warehouses now containing
the plaster casts of people and animals caught in
the pyrocaustic gases and later the flowing ash and
water,leads to thoughts of our life now. We walked for hours,following a guide who
resented any questions and was quite rude. After our
feet could take no more, we found our way to a
glorious restaurant in the new city of Pompeii,
recommended by a friend of a
friend.The place is elegant and luxurious and far
more expensive than our usual. But the food and
service were just what 3 weary walkers needed. We
splurged and then had just simple pizza for dinner
near our hotel. wow what a day.
Our hotel is like no other I have seen. Occupying 2
partial floors of an apartment block across the
street from the harbor, the hallways and rooms are
decorated in an extreme nautical theme. As you enter
from the main hall,  red and a green ship lights
greet you.Sensors turn on the hallway lights, round
brass portholes , then the rooms are furninshed with
highly varnished wood. My bed has half steering
wheels at either end.The art is all nautical.In my
room is a chart of the north end ofLake Michigan!!
How this came to be in a hotel in Naples is hard to
imagineNeedless to say, it is lots of fun just
entering and leaving each day.
Tomorrow morning we head to sicily.I dont know how
the internet access will work out, I will try and
send occasionaly messages, and check for any
incoming ones.

Published in: on March 5, 2008 at 7:29 pm  Comments (1)