Sunday, January 21, 2007

travel the world

Air France, Alitalia, Air One, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rome, Fumicino, Catanaia, Italy. These are words I'll be very familiar with by the time I embark on my trip to Sicily, Italy. I went on the internet and worked out an itinerary for myself. I'll fly on Air France from Los Angeles to Paris, on Alitalia from Paris to Rome and finally on Air One from Rome to Catania, Sicily. My sister in law is coming with me but she's booked on British Airways. We'll be exhausted by the time we reach Catania. I remember a similar trip to Seville, Spain. I remember I was in airports and planes for over 24 hours. I wasn't that savvy a traveler then; I could have worked out a better itinerary. I learned a lot from that debacle. Now I'm really good. With each trip I add on not so much frequent flyer miles (I never know how to use my miles so I don't bother) but greater knowledge about the travel industry. I went British Air's website just now, one can really fly cheaply still during the month of Febrary. So I'll look into traveling in February from now on. March is still cheap. The enigmatic Sicily. Few people has been to Southern Italy and the intrepid ones who's been there come back with as much praise for Southern Italy as for Northern Italy. We were in Southern Italy (the heel) last year and we had so much fun that we decided on Sicily this year. It's fascinating a place with a rich and complex history having been conquered and colonized by a series of different rulers- the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Carthaginians, the Saracens, the French Normans, the Spanish Bourbons, the German Hohenstaufen, and today being an autonomous region of a Unified Italy. Each 'conqueror' or 'conquering power' left their distinct mark on Sicily. A friend said, after hearing about our planned 2 weeks in Sicily," it's a small island". She meant we could zip through it in a couple of days. The truth is my plan involves just half of the island. I have to plan a second trip to finish seeing the rest of the island. That's how packed with notable sights Sicily is. I shall be bringing my digital camera and another cheap 35mm camera, my sketchbook and color pencils. I started learning to draw a year ago. I'm surrounded by art books. I shall come back with drawings of Mt Etna and lots of Baroque churches.

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