Monday, March 26, 2007
I wrote this while waiting for my flight in Rome Fumicino airport. I just flew in from Catania, Sicily. I'm going to Paris to catch another flight for Los Angeles. Three flights altogether before I finally get home. Two weeks ago I was heading the other way, landed in Catania late at night. It was raining and it was cold and wet, I thought, Oh no, this is going to ruin my vacation. My sister in law came on a different carrier and arrived at 1.15 am. The first sight of Catania was terrifying; it's an old and moldy city and in the dark, it looked even more ominous. . We stayed in a hostel which is a dilapidated pallazo. One can almost expect the Adam's family to appear and greet you. It rained the next day too but it didn't stop us. We took the train to Taormina and to Acireale. It was fun. For the next week, we had great weather. Siracusa is a beautiful Baroque city. From there we went to other Baroque towns namely Noto and Ragusa. We had great weather for visiting Agrigento, a city with a long Greek history. We had great weather while visiting the valley of the temples - temples built by the Greeks some 2600 years ago. It started to rain again while we were in Palermo. Palermo has some incredible churches- Monreale, Palatine chapel, La Martorana and a whole host of others. There were all so immense and absolutely gorgeous. The rain didn't relent for our last two days in Catania. We took the train, the circumetna that stopped at all the little villages that ring the bottom of Mt Etna. Mt Etna was covered with snow and in the towns at higher elevations, the rain turned to snow. There was an accumulation of snow. It was so wonderful; everything was nice and green. Mt Etna is a very active volcano; it has erupted many times even recently. There is evidence of it everywhere. There are fields of lava rock all over the mountain side. The villages that was destroyed usually rebuild. Even the railway has to build new tracks. Some even use the lava rock to build houses. The surrounding area are undulating hillside and are all grown with fruits, vegetables and olive tree, The food is so great- pasta, bread, salads, seafood and pastries. I think it is paradise on earth. Sicily is as luscious as the pear we ate that was grown in Adrano, a little village near Mt Etna. I strongly recommend visiting Sicily.