Well, I'm off again, 6 months on a 'Ramen' diet and I'm leaving on a jet plane, heading for Paris, Rome and Catania, Sicily. I don't know if I'll post anything while I'm away, I'll try. Not much chance in Catania, maybe in Palermo. We're staying at the same hotel in Palermo we stayed in March, they have a computer in the hall that I can use. We'll be in Sicily for 10 days, heading west, this time, for Trapani. Siciliamo writes (comment), to check out the salt pans and the salt museum near Trapani. Our schedule in Trapani is pretty tight, I don't know if I can make that trip to Mozia to see the salt pans. I might have to plan a third trip to Sicily in the future. Two trips and I haven't covered everything.
We're staying at the same hostel in Catania, it is run by a Dutch man, who is married to a Sicilian, it is converted old palazzo. It's clean and cheap, 46 euros per night for 2 people, can't beat that price. He's full all the time with young Europeans.
I'm looking forward to the food, the food is one of the things that draws me back. It is still kind of undiscovered and these restaurants caters to the locals, so the food is great home cooking at a reasonable price. Sharon Stone was in Sicily this summer, I'm sure she's not eating in mom and pop restaurants in Catania or Palermo. She was probably on the beach in Taormina-Giardini Naxos and probably stayed in that grand palazzo turned resort hotel in Taormina. She definitely wouldn't be caught dead in the Ballaro or Vucerria markets in Palermo or the fish market in Catania.
But for the rest of us poor folks who can't afford the world's Hilton's or any resort hotels, does that mean we have to stay at home and watch the travel shows on TV? I say, don't watch any travel show or read any glossy travel magazine. We can never afford those prices and we only condemn ourselves to a life of an armchair traveler.
Get a second job, walk, take the bus, drive the old car for a little longer, eat more vegetarian meals, pack a sack lunch, no alcohol, no sodas, no smokes (of any kind), eat Ramen (if you have to). Save that money and pack your bags and be on your way. Even in Europe, there are ways to save, eat picnic lunches but splurge on the occasional restaurant meal. I went to a Moroccan restaurant in France on one trip and had Lamb Tagine with couscous. It was wonderful. It was cheaper than a trip to Morocco to eat it. Of course a trip to Morocco means other experiences besides eating Tagine of any sort.
Oscar Wilde said, ' two things I like about a trip, one is leaving for a new place, the other is coming home to the familiar'.
I shall miss home, at 'the time of apples'. I look forward to October every year when the myriad of varieties of apples appear in the farmer's markets. I hope when I return in 3 weeks, there will be some left.
However it will be Fall in Sicily. They have those sweet and luscious pears from around Mt Etna. They are so good, it's worth the trip just to go there and eat them, I think. There are so many other things to look forward to, across the pond. The people, the food, the sights... I'm getting a little bored already in Los Angeles.
When I return, there are the holidays to look forward to and to ready for....