Beaches and Volcanoes and Ruins, Oh my!
Taormina Travel Blog› entry 2 of 7 › view all entries
I had been emailing with a guy named Ken. He is a Travbuddy member from the US, who would be in Catania with his partner and their nephew at the same time as me. He had offered for me to join them on the days journey to Taormina. I met them outside the front doors to the courtyard to my B&B. We all said our hellos and were on the way to their car. We got a bit lost but, found it eventually. Jerry was driving.....God bless him. Getting out of town was a bit of maddness.
About 20 minutes or so later...we were headed north to Taormina. The coastal view was quite nice but, the approach to Taormina was spectacular.
We sunned ourselves abit and got in the water and went exploring around the little islet and a few very colorful fish and some purple coral. The big rock at the end of the islet...probably 30 or 40 feet tall had some young guys horsing around on it. We were all thinking that cliff diving would be cool....atleast I was. The water around was quite shallow and so I put that thought out of my head. All of a sudden we heard a splash and the guy had jumped in. He must have seen or known of a deep spot. We were shocked and a bit impressed.
After a couple of hours of sun we decided to start exploring the upper town. We went back up the tram ....fantastic views of the coast along the way. Now walking into the city....all uphill ....and there was alot of uphill to be had!!! The lower city was quite quaint. There is a medieval city wall with gate greeting you and then a shopping - eating street of interesting old buildings. In between little piazzas with churches. There was a festival for Mary that evening so everyone was making little shrines to her and trying to one up each other it seems. There was one that even used bubble wrap for decoration......questionable at the very least. There was a team that had drawn a chalk design along one street that was now filling it in with colored sand. The design was quite beautiful. We continued up and passed many stairway passages up the mountain that were just amazing. Also, the other direction, many overlooks with panoramic views of the mountains arouind, Etna, and the beaches below. WOW! We were hungry at this point and knew of a place near the top of the mountain that we wanted to try. We hired a cab to take us up to that point. Thank God.....it was quite a disctance at a steep ascent. The pricey ride was quite worth it. We get out in another picturesque part of the town with even better panoramas as we are near the top of the mountain. You can see all along the coast and even to mainland Italy. What a view.......what a panorama. We reach our restaurant destination (details in review) and are ready for some great Italian ....anything, at this point. The resteraunt was 4 stories with balconies on each floor with amazing views of a piazza below and the Ionian Sea beyond. This was a great spot even with all of the effort.
Next we headed to the Roman theatre. We took a cab back down as far as we could and then walked through the lower town. By this time it was early evening and the stroll in full swing. So, the streets were crowded and moving very slow. I think Italians could vie for slowest walkers in the world. Finally making it through to the theatre, it was now actually closing time. The guard let us in anyway.....which was very of him. The ruins are in decent condition and are even used for concerts. The next day the beginning of their film festival was to start so there was even a screen set up. Oh well....scaffalting or screens....what do ya do??? It was still a sight. I stood there and thought of the many great performance that must have been given of the millienia. I felt very small but, very lucky to be able to see this spot of history and narutal beauty.
Heading down from there we find a bus to get back to the parking garage....no easy feat. But, now we are on our way. It's around 830 pm and we are all tired but, hungry again. We really hadn't had much to eat, all day.. The closer we got to Catania the worse the traffic got. For some time we were just sitting there......going nowhere. It took us over twice as long as it should have to get back to town. Then ....finding their hotel for the parking....in the dark. Mama Mia!!! But, eventually we found it. Yeah; Jerry!
We met up with Jerry's coworker, Dana and went to a lovely trattoria on a balcony with a view of the Piazza Duomo. The food, wine, view, and company, all very nice. We even were fortunate enought to have an accordian player stop on the street below and play for awhile....it seemed just for us. After dinner...and after midinight. They walked me to my B&B which was close by. I said good night went inside and crashed! What a day!!!