Getting Greek and Going Baroque in Siracusa
Siracusa Travel Blog› entry 6 of 15 › view all entries
September 30th, 2009 – by: puttyland
We all got up and headed to Siracusa after breakfast. Liz, Mags & I took turns driving, and it was harrowing today. Driving here really does suck. The autostrada is fine, it’s just finding your way around the cities, finding places to park, figuring out how far it is to the next site, do we have to park again or can we walk, getting through mid-town traffic, listening to the dueling GPSs (Dad’s Garmin, Caroline, and our British-sounding Magellan, Marjorie), everyone in the car either telling you how to drive (not that I blame them - there are cars coming from everywhere - just as harrowing for passengers), or not telling you where to go when you need direction (the Sicilians will put 20 signs on one signpost and you can't read them in time to figure out where to turn).
We got to the Greek and Roman amphitheatres, parked in a field where some entrepreneur had set up shop and started charging folks to park (we didn't feel like driving through the city any more and looking for the official parking lot), and checked out both in the heat of the afternoon. We were told that my folks could get in free due to their very advanced age (Kidding! They're in their late 60's), but when we got to the ticket gate, they said the free old fart tickets were only for members of the European Union. However the ticket counter was a helluva walk, so my Dad charmed them into letting them go in free too.
100 photos later, we got back in the car to go to the Archeological Museum in the middle of town. I wasn't thrilled because it meant driving more in the middle of the city, which is, as I may have mentioned, really nerve-wracking.
Then we drove across Siracusa to Ortygia, which is almost an island jutting out of Siracusa. We had great parking karma (yay!) and found a beautiful parking spot on the ocean (not only convenient, but it had a view!), and immediately sat down at the nearest restaurant, which was a little touristy, but the food wasn’t bad.
I’m getting annoyed with the money situation here.
After our late lunch we walked around Ortygia and over to the Duomo, getting completely lost in an area that looked like Venice without canals, then over to the main square which was squeaky clean - they had just sand-blasted the exteriors of the buildings and it was a bright alabaster color instead of the dingy, streaky gray of most of the iconic European buildings. We found a nice shopping street where I tried to buy a Majolica plate (but ultimately rejected the purchase because the shipping alone would be 100 Euros.
Liz got a text while we were were having our snack, saying that the Aeolian mini-cruise we booked had been canceled due to "boat failure" (yeesh), so Liz called to arrange the refund, and they gave us the number for another tour company. I called the new company and made a reservation, so we’re leaving early for Milazzo tomorrow.
We left Siracusa around 6-ish, stopping off to get gas before coming back to the villa. Full-serve gas service - dig that.
We were all knackered and went to bed early, but I finally got text messages from Ale about our planned trip to Gagliano on Friday.
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