A bad start
Siracusa Travel Blog› entry 2 of 16 › view all entries
I turned back to my own bag - my own bag - but what was this - not my own bag! The young woman was getting into a car with a slightly older lady. I was just in time but there was a problem. My Italian was only the most basic possible and their English did not exist. Eventually the lder lady and I found we could converse a bit in Spanish and I explained. Into the car - after the bus, which had enjoyed quite a start so that when we found it at the terminus, all the passengers had disapeared. That's not quite correct. Three passengers were just outside the bus and conversing vehemently with the driver about - yes, my bag.
I was luckier than I deserved! Not only did they take me back in the car to the original bus stop but the girl I had helped made sure I found my hotel. Clearly I could not be trusted to find it on my own!
Things could only get better; they did anyway. I walked down and across the main bridge to the island of Ortygia, the old part of Siracusa where Archimedes had once lived. Here the atmosphere suddenly canged. Here was the Syracuse that Thucydides wrote about, that I had studied at school, the Syracuse that had defeated an invasion by a huge Athenian armada. Obviously not everything dated from classical times. The period that showed most was medieval with narrow streets and the cathedral with some of the most colossal Romanesque columns I had (and have) ever seen.
My only mild disappointments were that the tourist office had just closed and that a retaurant described in the Rough Guide of the time as having a magnificent old oven had converted to electricity �" but not to worry. The food was good and it was not expensive.
I had started the day with a train ride to Manchester and it seemed high time for a sleep.