Sicily: Arrive Sunday Leave Weds
This was a six hour trip from Naples. It wasn't on a Euro Star but it was a more "old fashion" type of train. You were in a "compartment". The train was nice but not as modern as the EuroStar. My son got a kick out of using the toilet, when you flushed a flap opened to dump the bowl onto the railroad tracks and you could actually see the tracks from the bowl
Since Sicily is an island and does not have a bridge connecting it to the mainland the train has to be loaded on a boat to make the ride over. Now I have been on boats where cars have been loaded on but never a train. It was very impressive. Once we were loaded onto the boat you could get off the train and walk to the deck of the boat. The ride wasn't as bad as I thought it would be (I read a book) and we were there in 6 hours.
We were staying in Taormina which is on the coast. The train station that we got off at was used to film the Godfather (part II I think), when the family goes back to Italy to visit with the kids. It was really cool looking , very decorative.
We stayed at the President Spledid (English Version) which was about $150 (USDollars) per night. This is during the off season, in fact if I remember correctly mid November they were closing for the season. This by far was the biggest room we had and it had a wonderful view. The hotel was high on a mountainside overlooking the coastline.
Breakfast here was included with the room just like all of our previous hotels. It was pretty much to same food. Rolls, lunch meat, sliced cheese, pastry, cereal and coffee.
No English TV here and not even English pay per view. Needless to say after that discovery we didn't even turn on the TV for the remainder of our time here. English speaking people.... Good Luck finding them...very few and far between even in the restaurants. Most know enough to take your order but don't try asking too many questions. Only about 50% of the menus here had English on them.
What Pompeii is to dogs Sicily is to cats. There were always cats around. They were always roaming but looked fat and healthy.
This part of the trip was mostly for relaxing and visiting family so my report will not be as long or detailed as the others. The first day we walked through town, shopped and ate. The food here was very good, very similar to Sorrento.
The next day we went to a town outside of Messina to visit with the family. They took as to the house that my father's grandmother was born and lived. We also went to the church that my father's grandparents were married. We visited many churches and walked through the very hilly town that looks alot like it did a 100 years ago. It was amazing. We stopped at a fruit cart and bought pickley pear which looks like cactus and grows all over the island. Once skinned it was so sweet
. We went into Messina and had a very "fancy' lunch with the family. This was one meal I didn't overly care for. Me, my husband and son are not gourmet eaters and fancy restaurants are usually not to our taste. We like to know exactly what we are eating by looking at it.
After the meal we did a little sight seeing in Messina and then said good bye to the family.
Tuesday we went to the beach for a little while. It was so different from the NJ beaches that we are used to. The "sand" is little pebbles instead of the fine gains that we have here. In the water the pebbles are more like little stones. It was very pretty to look into the water. After the beach we went to a public garden that had a walkway on the cliff. It was so pretty there. The gardens were huge and even had a very very old Japanese Tea House on the grounds along with many fountains and a war memorial. We then visited ruins of a theater on the outshirts of town. When we were done we went back to our rooms to get ready for our last night in town. We walked into town and did some last minute shopping then went to dinner at a restaurant over looking the coastline. The views were out of this world.
Next: An 8 hour drive back to Rome