We then took one last walk through the public gardens...I just had to say good bye to the parrots.
Getting our luggage out of the hotel and up the stairs and hill to the car was a real workout. John managed to back the car up the steep and narrow hotel driveway to get back up to the steep and narrow road, no easy feat when you haven’t driven a standard car for 10 year. John deserved a medal.
The Sicilian landscape is dominated by an active volcano called Mount Etna. John and I tried to decide if the white clouds around the top were actually just clouds or smoke from the volcano. We decided it was smoke because this morning the ‘white clouds’ were moving straight up from the peak.
We had to drive through Catania to get to our next stop; Siracusa. We passed many citrus and olive groves. Despite being so close to Malta, Sicily is much more lush.
The traffic was busy when we entered Siracusa. At one point, John was in a right turn lane when he wanted to go straight. The cars behind him broke out into a cacophony of indignant beeps. John turned right.
Our Airbnb is small, clean and central.
There is a large modern church nearby that is supposed to look like a tear drop. It’s made of cement and dominates the area. At least we know what direction to walk towards if we get lost.
Our first stop was the Archeological Park which included a Greek and a Roman theatre. There was also an ancient quarry with a huge cave/cavern named The Ear of Dionysus that you can walk into until it’s so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face.
We went back to the apartment for a quick change of clothes and walked to Ortigia which is the old part of Siracusa on an island. I was very excited because they had a Mephisto store there. Unfortunately it was closed when we got there at 4:30pm. I don’t understand the rhyme or reason of when things open or close here.
Ortigia is the most touristed part of Siracusa. It is beautiful. We saw the main piazza (square) with the beautiful Duomo of Minerva, the ruins of the temple of Apollo and the Fontana Aretusa (the fountain of youth). Unfortunately I could not get to drink the water but there were some very youthful looking ducks swimming in it....not to mention the eels and fish.
Taking advantage of the last warm rays of sun on our faces, we sat at a waterfront restaurant, drank persecco, ate snacks, listened to good music and people watched as the sun set.
John said he wants to look more Italian; he wants to tie a sweater around his shoulders and start smoking cigarettes. Hmmmm.
We strolled through the marble Piazza Duomo. Street performers played music and people were eating outside in the surrounding restaurants.
John and I had seafood in a small family owned restaurant where the owner served us his own olive oil.
On the way back, the Mephisto store was open. Unfortunately they only carried old lady style Mephistos.....bummer.