Source Aretusa

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    • Day 58

      Siracusa Teil 2

      May 13, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Von der Quelle hat man einen tollen Blich über die Bucht und zum Sonnenuntergang finden wir in einem kleinen Restaurant einen Platz in der ersten Reihe.

      Bei einer Käseplatte genießen wir die Aussicht.

      Dann lassen wir uns durch die Gassen treiben und es gibt wieder viele nette Geschäfte und Ateliers.

      Eigentlich wollten wir noch in eine alte Markthalle, die war aber leider geschlossen.

      Eine tolle Stadt mit ganz viel Sizilianischen Flair.
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    • Day 30

      Siracusa, Sicily. I see you Mt Etna

      December 2, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

      Buongiorno from Sicilia. With Egypt in the rear view mirror, possibly (definitely) my middle finger/s raised, both hands, we cross the Mediterranean over 36ish hours to arrive in Italy once again. For me, anyhow. Siracusa, Sicily.

      Picture this...Sicily. 2023. I am, of course, referencing Sophia from The Golden Girls. I don't need to picture it, Ma. I'm here. Our arrival coincides with the eruption of Mt Etna, just under 100km away. I really do know how to bring the action.

      I chose a tour to match my energy levels today, a serene boat cruise of Ortiga Bay. I even find my perfect mode to enjoy this stunning afternoon. A hammock. I request service of wine and peeled grapes as the hammock gently rocks on the harbour, though not a one obeys my commands. I must work on my leadership style. Authoritive / dictatorial was needed for today.

      With the smog from the erupting Mount Etna filling the sky, I'm in awe of the power (and fury) of mother nature.

      The harbour cruise concludes, and I find a quaint waterfront cafe and order the gelati I've waited so long to enjoy. In Italy. I select three scoops. Traditional limone (🍋), a melon (canteloupe), and a black cherry ice cream 🍒). It is as superb as the weather. I can taste a cantaloupe so perfectly ripe. I remember how good a good canteloupe can be. My heart is as full as my tummy.

      The last few days have been tough. My visit to Egypt saw me in a really vulnerable position, and I was afraid. I'm newly accustomed to facing the fear, being brave, and doing it anyway. It's the mode that's gotten me through this incredibly difficult year. What has seen me travelling the world solo, though, always after a healthy risk assessment. In Egypt, I saw some of the worst traits in human nature. Greed. Exploitation. Contempt. Utter filth. I questioned myself and my ability to assess risk. I'll never return to Egypt.

      But Italy. Graci. For your incredible beauty. Your people, brimming with kindness. Humility. Pride. A zest for life and food filled with a Nonna's love. My faith in human nature rekindled. My soul filled with gratitude once more.

      A 6km ish run to conclude the day with a fancy Italian dinner. I dine alone with low expectations a cruise ship fancy Italian restaurant can deliver the Italian goods. The food is good, though home cooked Aussie Mum good and the lasagne is luke warm. (#mineisbetter). I look forward to more dining experiences in Italy over the remaining 5 days of my trip.

      Graci Italia. Graci.
      Onwards to Pompeii.
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    • Day 9

      Addio Italia

      May 9, 2022 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

      Siracusa Yacht marina zirkelt uns in die letzte Ecke des Hafens. Beeindruckende Stadt, tolle Bucht. Wir checken besorgt die Schwachwind Prognose und bunkern neben den 240 ltr Diesel im Tank weitere 100 Ltr in Kanistern… wenn wir wüssten 😝
      Freddy kommt von einer Union Berlin Fanreise aus Mailand eingeflogen. Boarding complete. Reise, Reise
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    • Day 10

      Syracuse in the Rain

      April 18, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

      On this rainy day we visited Syracuse. The ancient town at this site was founded because the Aretusa Spring provided passing sailors a source of fresh water immediately adjacent to the sea. This unusual phenomenon occurs because water from nearby mountains is filtered through miles of volcanic pumice and comes out clear, cold and clean. The Greek city-states competed to make colonies here. Athens made one at Catania, while Corinth occupied the site of Syracuse. Palermo and Messina had similar Greek roots. I photographed a building constructed in the fifth century BC as a temple to Apollo, which later served as a church and a mosque. It is one of the few ancient buildings I have ever seen with monolithic columns. They are not stacked drums, nor are they veneered brick. They are solid stone, and this technique is one of the clues we have to determine its age.

      Very few buildings constructed before the 17th century exist intact. Constant earthquakes repeatedly destroyed Syracuse, and the city had to be rebuilt time after time. Mount Aetna, still an active volcano, stands nearby. The citizens of Syracuse take earthquakes in stride, and they realize that the buildings now standing will not last forever. The old buildings still in one piece generally come from the time of Spain’s King Charles II. Most often they reflect Spanish baroque influences, with a tinge of Moorish flavor thrown in for spice. As we were driving from our ship’s dock to Syracuse, we passed through unbelievably fertile farmland. One cannot help noticing how poor the countryside is, though. Hundreds of old stone houses have been abandoned. Roofless, their old stone walls stand a silent vigil over lush fields of fertile volcanic soil producing lemons, oranges and kumquats. The name Sicily itself comes from two old Greek words that mean “olives” and “figs.”

      While we have seen evidence of commerce in the cities of Catania and Syracuse, my overall impression is that, despite its rich and illustrious history, Sicily has more than its share of poverty. Like the citizens of post-Civil-War Charleston, the people are too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash. Even the old baroque buildings have a kind of shabbiness about them. Unlike Spain and Rome, there are no glass and steel visitors’ centers around the Greek temples. Many of them are merely piles of stones still lying in weed-infested fields. The good news is that such poverty means that these ancient buildings will not soon be further demolished to make room for new shopping centers and automobile dealerships.

      Despite its poverty, or maybe even because of it, Syracuse can grab your heart. The ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes moved here in middle age and spent the rest of his life here. My wife grew up in a little community called “Lucia,” and I must believe that somewhere that name is connected with the saint who was born here. We walked down the street where locals can still show you the exact spot where St. Lucia was born. From my perspective today’s excursion was a big hit. The has long been an empty place inside me wanting to know more about this little town over which nations have gone to war, this colony about which historians have spilled so much ink, this village that Archimedes called home. Today that empty place was filled.
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    • Day 68

      Sunset Cafe, Ortigia, Sicily

      May 31, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

      Afternoon exploring the lanes and streets some more, I just love how pretty and inventive the shops and cafes are with their decor and displays, we stopped for a drink overlooking the water. We did make the mistake of falling into the tourist trap but the view was worth the drink prices.

      Feeling the heat we opted for arancini back in our air conditioned room followed with a siesta. We do love the Italian way of life.

      This evening we had a few drinks at the Sunset Cafe while waiting for the reputed beautiful sunset. But at 6.30pm with the sun still beating down, a quick weather check indicated sunset wasn’t to occur until 8.30pm. We knew the sun set later here but a server at a bar this afternoon told us to be out for the sunset at 6.30. We realised later she just wanted us back there to buy more drinks while we were waiting. Thankfully we chose somewhere else as their drinks were very expensive or it would have been a costly afternoon waiting.

      Not wanting to get 3rd degree burns waiting for the sunset we decided to head home with more arancini for dinner. We do love the Sicilian arancini and with different flavours and even styles, there are a lot to try here.
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