3.5 (Syracuse) and Taormina

Exercise balls instead of chairs. I would post today but this hostel’s fantastic attitude towards furniture is much too distracting for me.

Syracuse was pretty cool. Wang and I went to a street market and bought Salami and lots of fruit and veg with our questionable Italian.I actually know the word for artichokes (Carciofi), but nobody seemed to sell them, so the extent of my conversational skills was pretty pitiful. We did a lot of smiling though, and got a lot of free samples for our troubles!


This and most other photos in this post are credit to: Emily Wang


We took our haul and walked to the Archaeological park at the edge of Siracusa to explore the greek ruins. There were so many cookie cutter tourists in their beige shorts, sandals and sun hats, it was awesome. I don’t know what it is about this particular brand of tourist, but they really just make me so happy. I find them so cute and amusing. Emily, on the other hand, has a bit of a problem with authority which belies her polite exterior. This means that she is also ingrained with a deep hatred of tour guides. I don’t want to subject any of the Japanese tourists with their snazzy matching rucksacks to that kind of a scene (Tour Guide “Now, turn left…” Emily: “What if I don’t want to turn left…”) so we struck out on our own and saw the cool ancient amphitheater and several naturally formed caves which were pretty amazing. We spent most of the time eating strawberries and playing around in the caves, before wandering back to our hostel and falling asleep in the lobby. Classy.

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Anyway, our train was a little late which allowed us (me) plenty of time for a few impromptu ballet lessons and then another few hours of napping as we made our way back up the Sicilian coast to Taormina.


In Taormina, we took some advice, took a nap, went to the beach and did some laundry. It was bliss. We honestly slept for about five hours on the beach, and then when we came home we just hung out on the roof terrace in amongst our drying clothes. The hostel is not very busy right now, so we are often invited to share meals with the owner and one or two of the girls who run the reception, which is pretty awesome.

We have been exploring the old town of Taormina, which is situated on a hill, so not only does it have the most beautiful, brightly coloured buildings, it also has a view across the whole bay of the perfect turquoise water and sandy beaches. Ems and I were foiled in our attempts to reach said beaches, however, because we couldn’t find them, and in the end settled on returning to our own familiar beach, which we happily sprawled all over and fell asleep.

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This is the part where I should put in all the photos from when we climbed Mt Etna, but sadly, due to a problem with the buses which for once was not at all our fault, we never quite reached Etna. Instead we drowned our sorrows in a bit more icecream and went to sulk at the beach. I practised my typography and Emily read her book. We actually ran, screaming, into the sea at one point, and once the water was up to our waists this huge wave came and completely submerged us. It was so funny but I am surprised that nobody called the coastguard, given all the noise that we were making!

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Tomorrow we are moving on from our mini-break in Sicily to Naples, where Mt Vesuvius will soothe the pain of our disappointing encounter with Mt. Etna!