On Wednesday, October 17 our tour left Palermo and headed for Taormina via the really cool town of Cefalu. Cefalu was superb fun to walk in and very picturesque.
We would have our last two sleeps in Sicily in Naxos, on the coast facing the Italian mainland below another hill town, Taormina, famous for its sunrises.
If you’re desperate for one of those famous sunrises that helped so many, including D.H. Lawrence, fall in love with this town, stay not at sea level where Insight put us, but rather in a high place. And do NOT be a slave to a timetable like we were.
We had one crack at a Taormina sunrise: Thursday morning. And it was overcast.
On Friday, way before the sun came up, seven of our tour group who had opted to add three nights in Malta to our holiday had left Naxos in a van headed for Catania airport to catch an early morning flight to Valletta, Malta’s lovely capital city.
Wednesday in Cefalu
October 17, Stage 1
We snuck up on Cefalu as quietly as a large bus full of tourists can…
Produce vendor truck with detachable cart.
An operatic voice helps. I’m confident this fellow can sing as well as Elvis at least…
It’s bigger than it looks in this photo…
In a place as sharp as Sicily, these two statues looked surprisingly tired…
I’m sure there’s nothing precisely like this anywhere in Sicily.
One more Pantocrator. I kinda prefer the one in Monreale.
An old fashioned safety trick.
Nice. Love those colours. Reminds me of Alfama, Portugal, but this town has potential.
Is That A Cannoli Stand??
I’m no longer into fishing, but like being in a solitary boat. This place is all right in October…
David F., with the backwards cap, is the keenest photographer I’ve yet met on a tour. A good guy. As a photo bug, I know why the peak is at the back!
Yeah… mundane boats, but a pretty bay.
Good time of year if you don’t like crowds.
So! The Lisbon district of Alfama has nothing on this town!
We were told that these rocks are covered with sun worshippers in the summer :-Q
Is Josie giving me that Corno sign??!!
Wednesday Afternoon in TAORMINA
It took longer than expected to get to Taormina and our visit was rushed. Pity, because Wednesday was our one chance to see it. Tomorrow, Thursday, would be a full day visiting Mount Etna – our last full day in Sicily. After visiting the Teatro Antico in Taormina and taking our group photo in front of the chiesa there was no time left to properly visit the town.
The group photo was amateurishly hurried, the photographer taking 3 quickies and didn’t see a pigeon that photobombed his “best” shot, which he printed for us. See if you can spot it… We stayed outside Taormina at sea level at the Hilton Giardini Naxos. Nice, but not up high.
Cefalu to Taormina
Not exactly l’Arche du Triomphe
Begun in the third C. BC, probably over a Greek foundation.
This chap was very proud of Taormina
Almost a religious experience… He loved this theatre dearly.
Ahh, the beautiful perspective of differential focus
Bricks prove that this temple was built in Roman times
One of my favourite photos of this temple
While the bricks prove it’s Roman, the shape of the temple points to it being built over a Greek original.
Taken by David F. for us.
Lovely altar in Baroque style.
We have to go back down?
Beggars can’t be choosers. Isn’t that the Ionian Sea below…?
In front of Santa Caterina Church, photo-bombed by a pigeon! Good Grief!
A highlight of our tour was spending time with friends, A & O, whom we had met on our Camino Santiago walk in 2013. We met them at the monument to Sigismund III in Castle Square at 12:40, behind schedule after a morning bus tour that was delayed by a naive, enthusiastic, family-friendly, pro-Europe demonstration. Our bus-around tour had visited the large monument to Frederick Chopin (where our group souvenir photo was taken) and Warsaw’s Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. So we said do widzenia to our group and met our friends.