6/23/08

05.24.08: Athens to Sicily (via Rome)

Athens
Traveling journeys are bittersweet. Despite the inconveniences and grievances brought on by easyCruise, it was the proper vessel to explore otherwise unknown ports of call. We met people who would have otherwise remained strangers, and have memories that are more vivid than most dreams.

Back in Athens, after a simple exit we caught a cab back to the Plaka. We enjoyed our last morning at the Yopia cafĂ© with breakfast and coffee, surrounded by spring’s flowers and lovebirds waiting for the stores to open for last minute shopping (leather sandals, cotton shirts).

Arriving at the airport (in the slowest taxi ever) to catch our flight to Rome, we sat behind a family of New Yorkers chatting about the Hamptons and the city—it was almost too much to bear but at least we have another few days before going home.

Rome:
Claudia! She’s waiting at arrivals. We trade stories over a Panini. The flight to Catania, a Taormina adventure not so far off, the greatness of Sicily and its glory, told from memory…a lost soul arrives today.

Catania:
Bags? Check. Rental car? Check. Map? Check. Water? Why do we always forget to pack water? We leave the airport jetlagged, exhausted.

The highway signs are blue, there are more roundabouts here than in NJ. Etna grows smaller with every stick and clutch shift, something’s not right. All at once Enna becomes Etna and we are heading toward the sunset in the wrong direction.

Taormina
We arrive in Taormina in the dark of the night. An unfamiliar car in an unfamiliar city with one long winding road up that’s hardly wide enough for the car let alone the space to make a U-turn. But somehow we make it to the Hotel Condor in one piece, ravenous with just enough energy—siamo fare un passegiata a Trattoria da Nino (via L. Pirandello, 37) per la cena; sempre facciamo un altra passegiata nel Corso Umberto per un gelato.
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