Mellow Sunday Explorations
Trip Start Feb 05, 2010
101Trip End May 20, 2010
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Where I stayed
We meet various Italian tourists who are here to enjoy the warm weather.At breakfast, our fellow guests are from Poland and tell us we must visit since it is the most beautiful place in the world. Later, we continue exploring and went into a large religious bookstore.
We saw snowy Mount Etna from several vantage points today. We begin our day by going to a local market which includes new and used items such as clothing. Some of the used items have been stolen we're told. Some prices are fixte (fixed) others not. We enjoy our first cappuccinos which are served in small heavy white cups with saucers. They are great; I'd could easily drink three in a row. Price is just 1E, perhaps because I buy them in a betting shop. I think they are betting on sports
We enjoy wandering around. There are lots of fancy stores but they are all closed since its Sunday. Businesses are shut too. One exception is a Scientology center. Condoms and cigarettes available for sale in slot machines. Lunch is at a trattoria (family owned with local dishes). Eggplant casserole and meat lasagna. Both very rich so eat with bread. Side dish of spinach with a lemon slice. The family who run the place eat their lunch late at 2:45 and give us a portion of the desert they bought from a bakery - cannoli (ricotta cream, sugar and candied fruit in a fried pastry tube).
I'm surprised to see charcoal for sale in small brown paper bags. Plastic bags of confetti for also for sale and there is confetti on the ground. There are also aerosol cans with colored strings of paper. I wonder where it will end up. In the main square there are motorized street sweepers but I haven't seen so much trash since visiting India. Today is carnival in Venice and some children are dressed up. People with children seem to have just one or two. Italy has the lowest birth rate in Europe and has legal abortion. People we ask say this is due high cost of raising children.
We come across a museum for the blind but unfortunately it is closed
We enjoy an hour open topped bus tour called “Katane Live” For 5E you can get on and off stops all day. Taped commentary is in Italian with English translation available by headphone for 1E more. We stay on the bus as it does a one hour loop. All “sights” are closed since its Sunday. We get our first ocean view – the Mediterranean Sea. Its gorgeous – the deep blue of my imagination. We also pass our first McDonald's. The ocean front has some fun fair rides such as bumper cars. Once we leave downtown, there is less trash and some modern apartment buildings. On the bus tour there is a group of well dressed Italians. I tell a lady she looks like a person of fashion from Milan and she thanks me.
We're chilled from our bus ride so decide to get some te (hot tea). The first place we enter had a wonderful ambiance with a menu of herb and black teas. However, since no prices are listed so we figure its out of our budget. Stores often combine a coffee bar with pastries, gelato, savory snacks and a bar
We browse several bookstores. While, there are no books in English, both stores are modern, attractive and well stocked with international authors. American titles include “Twilight”. Prices seem same as at home.
Back in our room we warm up. The water is not running at our hotel and the entire street, so the owner gives us a bottle of drinking water. The tap water is drinkable here but bottled water in plastic bottles is popular. As I write this sentence, the power went out! Now it is back. In a restaurant, it you ask for water they will think you mean bottled water. I never see people at restaurants drink aqua rubinetto (tap water).