Published: July 30th 2011June 15th 2011
Our expectations for today were simple. No fancy shore excursions. We thought we could save $$$ and explore Sicily on our own. Boy did we luck out! A local guide directed us to a bus stop and for only 5 euros we had round trip transportation up the steep mountain to the enchanted little town of Taormina. It is most well known for its impressive Greek theatre that was rebuilt and expanded by the Romans. It is perched high above the Ionian Sea with Mt. Etna positioned as the backdrop to the stage. We learned much about the theatre and Sicily from an audio guide we purchased with our tickets to this archeological site. We also learned that this was the place/island of the cyclopes described in Homer's Odyssey. From the theatre we could see off in the distance the strait of Messina where our ship passed between the "boot" of Italy and the island of Sicily. Near this strait is where the legendary Sirens (mermaids) and various monsters lived - according to the Odyssey and fisherman folklore. The views from high above were truly inspiring. Back in town we walked into St. Catherine's Cathedral and took a picture of her
statue in honor of our daughter. Before catching the bus back to port we picked out a lava rock necklace for Katherine and an Italian Futbol t-shirt for Andrew. What a pleasant surprise to spend such an enjoyable day without spending an arm and a leg. After a late lunch we did our best to fit in at "High Tea". We enjoyed some tasty treats and picked up a meaningful converstation that started back in Rome at Campo de Fiori and on the steps of St. Andrew's. This time exploring Janine's vocation. We managed to fit in a good workout before cleaning up for the Captain's Cocktail Celebration. It was wine and appetizers followed by lobster in the grand dining room. (Tough life I know!) Janine had the two best quotes of the evening: "I never thought we were the type of people to visit Italy and Greece." and when I asked Janine "How are you doing today?" she answered with the immortal words of and old friend named Bill Barry... "Better than I deserve." Amen to that!
There are more photos below