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Published: October 12th 2014
Definitely a no frills airline - ads all the way over the PA system
Well Ryanair lived up to its advertising. As the stewardess said when I asked for water - honey we sell everything. And they did plus you were encouraged to buy throughout the flight - lottery charity tickets, duty free perfumes, snacks, water, etc . Now some flights do this as well but Ryan likes to announce each one of these buying opportunities. There is no entertainment except watching them go up and down the aisles. Thankfully I was busy doing the Madrid blog so didn't notice so much until I paid for a cup of tea. Ross slept through most of it. Thankfully it was less than 3 hours. All other airlines needed a connection in Rome to get from Madrid to Palermo, Sicily.
At the airport in Palermo trouble ensued. We bussed off the plane and went to the baggage claim but J&D were not with us. They were busy chasing the buses on the runway looking for J's sweater. She lost it and they knew it was somewhere close because it was in her hands just at landing. After being sent into the terminal they tried reporting the sweater. First at lost luggage who sent us to information
who sent us to lost property who sent us to information again who then sent us to the terminal duty officer who sent us to information. J gave details at each of these and could only get one phone number which has yet to be answered. No sweater. Now while we were doing all the rat-in-a-maze running around D realized he'd left his backpack at the baggage claim area. The guys ran around trying to get back through security (without any kind of ID because they'd left all the stuff with us). After various tactics and speaking English to Italian officials they went to the medical center and a lady took them through security and there was the bag sitting on the seat where he'd left it. No sweater but call after 6 pm or in 15 minutes. Off to the rental car where it took 3 of us to jam the suitcases into the back hatch. We are in a SEAT LEON which is a VW Golf. Off for our 3 hour drive to San Giovanni La Punta.
Arrived in the dark to a grand looking old hotel. Our room was spacious and had the most bathroom contraptions
Breakfast was in here and Mt Etna was the view
I've ever seen. There was the standard toilet and then the bidet - rather normal for Europe. But by the toilet there was a spray hose and tap. I was afraid to try that one out - a shower in a toilet would be the result. There was a huge knob on one wall that had a timer but no idea what it was timing plus I couldn't get it to budge. Inside the shower area there was white piping that could have been a steam shower system with some kind of control near the ceiling. It wasn't a towel warmer because the pipes were going the wrong way. The shower itself only ever got to the tepid temperature and volume was a mild drizzle. The room itself was huge and we would have had a magnificent view of Etna except for the one tree blocking the window. Good mattress, good sleep. Breakfast was in a beautiful rooftop terrace area where we could see the view over the tree. Decent coffee but no cappuccinos. Today's hike was a crater crossing on one side of Mt. Etna.
Directions to the trailhead were not quite good enough for us. From one
J (junction) we went 5 km and could not find the barrier we were looking for. Backseat drivers suggested going further up the mountain. No. Back to the J and try measuring again. On the 4th attempt we went further up the mountain and found the trailhead and parked with all the other cars - which meant every whichway only slightly blocking the road. The trail itself was beautiful with fantastic views and interesting and only mildly challenging (except for the ascents of course) terrain. On the way back we stopped in a wonderful bakery/pizzeria/cafe and had delicious calzones. Another good sleep and then off to Capri Leone.
Tot: 1.58s; Tpl: 0.047s; cc: 12; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0278s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb