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Published: October 30th 2012
Messina & Taormina Sicily
We were happy to get onboard the ship with our luggage and head off for some fantastic food on the ship. As this was a work trip for Sian we had seated dining on the ship with other travel agents that were taking the same course. Me, I am just a guest and no classes for me. The meet and greet was nice and the facilitor was especially nice. Met some really interesting people at dinner and I knew we had a full few weeks of activities so I kept my nights early even though it was quite tempting not too. For our tour of Messini, Sicily, we started with a 7 ½ hour excursion to Mt. Etna and some free time at Taormina, an incredible medieval style village hanging on the cliffs of Sicily overlooking the Mediterranean Sea offering an incredible view of Mt. Etna. We drove through Messini and beautiful countryside to climb windy well paved roads with occasional switchbacks, up to about 6500 feet of Mt. Etna to the Silvestri Spent Craters. This is as high as we can go as the highway further up the mountain has been blocked by lava fields. After
some incredible coffee and cannoli’s, we were able to walk around this crater, the mountain to one side and the coastline below. It feels so immense. What a gorgeous sunny day, blue skies, and just love the air. We then head down the mountain and climb more hills to beautiful Taormina. We had 2 hours to walk the ½ mile street with the many gorgeous buildings, shops and intriguing alleys and side streets shooting off. We walked to the far end and paid 8 Euros to see the Greek Theatre dating back to 300BC. Incredible ruins with beautiful views including Mt. Etna in the background. More coffee and cannoli and then we had to leave this special place and return to the ship. Not enough time. Would love to come back here and spend a lot more time seeing what Sicily has to offer as well as more time at Taormina. We now leave Italy and head for Greece, and after enjoying one day at sea we will then head to Athens Greece.
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