We don't always write blogs about our holidays, and it was not something that even entered my thoughts until this evening but I do feel inspired, perhaps it's the wine and food, or the relaxation after a very busy time at work and training for my next challenge but here it goes.
Yesterday started with a very early alarm at 03:45 to get ready for the taxi only 45 minutes later. Luckily we had booked to fly Alitalia rather than BA (for those that are reading later this was the weekend where BA's IT systems crashed causing all flights to be cancelled). However when we got to Rome we had to high tail round to get our connecting flight just having time to grab a quick bite to eat. This was when we hit our first problem: seven very inconsiderate countries decided to hold a summit in Sicily the same weekend as we decided to go. I had booked this long before Trump and Marcon were elected, before May called an election and I am sure long before some events in Germany, Canada, Italy and Japan, but what really annoyed me and all the other 100 passengers on the plane
was because they had all decided to hold talks in Sicily this weekend our flight was delayed by over two hours. Now, politicians from all sides of the political spectrum, listen up, if you want our votes do not screw up our holidays we have planning for years and waiting months to take. That wouldn't have mattered quite so much if we hadn't been called to the gate, standing there for over an hour and then being told on boarding the plane that there were to be further delays! Rant over, the next potential problem was the hire car: on the look out for a bargain I had booked that car through a local company. To keep a long story short the directions hadn't translated particularly accurately but we got there in the end. The third thing was when we got to the apartment the phone number of the local contact didn't work. However we found our man and the summit was blamed for a lack of phone signal. Mild irritation over, as I write this we are sitting on the balcony overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, sated by food and wine and the sense of relaxation that only the Italian
lifestyle can bring. I already feel sorry for the bathroom scales when we get home. Arrivederci Part 2 It's now the end of our third full day here, again sitting on the balcony sated by food, home cooked this time and another glass of the excellent local wine. So I thought it was time to let you know what we have been up to. Three days after we get back home I am off cycling with a mini tour of Yorkshire which is five weeks before I take part in the Race to the Stones so I have had to fit some training in. I am very lucky in that Meg never complains about this and the two five kilometre runs along the beach have been delightful. Other than that we have been on the trail of Inspector Montalbano which is filmed around here, and was one of the primary reasons we chose this area of Sicily for our holiday. On Monday we headed down to Punta Secca, another beautiful seaside town, where you can find the house used in the TV series, and there were a large number of other people there taking in the sights. We were lucky
enough to see some filming for the next series but I don't know when we will be able to see it in the UK. We went on via some narrow but picturesque lanes (dry stone walls and wildflowers) to Il Castello di Donnafugata, in the Montalbano series the home of the mafia boss. Although the outside was spectacular, it wasn't open so we plan to return. Following this we visited Ragusa Ibla, an amazing place, home to more locations including the restaurant that the Inspector frequents. Set on the side of a hill with lots of steps, gorgeous views and nooks and crannies to explore, it was a real highlight and definitely worth a visit. Even the children's parks are beautiful. Today we visited Scicli, the town that Cava d'Aliga is annexed to. An earthquake in the 1600s is credited with making the town the baroque treasure house that it is today. Like Ragusa Ibla there are buildings perched on cliff edges around the town: they must have been quite a feat of engineering. Scicli houses Montalbano's office, really the mayor's office in the Town Hall and other locations used in the filming. We were told that the crew will
be back tomorrow. Part 3 We are now coming to the end of our Sicily trip, this has been a very different holiday compared to our normal adventures. In 21 years of holidays together this is the longest we have ever stayed in one location, and some people would even describe it as a beach holiday, but we wouldn't. However both of us have appreciated the different pace and the rest has done us good. We have spent the last two days on the trail of further filming locations used in the Inspector Montalbano series, yesterday we visited Modica, which was by far the busiest place so far and the first time we struggled to find somewhere to park. As with some of the other towns we have visited in the area the old town is a maze of streets built up the hillside, some are long runs of steps but the views over the rooftops of the street below as you ascend give you a sense of looking down from the upper circle of a theatre. We are returning home tomorrow and back to normal life for three days before we depart on my annual cycling adventure: this time
we are off to Yorkshire.
Tot: 0.702s; Tpl: 0.061s; cc: 17; qc: 74; dbt: 0.0394s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb