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Published: March 30th 2018
Friday March 30, 2018 - Another full day. I couldn’t sleep in as much as I wanted, but there was no rush since breakfast started at 8am. I chatted with Jeroen a bit and then ate. It was just some bread and sweet things, nothing exciting. Afterwards I packed up and headed out. I rang the bell to tell her I’m leaving the key, but then just left it on the desk after a while. A second later she was there, reminding me I hadn’t paid yet (on Booking.com). So embarrassing. I thought I had paid. She says it always happens.
This drive was on the highway and it took about an hour to get to Siracusa. I arrived around 10:15 and had to parallel park on a busy street, but it worked out ok, despite not having done so in about 15 years. This time I’m staying in a guest room of someone through airbnb. It’s a family who seems to live in one room together and I’m staying in the other room. They didn’t have a key to give me yet, because the guests from last night still had it. I got ready to leave, left my stuff
behind, and headed out.
The first thing I saw when I headed out was this crazy looking enormous modern church. It was round and I had to go in. It was seriously unattractive, but had worshippers. They also had a “crypt” area, which just seemed to mean downstairs, and they had a little museum of church knick-knacks also. Strange place. From there I walked to the archaeological park, and I admit, this time I was not impressed. The biggest attraction was the Greek Theater, but there really wasn’t much to look at and you couldn’t walk in it. And they were building a whole new set of wooden seats around it, so there was a lot of construction. I guess they will be using it as a theater again, but for now it’s a bit of a mess. There was also a Roman theater which was a bit better, but you couldn’t even walk the full perimeter, so that was annoying. It was smaller and cost more (no teacher discount), so a little disappointing. I bought a combination ticket to visit the museum as well, and this museum was even bigger and more impressive than the last one. I
was having overload a bit early on, but they had a lot of things, including bones from three species of elephant and hippos that used to live on the island!
From there I headed to Ortigia, the small island that is the old town of Siracusa. It was slightly hard for me to walk over there, as my sense of direction is terrible and I did not have a good map, but I pieced it together eventually and made my way. En route I looked for a gelato shop my host recommended but couldn’t find it. But I did find a food truck and got a sandwich there. Then I crossed the bridge and was into Ortigia. There was a cool ruin of the Temple of Apollo sitting right there. Then I started to walk some back streets and eventually found a map of the city, found the ice cream street and headed back that way to get some of the “best” ice cream in the city, according to my host. I sampled about 6 flavors and chose three - lime and basil, ginger and cinnamon, and one of the three chocolates I tried. It was nice. I walked
back to the old town and sat in front of the Temple of Apollo to relax and eat my gelato. Then I started walking, but a different direction this time. I found a better way that led me to the main square and the cathedral. It was pretty impressive, as they all have been.
Most of the day I was too hot, wishing for shorts and sandals instead of pants and hiking boots. Later on, as I was walking along the sea, the sun disappeared behind the clouds and the wind was blowing, and I wished I had my fleece. At one point, I realized I could see my old friend Mt. Etna in the background of the city. Cool to be close to it again. I walked and walked and eventually decided I was tired and cold and it was time to come home. I got a bit lost coming back, but made my way. I got into the building because the door doesn’t close properly, but then the family was not home, so I sat on the steps outside their door for 45 minutes, waiting. Most of the time I could hear the blaring tv of the
neighbor whose door was right across the hall. So loud. Eventually, they came home from the shop and I was in. By this time it was 6:45pm and I was tired. They gave me the key I may not need and I came to sit in my room. Wifi is poor, as theirs does not work and I am instead connected to a free city wifi, usually with only one bar. It was enough to skype with my mom for a bit, but not well. The room has one light that is really dim, which I hate. I like a lot of light. I considered going out for dinner, but couldn’t be bothered, so I decided to just eat a small bag of chips I had with me instead.
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