The Sahara and Us Morocco 2011

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Taormina and the Ferry from Messina

Teatro Greco 3rd century BC Taormina
Prior to us planning this trip Sandra’s friend Deen had sent her a Calgary Herald Travel section article on Taormina and asked her if we had been there. So, when we found that Taormina was close to Mt. Etna, had a famous Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco) dating from the 3rd century BC it was pretty easy to see how the dots got connected. Mt Etna being a bucket list item for me and Taormina with it’s Castelmola overlooking the theatre.
Taormina Panorama
Click on any photo for an enlarged view
Later, after finding a place to stay, wandering the core of Taormina and finding a recommended restaurant , the Belle Blu ( it’s the view that’s better than the food),
Belle Blu View
 we have the energy to do the climb above Toarmina to Castelmola for the great view over the teatro and the bay. 

At the top next to the castle is a small church carved out of the rock and called the” Lady La Rocca”.
It was a welcome shady spot to seek refuge in from the day’s heat.

While sitting there and viewing over Taormina we re-read our notes and marvel at the fact this Greek amphitheatre was built 23 centuries ago, and is quite intact today. Imagining society in what must have been a burgeoning community of the day to construct a theatre capable of holding 7000 people, there must have been a determined Will to provide entertainment for the community, perched like so many of these theatres we have seen, over an equally stunning vista,Bergama Turkey 2011 comes to mind. While the open theatre in our town of Ladysmith doesn’t have the World Heritage Site credentials of this place, we have enjoyed some great Sunday evenings there in summer being entertained by great local talent, while watching the early evening sun alter the lighting of the outer islands and sailboats anchored there.

As it was Sunday there is yet another old motorcycle collection on display. Most were old Moto Guzzi's like we saw last year but one that caught my eye that I hadn't seen before was a Rudge.
Rudge Twin

Our final act in Sicily is to head to Messina and catch a 30 min ferry over to the Italian mainland to continue our journey. The town of Messina is chaotic and poorly signed for people who aren’t familiar with where the terminal is. Once there we are quick to buy a ticket drive on and immediately the ramps are raised and we are off. We haven’t really looked around so we climb the steps on the ferry to an upper deck area and are met by two Ukrainian motorcyclists from Kiev who just watched us load on. They immediately come up to us, and begin asking if we really are from Canada. They then want to take pictures of us and them with our motorcycle licence plate, and then we did the same with them.
Ukraine Riders and Us, taken by the local Police
Like other European travellers we have talked to this trip, they share their thoughts on what is happening in the Ukraine. All we can say here without jeopardizing their positions in the Ukraine, is, this is a very sad state of affairs and the NA media we have been exposed to doesn’t have the full story.

While they are taken by our travels including actually having been in the Ukraine in 2011 we both re-calibrate our focus to note that a 70’s something Hungarian curmudgeon is returning from Sicily on a eastern European built 125 cc scooter. Our effort to snap a photo was interrupted by his need to get off the ferry quick.
From Hungary with Love

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