UK Airspace

We were up, not necessarily bright but early, at 4 am in order to be at Manchester airport for a 5.30 check-in. The heavy rain that had started the previous afternoon had almost stopped as we loaded our luggage into the car. At the airport we headed to the check in desk and found that a self check-in and baggage weighing service was in operation. This caused a few people to have problems scanning their luggage onto the conveyor belt, the label had to be facing in just the right direction for the camera.

Successfully checked in and scanned, we headed to the security check with thoughts of breakfast once we had cleared security. I was a little surprised that my bag was sidelined into the queue for manual checking. It was a long queue with several people that hadn’t packed their hand luggage appropriately. This gave me plenty of time to wonder which of the few items in my bag could have raised an alert. When it was my turn I was informed that my bag hadn’t scanned and it was returned to the conveyor belt and I was told that if it didn’t go through I was to go straight to the front of the queue. Thankfully my bag went through the scanner with no further problems.

The Alps

We had our long awaited breakfast before passing through to the boarding gate. Whilst we waited to board the plane a lady got chatting to us about all manner of interesting things although it was a bit much for me, so early in the morning. Once everyone boarded the plane the captain stepped out of the cockpit to address the passengers. He told us that the co-pilot had phoned in sick and a replacement was on his way but he was contending with the Manchester rush hour traffic. The plane left 30 minutes later than planned and as we left UK airspace the inclement weather faded into the distance. At one point we flew over Lake Geneva and the Alps which were amazing seen from so far above.

A Room with Two Views

On arrival at Catania airport we stepped off the plane into brilliant sunshine and passed through immigration and collected our baggage without any hiccups. Our private transfer was waiting for us, and as we drove to Taormina, our driver pointed out various towns and landscape features along the way. The view of Etna was looking lively with smoke venting from its summit. On arrival at the hotel we were shown to our room which had a French balcony on one wall and a full length window on another wall allowing us views of both Etna and the sea. We left our cases unpacked and headed into town for a late lunch. I ordered bruschetta which turned out to be a lot larger than I was expecting.

Piazza IX Aprile

After lunch we went for a walk along the main street, Corso Umberto I, walking further than we intended ending up at the Porta Messina gateway, our hotel being situated next to the Porta Catania gateway about a mile away. On the way we stopped in Piazza IX Aprile to see the views over the Naxos bay. Later we sat on the Caffe Wunderbar terrace with a glass of wine, enjoying the view before returning to the room to unpack.

Sunset

Moonrise

As we were getting ready to dine in the hotel restaurant we enjoyed the view of Etna whilst the sun set behind it and the moon rose above. During this time there was a call at our door (there was a small doorbell outside which we had not noticed). On opening the door the gentleman announced, “Room service”, and presented a plate of small biscuits.

A Perfect View

We enjoyed our meal and finished our wine outside in the warm evening air enjoying the view of the bay below the hotel terrace.

19 Comments CherryPie on Oct 19th 2019

19 Responses to “Taormina – Day Two”

  1. Hels says:

    The old church in Piazza IX Aprile looks well worth exploring, ditto the open square with views over Naxos Bay. I would love that.

  2. Ayush says:

    i can imagine some teething problems with the emerging technologies, CP. you got some nice shots and i look forward to more coming posts. i like the views of the sky

  3. Anne says:

    Hello CherryPie. Surprise.. Hope you are well. Anyway I remember my first time in Sicily and flying into Cantania. Stepping off the plane and the sunshine. Fabulous. Didn’t go to Taormina but did drive up to Mount Etna. In fact just remembered, The very first Blog I did was about Sicily trip. I loved it. Enjoy. Take care. Anne

    • CherryPie says:

      Hi Anne, it is lovely to hear from you :-)

      I checked out your Etna posts :-) I didn’t go to the top but stopped at the lower level and went for a short walk there.

  4. Andrew says:

    Etna rumbling nearby would worry me (but everything worries me).

    • CherryPie says:

      Etna wasn’t near enough to be worrying.

      • Andrew says:

        That may be what the people of Pompei said about Vesuvius

        • CherryPie says:

          Vesuvius is quite a different proposition…

          Etna is very active (small eruptions and lava flows) but to some extent predictable. The lava that flows is sticky rather than runny meaning the flows are slow. Low risk to human life unless Etna changes its current nature.

          Vesuvius is still active but quite unpredictable, a sleeping giant. Vesuvius is monitored closely but no-one knows when it will next erupt or the nature of the substance that will erupt. There is a great worry about increasing housing development on this volcano with the potential risk to human life. When she blows she blows far and fast.

  5. Loved Taormina – there are so many things to see and do there and nearby as well as some very memorable restaurants. Etna was amazing. The only problem was when a cruise ship docked and the place got swamped with crocodiles of fellow-tourists who seemed in an incredible hurry and intent on elbowing everyone else out of the way. Possibly, they were scared of losing their shepherd!

    • CherryPie says:

      We ate in some amazing restaurants, a different one every evening.

      I quite agree with you about the cruise ships. Firstly they looked quite ugly docked in the beautiful bay below Taormina and then as you say the main street was full of crocodiles of tour parties even at the end of the tourist season. Our earlier morning walks were the best :-)

      I have never really fancied the idea of a cruise holiday and seeing exactly how they operate has confirmed that I never want to go on one. There is no chance to linger a while to experience a place, its culture and its history. On a whistlestop tour you see many things but experience none of them.

      That is just my opinion ;-)

  6. Mt Etna is pretty much active.
    I guess property prices should be cheap around the area?

    • CherryPie says:

      I don’t really know about the property prices. Although Etna is active the area is managed and currently when the lava flows it is thick and doesn’t flow very fast and there are ways of diverting the flow. The seismic activity in the area is potentially more of a problem (according to what we were told on our visit).

  7. lowcarbdiabeticJan says:

    Such lovely photographs you’ve shared.

    All the best Jan

  8. shabana says:

    wow such spectacular images dear Cheri :)
    i loved each !!!

    lady at board seems to be bit talkative for you :)

    your timing for arrival images is just perfect ,they make me felt as if i was there with you :)

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