Early Morning Sunshine

I got up early to finish my packing then I sat on the French balcony for one last time, enjoying the view of Etna in the early morning sunshine. It was heavenly; birds, bees and the occasional butterfly flew around me. A damsel fly landed and sunbathed on a nearby post.

Smoky Plumes

Smoky Plumes

Smoky Plumes

As soon as Mr C had finished his packing, we enjoyed one last Sicilian breakfast. Afterwards Mr C went to the local shop to buy biscuits (as is the custom) for his work colleagues.   While he was doing this, I had time to watch Etna as it started to belch out frequent ash plumes into the sky. The mountain had been obscured by clouds for a few days. When Mr C returned it was time for us to check out of the hotel and walk along the hotel terrace to pick up our taxi to the airport. We arrived in good time, our taxi had already arrived and the driver Francesco, walked down to meet us and helped me with my luggage. Then we were off on our way to Catania airport.

We traveled in luxury, he drove a Mercedes. His driving style was smooth and steady and we arrived at the airport in super quick time. The temperature was 79°F as we arrived and joined the easyJet queue to check in our baggage. As we were queuing someone next to us in the queue informed us that our flight had been delayed due to Volcanic ash from Etna. We learned later that the wind direction had changed blowing ash towards the airport leading to some of the runways being out of action. The fascinating ash plumes I had been watching earlier were now delivering an entirely different experience for me.

Catania airport was in chaos, people all over the place and not enough seats for everyone to sit on. I had a cappuccino and a marmalade croissant whilst we awaited our flight, delayed by 1 hour 10 minutes. Even getting to the food counter to purchase food was difficult with people milling about in the way.

Although no further announcements had been made about our flight, we decided to go through the boarding gate where we found it to be less chaotic. There was a further flight delay but eventually we boarded our plane where the captain announced that we were third in the queue for takeoff, he was just awaiting the go ahead from traffic control. A little while later a ‘rather fed up’ captain made a further announcement; easyJet had changed the flight plans, the doors and boarding steps would have to be re-opened whilst awaiting the new paperwork to be delivered. The captain quipped that we might see someone rushing across the tarmac with papers in hand. Eventually the doors were re-closed and we were on our way 2 hours later than scheduled.

We arrived at Manchester around 17.45, thankfully our luggage came through quickly. Luggage retrieved we proceeded to the ‘meet and greet’ parking to pick up our car for our homeward journey. The delays meant we had to find somewhere to dine on our way home. Our first choice could fit us in but we would have to wait nearly an hour for food. Mr C perused TripAdvisor for nearby eateries and found the ‘Rifleman Inn’. He phoned to see if they could accommodate us and thankfully they could. The pub was quite hidden away but when we eventually found it, the food was delicious and the waitress was a delight. We got into conversation about her upcoming holidays to Gdansk and a November holiday in Cyprus along with reminiscences about previous holidays.

We eventually got home around 22.00, put the heating on and unpacked…

14 Comments CherryPie on Nov 7th 2019

14 Responses to “Taormina – Day Twelve”

  1. lisl says:

    A lovely relaxed picture of you, Cherie

  2. rusty duck says:

    I’ve enjoyed your posts from Taormina. We were there a few years ago and our flight out was delayed, for exactly the same reason! It must happen quite often.

  3. ....peter says:

    it’s nice to see you today Cherie… you had a very good to rest up after packing… what a great way to start off the day with views like that….peter:)

  4. The Yum List says:

    What a lovely spot on the porch looking out above the tree tops.

  5. Ah, the joys of air travel! What a wonderful view though! :)

  6. Mt Etna is like a time bomb!

    • CherryPie says:

      It erupts often but currently the lava does not pose a risk. It is sticky and thick and flows slowly, plenty of time to get away from it. Being next to the main active crater is a different matter.

  7. shabana says:

    delightful post !!!!!!!!

    i so enjoyed your journey back to home dear Cheri
    watching you sitting there is such a joy :) ,i can feel how relaxing those moments are ,you are an elegant lady indeed !

    finding such calm driver is blessing i believe, your description of waitress as “delight” made me smile :) i might have said exactly same words lol
    hope you feeling so nice at home my friend as it is always pleasure to get back home after long