The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and arranged for a taxi to pick us up and run us into Taormina. A late model E series Merc. owned by a 28 yo!....... And he's owned it for three years!!!!!
Once in town we just wandered and explored. In Taormina there is the Main Street that everybody does and then there is a multitude of little side streets and lanes that have plenty of life but no tourists.
After wandering and shopping we felt that we were going to need another suitcase to get things home so we hit the main drag and shopped some more. We then finished the day in Taormina with a granita and wine then caught a cab home.
After breakfast we hit the road. Again traveling south down the coast past Riposto where we had earlier spent some time on the boat. Once past Riposto we left the coast and started to climb inland.
Because the distances aren't great we looped our way through various towns and regions enjoying the scenery and the local life in the villages.
After lunch, as we were driving back down the mountains to the north coast we stumbled on a real gem!
Ucria is set high on one side of a deep ravine, it's small narrow roads are terraced into the hillside. On one of those roadsides there was a local bar/cafe so we stopped for a drink and to soak up the views.
After the initial stares from all the locals we settled and started talking to the owner.
One of the questions we asked was for accommodation.
Because they don't see many tourists in the area there were no hotels but she did suggest a guest house down the main road. After giving some general directions we started to wander down the road where we came across a lady sweeping her terrace. It turned out she had the standard relative that lived in Perth but also knew the retired professor who owned the guest house.
On calling him she introduced herself as the local council secretaries wife and proceeded to arrange a room for us.
The guest house wasn't open for trade yet (too early in the season) but he would prepare a room for us and have it ready in an hour.
We arrived at the big gates of the property and after buzzing through they opened and we wound our way up the drive to this huge old villa.
We were greeted by Sabrina the house keeper who showed us to our room and asked when we would like dinner to be served!!!
We changed for dinner and made our way to the dinning room where Sabrina had prepared a four course meal from produce solely grown on the estate!!
The next morning after breakfast the professor told us how he had inherited the villa that had been in the family since the 1800's and how, on his retirement from his profession (vascular surgery) he renovated and restored the villa to its former glory. Sabrina then took us on a small tour of the grounds and showed us the hazelnut orchids that the estate still derives most of its income from. The professor then told us of another village not far from the coast that was worth a visit.
We then regrettably left and proceeded to San Marco.
A lovely little village again high up overlooking the coast. It significance lies in the fact that it was the last bastion to fall to foreign invaders in the thirty year siege of Sicily.
We met with a lady, that the professor suggested we meet, looked over her property and then the remainder of the town.
After which we continued our descent down to the water and along to Cefalu where we booked into our room about 50 m away from the main square.
June 12 -13
Cefalu is a lovely sea side resort town. It experiences many tourists but Russians seem to be flavor of the month. The weather is pleasant but the Russians consider that it's swimming weather!!!
Again the town hosts lovely little streets and lane ways that meander through the small space that the town was been settled on between the sea and surrounding hills .
The only problem we encountered in Cefalu was that we had to park our car in a supermarket car park 15-20 min away from our accommodation because the lanes aren't wide enough to accommodate cars.
Palermo !!!!! This will be quick !!!!!!
I'm sure Palermo had some redeeming features however we only got to see a few!!
Our eyes were constantly peeled to the footpath from fear of walking into a parked car, motorbike our doggy do do planted in the middle of the path.
It was relatively easy driving through the place because no one stuck to lanes,used indicators or cared if you cut them off!!!! You just did what you liked.
The place was littered with rubbish, the people .... Just a matter of fact and I'd go as far as to say, parts of Vietnam were cleaner and the people a hell of a lot friendlier!!!!
I guess you get the idea!!!
Lucky it wasn't the only place we had seen in Sicily.
One thing we did enjoy in Palermo was a Sicilian delight known as a brioche.
A sweet bread roll with ICE CREAM scooped inside it!!!!!!
It got the better of us after watching hundreds of locals enjoying them...........we both agreed
Saturday morning we were gladly up early to rush to the airport and get to Rome