Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Last Weekend in Catania

Well it is all finally coming to a close, this was our last weekend in Sicily. After the craziness of the Spanish Tour last week it was time to slow down a bit and relax.

Jason and Christie's friend Marnie and her mother Judy arrived in Catania by train Thursday night and plan to stay with us for a week. Brandon and Matt are in Finland and arrive back here on Monday so we were able to use their car in their absence.

With the two car set up for a few days, it gave Laurie and I a chance to be alone and get reacquainted.

Friday at a Lido in Aci Trezza

To start our latest attempt to recharge our batteries, we spent a day at this Lido basking in the warm sun and bathing in the Ionian Sea to cool off. It was a day well spent! 

Saturday Morning

We got up bright and early and drove to the fish/meat/fruit/vegetable market near the Duomo in Catania. Laurie had not been there on her first trip and I thought she would enjoy the assault on all of her senses.

She loves her olives!

Catania's Piazza Duomo

We'll refer back to this picture a bit later in this post.

Inside Catania's Duomo

Dragons...where's St. George when you need him?

Laurie also loves Holy Water Founts

Back at the Market

Yet Another Street Market

Sometimes you just HAVE to give in to your basest culinary desires.

Padre Pio, HUGE in Italy, just ask any Nun

Well, there's St. George hard at work after all!

The things you can do with marble!

Catania must be the Wedding Capital of the World

At a nice stop, not McDonald's, for some refreshing granite and brioche

We even saw police on horseback,

The 1943 Sicily World War II Invasion Museum

I went here alone my first weekend in Catania back in January. This time going with Laurie was much more interesting as I now have visited most of the cities on Siciliy where this action took place. It made it even more sobering now that I know the serenity and beauty of these sights.

I'd love to get my hands on one of these Invasion guide books to Sicily.

Battle scenes from Catania

The Elephant Survived Too!

This picture was taken in Motta San Anastasia where I've been to Sunday Mass.

More from Catania

Catania's Piazza Duomo in 1943

Now refer back to the earlier picture of the Duomo today, hard to believe.

War Propaganda always interests me regardless of the country producing it.

Wild Grapes

As we walked to Al Tubo's for dinner Saturday, we hit the glass recycling bin at the end of the street that was over flowing with empty wine bottles. I wonder if that is why these wild grapes are growing just behind the bin?

Laurie's Pizza at Al Tubo's

No meat but it did have peas and hard boiled eggs amongst a variety of veggies... YUM!

In Aci Trezza they had a Sting Concert being projected onto the wall of a hotel, they had a good sound system too!

Sunday at the beach in Giardini Naxos

Laurie enjoying her first "Beach Masagee by Linda"

Linda herself putting the finishing touches on my "Masagee" 

This is Linda's third year working the beach scene. She goes back to China during the winter and then starts the process again.

At 10 Euros a "Masagee", a BARGAIN as far as Jim and I are concerned, I think she is doing just fine.

It was very crowded this Sunday

It was actually easier to find a parking space than I imagined. We have always gone here on weekdays when the crowds are small and only about 10% of these lounges are being used, not so on a Sunday in July!

Next Stop, Taormina for Gelato

The back of any empty church is a good place for the locals to gab and escape the heat.

Dinner at the Rosa dei Mari ristorante in Aci Castello

A very nice open air ristorante that served us good pasta, spaghetti al nero for me of course, and solid Milanese cutlet and grilled swordfish as well.

The hardest part of coaching in Catania has been the separation from my bride Laurie for such a long period of time since flying out last January. It's been great to be with her and to have this time alone together for the last four days.


Monkey Face said...

Thanks for posting these pictures. I thoroughly enjoyed them. My family is from Torre Faro in the northeast corner of the island, so I am somewhat familiar with Catania and Messina.

George said...

My pleasure!