Day 2 at Taormina

Oh how I love Italy! La vita bella!!!!!

It’s so full of life and fun and just sitting at a bus stop, by a cool fountain, in the park or in your favourite bar with and Aperol spritz in hand provides one with enough entertainment to last a day.

We had a beautiful breakfast on the terrace at our Hotel Villa Schuler. For anyone travelling to Taormina I can’t recommend this hotel more highly. It’s in a great position a street below the main Corso, and is run by a family who have been here for many years. It says it only 2 stars but don’t believe it. There is such attention to detail and the staff are magnificent .

After breakfast we strolled along to the jardini communale and they are a picture. Peaceful in a town almost overrun by tourists. From there we caught a bus just outside the town gate for a 20 min ride up hair pin turns to a little village called Castlemola – why did they ever put a fort way up there? It’s perched on the top of a hill and why they ever put it on this hill one can only guess. It’s a sleepy little town and it welcomes new visitors every hour as that is when the bus arrives and people only stay about an hour!

But that’s enough to wander the little number of streets. Some of the hardy tourists with perfect knees walk back down to Taormina but we caught the bus for another bit of excitement. Passing other buses on the narrow road is a feat for the experienced driver only.

Local traffic policewoman at Castelmolo – making the most of available space

We wandered back to the hotel to collect our things to take another exciting ride – this time on the funicular down to the coast/ beach for an afternoon swim. For us a bit of training for our trek.
 We managed to find a little narrow bit of public beach as we didn’t  want a deck chair at 7 euro for the afternoon. Disaster struck!
 I was  stung on the face by some sort of jellyfish ! it was awful. I’ll write more on this topic when I feel I can face it!

International Power Turtle Congress – Taormina 2013

A great passegiatto – a second classy wedding – some great fashions and the bride arrived in a Ferrari that had more photos taken of it than of her! We think the father was a mafia don!

The Don and his princess
The bridal carriage!

Great dinner at Il Cappucine – salmon, anchovies that melted in the mouth and some nice wine!

Sicily to Sardinia

Last night in lovely Taormina. Went to a beautiful restaurant I had been to with Catherine and Margaret 5 years ago. Still lovely food. Probably one of the best meals we’ve had these holidays.

Had our passeggiata along the Corso and returned to pack and be prepared for the 6 am wake up call. The hotel offered to bring our breakfast to the room so we wouldn’t miss out. They are so kind here at Villa Schuler.

All went according to plan and we were waving good bye to pretty Taormina by 7 am. These villages are probably at their best this early in the morning before the crowds arrive. It’s cool, peaceful and inviting.

Goodbye Etna

We didn’t get lost and made the airport by 8.15 for a 9.30 flight and it took nearly all that time to check in and get through customs! Then we were called by name for our flight. The reason for that was that there were about 20 people on the flight. We had the plane to ourselves ! It took about an hour flying over Sicily and the crystal waters of the Medi to reach Sardinia and land at Olbia airport. It’s a very nice airport and shows that “wealthy” tourists come to play in Sardinia. We caught the bus to Palau and then a short ferry ride across to La Maddalena – a small island surrounded by crystal waters. Arrived around 1.30 and made our way about 1km from the port to our hotel, Miralonga .

view from the hotel

We are now settled in our hotel near the water for 7 nights, so we were able to unpack.
The weather is just beautiful – not as hot as it was, thankfully .

I’m surprised that our little island has quite a town centre and lots of boats. It’s just a short ferry ride from the coastal tip of Sardinia. The hotel is very comfortable with a nice terrace, doors that open wide and lots of places to put things! Fills a lot of my criteria for a good hotel. Had a walk throughout the village last night and its the usual lively scene in the piazza. The little boys in particular dominate with their shrill voices and “own the world” attitude.

Village of La Maddalena

Enjoyed dinner at Sottovento a little restaurant recommended by our taxi driver. Very good but I tell you eating out every night! Lovely but after a while you’re not sure what you feel like. NOT complaining!

Saturday Morning:

We’ve had time to settle in before all the other swimmers arrive. Our first meeting is this afternoon so it will be interesting to meet the group we’ll be spending the week with. I’m sure there will be a few alpha males there all trying to outdo each other in the swims each day. I just hope there is another 60+ slow female to make me feel good about myself. My face is still swollen from the jellyfish sting! Did I mention that? It happened at Taormina when we went down to the beach.

I was swimming merrily along thinking the people in their hired deck chairs would be mightily impressed by this lady swimming out so far, when suddenly I was hit on the right cheek (of my face) by an incredible sting. Went on my arm as well but it was the face that hurt. Managed to swim back to shore and finally Steve came back from his longer swim to find me red and swollen. I got onto the rocky beach when the lifeguard / deck chair hire man came to see if I was alright. He told me to rub it with sea water to make sure the sting was out. But that felt incredible! Then he disappeared to his hut and came back with a box that turned out to be bicarbonate soda. He said no fresh water, not ice. Rub with this. He poured it all over my face and I rubbed. It felt like sand paper! Steve the lifesaver was impressed (not) with the italian version of dealing with stingers!
We got back to the hotel and I saw the damage. Not a good look!

Now two days later its a little swollen, and has red bumps , blisters I guess, on the area of the sting. Hope it goes soon. But I have to say, it’s made me just a little nervous about swimming in the sea from tomorrow. If it happens again – I’m out! Steve said it’s happened once so law of averages says it won’t happen again! Mathematician!

We are having a quite day at the hotel, after a lovely breakfast on the terrace. We have been trying to guess if any of the other guests are some of the swimmers! Fun game trying to pick the swimmers. Mind you , they wouldn’t pick me for one I’m sure.

Spied Francesco, our guide for the swims working with a map to plan the route of the twice daily swims. 

Oh Boy , let the fun begin!

View from our hotel room
Ferry boat we arrived on passes our hotel
Nearby there is a little beach!