I know I only just wrote up our last holiday. I probably did that just after we’d booked the one that we just got back from. So I’m determined to write up this one before we book the next.
- The aim was to go somewhere both sunny and interesting.
- We were reluctant to use agents, but Thompson were excellent and gave us some pointers. Thomas Cook weren’t so helpful, but tried hard.
- We considered various places: Malta, Sicily, Bulgaria in particular. But our date constraints made finding flights at decent times very hard. Who are these people that check in at 4am for 6am flights? And who’s flying the planes at that time of morning? Weird.
- We did lots of looking online too, but trying hard to get an all-in-one package.
- The Hotel, mentioned above, is a great place to chill out and explore the island – just watch out for the naughty puppy on site!
- Sicily is a very rural and traditional place – at least, the Eastern Coast is. This means that everything shuts from about noon until about 4pm. So MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A LUNCH PLAN. I had a very stressful day driving around trying to find lunch with only a minimal grasp of the language. It was not fun.
- In fact, the hotel didn’t offer lunch, so we were out and about most days. The best way is to find a grocery or supermarket and get some supplies and make your own lunch. Milano Salami is fantastic! Don’t go for the sliced bread…yuk!
- We borrowed a Sat Nav system with European mapping from a friend. This was hugely helpful and saved us hours of time, lots of faff, and probably lots of arguments too. But, as always, use wisely! They do get funny ideas about where to go sometimes. If you think you need to stick to the main road, then sitck to it!
- Sicilians are lunatic drivers with little regard for the road. Pay attention, drive with confidence, and give them a wide berth and you’ll a) be fine b) witness some crazy overtaking and turning first hand!
- Driving on the continent for the first time wasn’t so hard, though turning at junctions was often confusing. Having the car layout the other way around was probably more taxing for my head than the driving.
- Things that must be done: 1) Climb Mt Etna (more detail on this later) 2) Visit Pantalica 3) Explore Syracuse on foot
- Food is generally good to excellent and you get what you pay for. Coffee is awesome! Local wine is also pretty incredible, but watch out – it’s strong too!
- Don’t take any kangaroos with you. You’ll have to read on to find out why! 😉
Link: Read part two