A week in Sicily: Not a trip to Etna, no honking and definitely no Kangaroos!

[Note – a few photos have been added to other holiday entries, should anyone care]

After a my stressy day, and the lessons learned from it, and our prayers being answered, the Thursday was much easier.

The plan was to go to Etna, but this demanded all our energy for a long drive and some serious walking, so when we woke up feeling pretty exhausted and slightly unwell (nothing serious – just too much strong coffee we think!) we decided that we’d have a restful day, and head up Etna on the Friday.

So, with food and relaxation foremost in our mind we decided to go shopping and to the beach. We found a little grocers shop in Noto – amazingly OPEN – and bought sandwich-making stuff an a good old English newspaper.

With rations to hand we then made our way to the Vendicari Nature Reserve and the beach.

We made this journey via Eloro – an archaeological site. But this was sadly closed. In fact, it looked very closed, completely deserted and quite scruffy and litter-strewn. A shame really as their may otherwise have been some good history on show.

Vendicari was excellent. 3 Euros of parking got us a good quiet beach, and safe swimming.
Now, we sensed that Italians weren’t very good with following rules, so the important rules for the nature reserve were made quite explicit on a number of large signs. One rule in particular caught our eye; we were warned that “E’ vietato introdurre specie animali o vegetali estranee alla fauna e alla flora tipiche della zona.” (Something along the lines of “It’s forbidden to introduce foreign animal or plant species to the flora and fauna of the reserve”)…complete with an amusing graphic showing us what might constitute breach of this rule:

We had a nice few hours on the beach, complete with home-made sandwiches. A bit of cloud and wind came and went and we left in the early afternoon. We headed to the nearby town of Lido di Noto (an uninteresting little place on the seafront) for a drink. We parked up, grabbed a couple of bottles of Coke (no cafe’s sadly) and then…it absolutely chucked it down with rain.

Coke…in the car…on sea front. It could have been Bognor, or Scarborough, but it was Lido di Noto in Sicily. Just our luck! There was plenty more evidence of the previously-mentioned lack of road drainage, and we drove our poor little Micra through the floods back to the hotel.

Boy were we glad not to be up Etna!
We chilled at hotel a little before heading to a supermarket we’d spotted for a bit more shopping and then dinner in Noto.
A much better day!

More signs

As a slight side note on driving. We mostly understood the road signs but had a couple of favourites, for which I hope the following links still work.

First this one – or one very similar to it. Anyone have any idea what this means? If my car was on fire I’d probably get out, not carry on driving it.

We saw some of these too, which we came to refer to as “No Trumpets”:

All seems to be explained at this site here – oh, and it’s “No Honking” apparently!

Fortunately we weren’t in China where you can get both of these at once?

Another blogger has some fun Sicilian road signs too.