Exploring Malta was pretty fun but, when booking excursions I realized that I had a shot to touchdown in historic Sicily, Italy! Was I an expert on Sicily absolutely not, Italian clients of mine would rave about Sicily, the food, landscape, the visuals and so on. The first time I remember ever hearing about Sicily was watching Golden Girls back in the day with my mother because the character Sophia was originally from there and during episodes Sophia would reminisce about Sicilian this and that (Yup, I’m kinda aging myself).
The good part is Sicily can be done in a day but, unless you plan on flying there it truly is a daylong commitment. How much of a commitment you may ask? Well, I woke up at 415am left my hotel at 450am and returned back to my hotel sometime around 1130pm. So literally, a whole day was required! The tour operator is a company called Virtu Ferries and to be honest when I heard ferry boat I was thinking Centre Island, creeky old boat for 2 hours how will I survive that? But, it actually was a luxury catamaran boat that carries passengers, cars and transportation trucks all at once. They show movies onboard, they got a snack bar, there are like 3 levels depending on how VIP you are, really comfortable seating options from tables to recliner chairs and there are even casino machines! I was pleasantly surprised.
The water was pretty rough so that kinda delayed us, people were feeling seasick from the rocking but, we made it! Once we landed in Pozzallo, Sicily we hopped on coaches and we were on our way. We entered the province of Catania and drove, for about 90 minutes, along to the municipality of Nicolosi. Our group stopped off at a café for people to have a coffee/snack. I will admit I probably had one of the best pastries I may ever eat in my life at this Dolce Vita Café. It was like a croissant filled with fresh pistachio crème and it legit changed my life! Soooo good, I was sad when I finished it because it was done and had to go back on the bus and couldn’t get another one.
Next stop, Mount Etna!
Mount Etna is tallest active volcano in Europe at a total height of about 3329m or 10922ft. On the way up, our guide told us the history of Mount Etna and we also got to see some of the destruction its eruptions have done including submerging houses in molten lava. That was pretty cool and frightening at the same time.
So the coach took us up to about 1900m up. There is a lodge there for tourists and such. Every few 100 metres I would see the temperature drop and think to myself that I should’ve brought more than my Jays hoodie to keep me warm but the funny thing is when people asked if I had a coat or anything, when I mentioned that I was from Canada everyone was like…’Oh, then you’re used to the cold you will be fine then!’ Gotta love those Canadian stereotypes but, I owned it. So at 1900m you can hang out there for an hour or so check out the view but for those who need more elevation in their life you can take a creeky cable car up to 2500m at a cost of 30 Euro. Surprisingly, not that many people wanted to do the cable car, maybe it was the price or the height or the untrustworthiness of the cable car or the weather (because it seemed foggy). My thought process was I came here from Canada so this is HAPPENING! Went up the cable car with a random person from my tour group and as Fat Joe says…I’M ALL THE WAY UP!
This is the view from the sketchy cable car. The view from up there was breathtaking and breathe shortening since we are 2500M up at the highest point. Once you reach that level you can climb up more and there is a shuttle that takes you up a bit higher. I missed the shuttle so I power walked up maybe 100-200M more. The experience was amazing to think that I was over 8200ft in the air without being inside of a plane was soooo cool! We were so high up we actually are looking DOWN AT THE CLOUDS and the sky is really clear.
I think that is the shuttle I missed
Up in rare air!
Possibly the purest oxygen I’ve ever breathed in my life!
Started from the bottom…Now we here! (8200+ FEET!)
After that we hopped back on the coach and went to explore the local area and the views and architecture were immaculate in Sicily. I felt like I was transported to another planet. Just straight up beautiful.
The houses stacked up on the hills looked awesome.
I’m sorry…Did you say complimentary Sicilian chocolate and wine tasting? YES PLEASE!
Each corridor with stairs felt like another getaway to somewhere brand new.
This cathedral looked incredible and is over 500 years old!
The only downside was that from 4 to 630pm pretty much the whole town is shut down. It is like their daily break time so I was unable to get Sicilian pizza but, still that was interesting imagine most restaurants over in North America closing for 2-3 hours people would lose their minds!! But, I’ll admit I am pretty down with that way of life!
Well at least I got an authentic Italian Panini… So it wasn’t a total loss! The journey back, was a bit longer due to rougher waters but it was alright. Finally, got home around 1130pm and I got to admit it was an epic day. It’s not often you get to jump on a boat to hang out in Italy for a day, go up a volcano, eat chocolate and wine and wander around the beauty of Sicily!
More to come,
Walk it out people,