Thursday, December 31, 2009

Honeymoon VI – to the Strait of Messina and Sicily

From Amalfi we took a bus to Salerno, then caught a train to Reggio di Calabria, located at the end of the boot at the Strait of Messina. When we got off the train, we were tired and eager to find a room. We took a cab to the waterfront and wheeled our bags into a hotel that looked way too fancy.

reggiia.hotellobby

We were told that a room would cost about $600 a night! Kim convinced them that we should get a better price and reminded them that we were on our honeymoon. It worked!

fancyhotelroom

We got this massive ambassador's suite for around $200. That's a lot of money, but what the hell – we're were on our honeymoon!

jackasgodfather

Here I am doing my best impression of Don Corleone. Since I couldn't speak the language, I adopted this Italian hand gesture, which is very useful.

reggiaesplandade


Somewhere we read that Reggio was a depressing city overrun by the mafia with very little to see. But that wasn't our experience. There's a beautiful seaside esplanade.

sicily

Here's the Strait of Messina, and Sicily in the distance.

studentsailors

We watched as an Italian sailing instructor yelled at his students.

saolorsclose

The yelling paid off, as his students zipped all over. It was a maritime ballet.

messinamonument

In the distance we could see the lights of Messina.

breakfastreggia

The next morning we enjoyed a fancy breakfast!

kimgiantpresents

We walked up the esplanade to catch a ferry.

kimwithcrewdirections

One of the crew members was overly captivated with Kim's tattoos and brought the captain on deck to have a look. The captain made it clear that he didn't like tattoos, but he was very helpful giving us directions to various places we wanted to visit.

shipcrewwithkim

OK guys. Take it easy. That's my wife!

prettysailboat

This sailboat made me drool all over myself.

loversonaboat

We crossed the Strait of Messina.


martini
Don't get too excited. In Italy it's not uncommon to be served a martini made with sweet vermouth.

We landed in Messina and jumped on a train to Palermo.

fuckmafia

We later learned that Palermo has some neat neighborhoods and beautiful areas, but we seemed to end up in the low-rent district. There were some neat areas, but also some dirty areas. Kim took a photo of this graffiti.


palermofrombathroom
We stayed at a B&B. This was the view from our bathroom.

palermodining

We ate some amazing meals in Italy, but this wasn't one of them. Due to some language barriers, I got a salad with a mysterious flem-like white sauce with hunks of stinky fish and god-knows-what inside. I offered it to Kim, but for some reason she wasn't interested. On the other hand, the deep-fried rice balls were pretty good, as well as the carafe of red wine.

colorfulcar

We wandered around and did a little shopping. There were street vendors selling various antiques. A haggled for awhile with a vendor who was selling a World War II-era Leica camera with a Nazi SS logo on the lens cap. He wanted too much for it. When I said "no thank you" in Italian, he and a nearby woman said something nasty back to me, perhaps "thanks for nothing, asshole!"

Other than that, most people were really polite. Some of them went out of their way to help us.

Next: We cross Sicily and visit the Valley of Temples

8 Comments:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

4:20 PM  
Blogger Monica... That One Girl said...

These photos are breathtaking, Jack. I'm actually at a loss for words at that view from the B&B.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Indie said...

Same here. That photo is my favorite. Everything is so vivid and colorful! It must have been so fun to have this adventure with a loved one by your side!

2:17 AM  
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Blogger Gordon Inkeles said...

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3:10 PM  

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