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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Here's the Strait of Messina, and Sicily in the distance.
We watched as an Italian sailing instructor yelled at his students.
The yelling paid off, as his students zipped all over. It was a maritime ballet.
In the distance we could see the lights of Messina.
The next morning we enjoyed a fancy breakfast!
We walked up the esplanade to catch a ferry.
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.
OK guys. Take it easy. That's my wife!
This sailboat made me drool all over myself.
We crossed the Strait of Messina.
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.
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.
We stayed at a B&B. This was the view from our bathroom.
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.
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