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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 25, 2014

Friday - leave Ortigia; arrive in Palermo

This is so exciting.  It's Saturday evening right now and I'm going to get Friday's post finished (cause there's not much to it) and get to work on Saturday's post.  Woo-hoo!!

Friday I had breakfast in the hotel again (hadn't done that for a few days), went upstairs and got myself clean, finished packing, and then went out to waste a little time.  I was to catch a local bus at 1:00 to take me to the bus station in Siracusa where I would catch the direct bus to Palermo.  I took a fond farewell from my "across the street" Mediterranean Sea...very calm it was.

 And then I made my way up to the big shopping street to go to the ATM and get some cash.  A woman was already using it when I got there and I waited and waited and waited.  At one point, I stepped a little closer to ask if it was not working and I think she must have thought I was trying to see her code or something cause she said whatever she said in what seemed like an irate voice, so I quickly stepped back and said "no, no".  Then I waited a little longer and finally she started away without having gotten anything.  But since I also thought maybe she didn't know how to use it, I walked up to the machine and then she came back and said no, no - and I'm sure was telling me it didn't work.  I didn't know if it really wasn't or not but I wasn't about to risk my debit card trying to find out.  So I walked around and found the entrance to the bank and turns out they had another one in there.  But I took the picture below while I was waiting to use the inside one because I wanted to ask, do any of my readers go to a bank with something like this in its ceiling???  Isn't it beautiful?  The whole bank was very bank-ish looking - lots of wood, tellers at windows, etc.  I loved it.
 And after a bit of window shopping I went back and sat in the hotel lobby reading and playing a bit of my games on the phone.  Finally asked the lady at the desk - Daniella, another very nice lady - how often the local buses ran and she said about every half hour so I caught one at 12:30 instead of 1:00 cause it was getting kind of embarrassing just sitting there forever.  Got to the station in Siracusa and it was windy and chilly again so I walked down the street with my luggage until I found a place where I could go inside, bought a bag of potato chips and a Coke and ate them like a person who has been deprived of chips for quite a while, used their facilities, and went back down to the station.  Spoke to a real sweet young girl who was going to Catania because I wasn't real sure about what the man at the ticket booth had told me about where to wait for the bus.  She spoke very good English and found out for sure where I was supposed to wait and we had a little conversation.  I told her her English was very good and she said no, very bad.  Anyone I've complimented on their English tends to say that after speaking to this American who basically can't speak any Italian.

Anyway, I took pictures out the window of the bus when we got into a mountainous region.  Their mountains are very, very different from those in WV - pretty much no trees to speak of.  We went through lots of tunnels during the whole trip.  And speaking of taking pictures on a bus which is a fairly stupid idea, I have to say I'm impressed with my phone because these pictures turned out better than I had hoped as I was trying to hold it steady while bobbling around.
I love the sky in this one although it would appear I forgot to straighten the image.


And when I got to Palermo, my host and hostess met me at the station with a car!!!  He had suggested that and I had bravely said I could get there all right but bless him, he insisted, and I got off the bus, turned around from getting my luggage out and there he stood with his sign saying Mary Lynne Simpson!  What a nice thing to see.  So, below is one view from my terrace.  I took more pictures of the room and from the terrace on Saturday so stay tuned.

Buona sera from Palermo!

2 comments:

Christopher said...

What a pleasant day! I'm glad all your transportation worked out well, with luggage in tow… And what a splendid idea to have your Palermo people meet you… I would've said yes the first time they offered :-) you should tell him he could have a great business opportunity if he has relatives who can do that for visitors to the Milan train station… :-)

January said...

I think the iPhone (probably most phones now) does a pretty incredible job in motion - I used it for pictures from trains and such in Germany and you almost wouldn't know! And you did get a nice couple of shots of the sky and mountains. Tell your host that your daughter says thank you for picking you up at the bus depot :)

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