Siracusa and Catania

by

Siracusa and Catania

We woke very early at 5:30 and had breakfast that had been arranged by the hotel (regular breakfast starts at 7:30 and we had to be at the bus stop at 7:40). After eating we walked to the Byzantine Tombs (well, Bizantine Tumbs on the fax from the travel company). These are actually an unmarked area with rectanglar holes that used to be used as crypts to allow bodies to rot to the bone, then the bones were removed and buried elsewhere.

The Byzantine Tombs in Taormina

The Byzantine Tombs in Taormina

We boarded the bus, stopped along the way (the ride is about two hours to Siracusa).

We stopped at an Autogrill - these appear along major highways in Italy and provide basic food and toilets

We stopped at an Autogrill - these appear along major highways in Italy and provide basic food and toilets

Our tour buss

Our tour buss

We drove into Siracusa to the ancient Greek theatre. It was one of the largest in the ancient world, seating over 20,000 people.

The Greek theatre in Siracusa

The Greek theatre in Siracusa

The Greeks diverted a natural spring to the theatre above the seating area

The Greeks diverted a natural spring to the theatre above the seating area

We walked on to the quarry, where there’s a famous acoustic tunnel dug into the rock; it was quarried from top to bottom, following a vein of some ore.

A tunnel dug into the rock near the theatre

A tunnel dug into the rock near the theatre

We walked through a vine tunnel to go back above the quarry floor to one of the largest Greek sacrificial alters, and a musician.

The vine tunnel (that's the back of our tour guide, in the hat)

The vine tunnel (that's the back of our tour guide, in the hat)

This alter could hold 150 bulls at one time

This alter could hold 150 bulls at one time

A street musician performing at a rest point (in the shade)

A street musician performing at a rest point (in the shade)

Reboarding the bus, then going to the old city of Siracusa for a short walking tour.

A reliquary inside a church in Siracusa

A reliquary inside a church in Siracusa

A statue at the waterfront

A statue at the waterfront

We rode the bus to Catania. Legend has it that Ulysses landed at Catania, and he and his men were trapped by the Cyclops, Polyphemos. Ulysses blinded the Cyclops, and the Cyclops threw huge stones into the water after Ulysses’s ship – these stones, vulcanic in nature, still sit in the harbor.

A view of the facade of the Duomo in Catania

A view of the facade of the Duomo in Catania

A map of Catania from inside the Duomo

A map of Catania from inside the Duomo

We got off the bus at the tombs. Aviva went to take a picture of a cool building and couldn’t find her camera. I raced up the hill to the bus station, found our tour guide and the bus, and found Aviva’s camera on the seat, thank goodness.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Revisions:

There are no revisions for this post.