Today we got up later in the morning for a trip into Catania! We all got together to book our train tickets for Rome before taking Giuseppe’s cab to the castle in Catania.
The castle was only three euros to get into and was a solid hour or so of entertainment! It would have been 6 euros though if we hadn't all been students.
The castle was neat to walk around. It was super dark inside with few windows and less lights, but it was the middle of the day so plenty of light was still coming in.
We found a neat painting gallery there as well with plenty of very old art. It was kinda creepy and funny though with the faces and scenes that were painted.
The castle had many corridors that would transport you back in time to what it might have been like to live back then in a castle. The upper levels looked like an old art gallery which was weird and did not feel like an old castle at all.
There were tons of artifacts on display throughout the castle with many in this room behind a bunch of glass cases.
Moving on from the castle we went to the Elephant Square where there is some beautiful architecture.
It was lunch time so we were on the lookout for a cool place to get some food.
We were eventually taken to a little place up an alley from Elephant Square that offered us a seat at their tables.
We got the house wine to share and pizzas. It took forever to get, and the food wasn’t as good as some of the other places we have been to unfortunately.
We did randomly have the other half of our group show up part of the way through our meal which was random in a city this size.We were running into them at random intervals after that as well for the rest of the day. At this point, we had decided to find a place to get gelato and to do some shopping.
Catania has loads of department stores to look into and shop around. We only ended up getting one item among the group of us.
At this point we decided to check out this McDonalds that kept being referenced as a check point. This was no ordinary McDonalds. The place was huge with an upstairs, desert bar, and huge food court serving crab!
I split a cheesecake there with another person which was not bad for being McDonalds and was super fancy for a fast food restaurant!
We did some more shopping around and got more deserts later at a tiny shop in Catania.
This was when we had to make a decision on whether or not to make the trip to Acitrezza (the place with the Cyclops from the Odyssey). It is a beautiful piece of coastline with several rocks poking out of the sea. We initially made the decision to stay in Catania, but we then chose to go out to see what it was all about.
A long bus tour around Catania, transition to another bus, and a short bus trip up to the north later we arrived in Acitrezza! This place was 100% worth the excursion with its rocky beach and beautiful sea.
There were loads of little crabs crawling among the rocks. There were even some sea urchins setting up in the rocky floor below. Climbing around them with all my camera gear was a trick.
Using the tripod to stabilize myself helped out quite a bit! We were there at a perfect time as well with the sun setting on the island the lighting was beautiful.
I got a bunch of stunning long exposer shots of the water and rocks. Turning around I got some shots of the coast to the south with the small boats rocking back and forth.
An hour of this left us tired, dirty, and hungry. This made us go on a brief search for food as we found a seafood restaurant nearby. They served us wine and bread while we ordered.
I got Angus because it was a “featured” item. I found it tough to eat, but thats what I get for ordering beef at a seafood restaurant. We got free drinks at the end of our meal which was nice and by the end of the meal we were all feeling really good!
Giuseppe was supposed to pick us up, but he was busy so he sent a friend. This was an interesting trip because the guy wanted to be a race car driver in the streets of Catania. Dodging back and forth between moving and parked cars we dropped off another passenger at some club before making the rest of the journey home.
He played Barbie Girl several times during this time which we didn’t mind. We sang along and laughed with the guy as we shared a funny moment crossing cultures!
We got back to our apartments and recovered a bit. This was basically the end of the day. A long and very good day.