Catania and Acitrezza

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.

 from the outside looking at the castle's walls

from the outside looking at the castle's walls

 inside one of the old castle walls

inside one of the old castle walls

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.

 inside the halls

inside the halls

 the courtyard

the courtyard

 castle toilets are interesting!

castle toilets are interesting!

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.

 This happened to turn out as a nice photo of Alexis looking at some of the art in the castle.

This happened to turn out as a nice photo of Alexis looking at some of the art in the castle.

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.

 try swinging from this chandelier that is super old!

try swinging from this chandelier that is super old!

 this weird thing on the floor kept giving me weird looks though...

this weird thing on the floor kept giving me weird looks though...

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.

 stairs to the courtyard

stairs to the courtyard

 a cool wooden door

a cool wooden door

Moving on from the castle we went to the Elephant Square where there is some beautiful architecture.

 Catania streets

Catania streets

 more typical Catania street

more typical Catania street

It was lunch time so we were on the lookout for a cool place to get some food. 

 Market street (not literally though)

Market street (not literally though)

 Italian man at his produce stand

Italian man at his produce stand

We were eventually taken to a little place up an alley from Elephant Square that offered us a seat at their tables.

 angry man in a beautiful city (not impressed)

angry man in a beautiful city (not impressed)

 this guy with the accordion was everywhere! 

this guy with the accordion was everywhere! 

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.

 there is a seat open!

there is a seat open!

 diverse busload

diverse busload

 Depressed Spiderman sighting

Depressed Spiderman sighting

 Italian man going places

Italian man going places

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.

 seriously beautiful Catania

seriously beautiful Catania

 yup still beautiful around Elephant Square

yup still beautiful around Elephant Square

Catania has loads of department stores to look into and shop around. We only ended up getting one item among the group of us.

 An old Roman Colosseum buried under the streets of Catania.

An old Roman Colosseum buried under the streets of Catania.

 One of the beautiful buildings to see around town!

One of the beautiful buildings to see around town!

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!

 Italy's pizza kicks butt! I'll never look at pizza the same way again...

Italy's pizza kicks butt! I'll never look at pizza the same way again...

I split a cheesecake there with another person which was not bad for being McDonalds and was super fancy for a fast food restaurant!

 McDonalds Lobster say what?!?!

McDonalds Lobster say what?!?!

 McDonalds cheesecake... yup

McDonalds cheesecake... yup

 McDonalds is huge!

McDonalds is huge!

We did some more shopping around and got more deserts later at a tiny shop in Catania.

 Gelato and sightseeing!

Gelato and sightseeing!

 Even more desserts (not mine though)

Even more desserts (not mine though)

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.

 Alexis posing for a cool photo at Acitrezza's beautiful seascape.

Alexis posing for a cool photo at Acitrezza's beautiful seascape.

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.

 one of the many crabs around the rocks here.

one of the many crabs around the rocks here.

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.

 They did stay mostly still for almost a minute to take this photo.

They did stay mostly still for almost a minute to take this photo.

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.

 My favorite image from the summer here so far!

My favorite image from the summer here so far!

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.

 Acitrezza and its beauty

Acitrezza and its beauty

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.

 found some jellyfish on a rock!

found some jellyfish on a rock!

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!

 the rocks and water make this place amazing

the rocks and water make this place amazing

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.

 such a beautiful sunset just in the wrong direction for the rocks perfect for the city though

such a beautiful sunset just in the wrong direction for the rocks perfect for the city though

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!

 These rocks are huge! Also they can be super beautiful!

These rocks are huge! Also they can be super beautiful!

We got back to our apartments and recovered a bit. This was basically the end of the day. A long and very good day.