March 8, 2012 (Day 2)
Itinerary: Fly to Catania, Sicily, drive to Taormina
Today was that strange day that doesn’t really feel like a day because I started traveling on a Wednesday, but technically it is really a Thursday now. I always have to decide if days 1 and 2 should be counted as one day or two. This time around I’m counting them as 2 days. So, today, as per my previous post I landed in Amsterdam from Houston.
In Amsterdam I was able to find a decently priced GSM, European smartphone for myself to use during my travels. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to purchase one. It is nice buying a phone in Europe because you just buy the phone. There is no carrier attached and the phone is unlocked to work with all SIM cards. When I arrive in a country, I will simply purchase a SIM card and I’ll have a phone to use. Mark has been using his iPhone for this purpose. Once we get 2 Italian SIM cards for the first time we are going to be able to call each other while on vacation! This means we could even split up if we had to to make a task more efficient.
Flights we had today:
Joanna flew Amsterdam to Rome
Mark flew on the helicopter from Skikda to Annaba
Mark flew from Annaba to Algiers
Mark flew from Algiers to Rome
In Rome we met up and both flew to Catania, Sicily, Italy together arriving in Catania around 7pm
I was so excited to see both pieces of luggage arrive safely in Rome. You have no idea how excited. I had 3 hours to kill before Mark arrived, so I stored the luggage meant as Mark’s care package to Algeria and then checked in our other piece to Catania. Mark and I had our reunion at the gate board our flight. It is so amazing to see each other again!
Our flight was a bit delayed, but otherwise uneventful and we arrived with our luggage in Catania on the eastern coast of Sicily. It was pretty easy to pick up our Fiat 500 rental car and drive to Taormina where we will start our vacation. I wasn’t too keen about driving at night, but really the roads were well lit. However, no one paid attention to any traffic signs or lane markers. All the cars just went at their own speed, driving through red lights and adding lanes as necessary. We stopped for pedestrians, but otherwise it was a bit of a free-for-all. Luckily there wasnt much traffic. =) We found our hotel amazingly easily. I completely expected to drive right by it the first time, but we found it and they parked our car for us.
Our hotel is on a steep hill overlooking the ocean. A full moon lit up the ocean waves and from our room we had a gorgeous view!! If I were more awake, I would have set up to take a long exposure photo, but I’ll just have to see if we have a similar scene tomorrow night. The hotel room is huge and as I said we have a great view. The staff took care of us and sent us up to eat dinner and told us we could come down to reception to get the full welcome and map tomorrow. We pretty much just ate and fell into bed for a long nights sleep.
No photos today, just lots of travel. Until next time……