As I browse through my gazillion pictures from our European Escapade, it already feels like forever ago that I was cruising on a boat from Amalfi to Positano. After our Contiki tour came to an end we took a flight from Paris to Rome to meet my parents who were going to accompany us on our journey through the southern part of the motherland to see family and explore towns we didn’t get the chance to see 8 years ago.
After a sleepover in Rome we headed off to the town of Amalfi on the Amalfi coast. We made an afternoon stop in Pompeii. Pompeii has been something I have read about and watched national geographic documentaries about since I was like ten. It is crazy how ash has literally frozen history. I saw it. It froze everything in Mt Vesuvius’s wake. There is always something about a volcano that makes it feel like it is evil, just looming over the tiny homes below it.
On the way to Amalfi, the GPS took us literally over a mountain where we almost ran over a herd of sheep and goats, and where my mom really wished there was an “oh shit” handle to grab on to during our rollercoaster of a ride. Our stay in Amalfi was wonderful we stayed at the reasonably priced (for the Amalfi coast) Hotel Amalfi which had a lovely rooftop terrace where we enjoyed breakfast and a cappuccino every morning. We took a quick ferry to Positano and enjoyed a lovely meal but were happy to make our way back to what was a quieter town of Amalfi in comparison. Our excursion to the island of Capri was a huge day, filled with swimming in the sea and enjoying perseco on the speed boat (any excuse to drink).
From Amalfi we made our way to my mom’s family’s hometown of Crotone in Calabria (the boot of italy). Here we stayed with family and enjoyed fresh cheese, olive oil and of course gelato (at this point I was having about three a day). It is truly the simple things in life that make you the most happy, good food, good wine and even better company (thankfully food is a universal language as I still fail at speaking full sentences of Italian). It was funny to learn that they didn’t understand what dating was, why weren’t you married if you has a friend that was a boyfriend. What is a “boy-frienddd”. What was even funnier was that they told me that when I return to visit them again I have to bring my husband. I couldn’t help but laugh. I said “if you wait that long you probably won’t meet them, can I bring my wife instead (aka one of my best friends Becca)”. After visiting family in both Crotone and Locri (with them all smiling because I always went in for second helpings of food) we made our way to the island.
This is the first time my family had been to Sicily. I was excited because it was know for its spectacular beaches and wine. My absolute favourite place was a Bed and Breakfast we stayed at in Agrigento called La Lumia B&B. The house on the side of a hill overlooking the temples has been in the family for over 100 years and the family started a bed and breakfast 3 years ago. The hospitality was unbelievable and the outdoor dinners made by Salvatore right in front of us in the outdoor kitchen was delicious. When you meet nice families like this one you remember why you travel = to connect with other people from all walks of life. During our time in Sicily we walked along the craters of Mt Etna (an active volcano) and had a fabulous walking food tour of Catania exploring the fish markets and having Sicilian specialties. In Catania we hit the jackpot when we visited Nelson Sicily wine shop. This place had amazing wine, from wineries we don’t have the privilege of buying in Canada. In short I have many bottles of wine coming to me soon! While in Agrigento we visited Scala dei Turki, a white sand beach with huge sand dunes in the shape of stairs. It was absolutely break taking.
Our trip ended as quickly as it began. And now I stand in the airport again waiting to board my flight to Vancouver with a one way ticket. Let the next adventure begin!