Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wandering Catania

Day 64

I didn't sleep well. The bunk beds here were very creaky, every time anyone rolled over the noise would wake me up. By the time it was 8 am I figured that it would be easier to get up then it would be to try and sleep.

While I was at breakfast I ran into Christina from Siracusa. She was doing the day tour of Mt. Etna that I had planned for the next day. It was cold and overcast, I hoped for her sake that the weather would be better on the volcano.

Catania is known for its fish and produce market, its noted as a must-see in the guidebooks. I spent some time wandering the stalls and taking pictures as unobtrusively as I could. The smells weren't so great, but the atmosphere was exciting and vibrant.

I then wandered just a bit further down the road to the Roman theater and Odean, basically a smaller theater. The theater was under heavy restoration and covered in scaffolding. For some reason they didn't allow pictures or sell postcards. As it was all stone, and outside, I went ahead and snuck a couple of pictures. I had the place to myself and it was fun to imagine Romans holding plays here.

It had begun to drizzle just as I found the monastery and St. Nicola cathedral. I wasn't able to go in the monetary, but the cathedral was free. It really needed some help, and I was happy to see that it was getting the repairs that it needed. It was an interesting building, it looked like it was in more disrepair than it actually was, it was simply never finished. Apparently there used to be an organ here that could replicate the sound of any instrument.

When I had finished the rain was coming down much harder and I popped into McDonald's for a coke and for shelter. As I was writing an older man sat at the table next to me. He asked my name and where I was from. I get lots of attention in Italy, so I answered his questions and just turned back to my journal. He then began talking to the people at the other nearby tables, I could tell that he was telling them that I am from the states. He then turned to me holding up a picture and asked if I knew who it was. I said, of course, that is Kurt Cobain. I thought it odd that he would have a picture of him. Then he told me that he had spoken to him, yesterday. Yea right buddy. I had had enough of the crazy at this point and the rain had stopped, so I headed out to see more of Catania.

Close to my hostel was the Ursino Castle, built in 1250. This is now the civic museum, and like everything else I had visited today under restoration courtesy of the EU. The museum was small, it just had a few Roman statues and mosaics on display. What was odd was that the entire medieval section was recently done paintings framed in cardboard.

I still had hours of light left at this point but not a whole lot of Catania left. I wandered aimlessly and found the Bellini theater and a pizzeria with a devil as its mascot. For dinner I made myself some pretty nasty pasta. No one should ever let me near a stove.

After happy hour at the hostel bar I headed out with a few others, including Olivia a nice Canadian, for a drink at a local club. It wasn't really my scene and I left after just one drink to go to bed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have posted twice under this topic.

Love, Mom