It was just a totally wasted day today. We were up early and on a bus to be dropped down to the harbor to catch a catamaran across to Sicily. The sun was just starting to show itself as they fired up the engines and we were off for the 2 hour journey.
We had a little inkling that something wasn't quite right when the staff started handing out spew bags and checking on passengers welfare as we were leaving the harbor. We were fine though as she was a new ship and bloody huge. The seats were comfy and the day was fine so we settled back in the front of the craft to enjoy the view.
After about 15 minutes things were not so smooth. The ship was rolling around in the water way too much and huge sprays were soaking the sides from falling off the crest of the waves. Trying to wander around was mission impossible and there were spew bags being filled everywhere. Jac wasn't feeling great so we moved into the centre of the boat and her sickness subsided so she did what Jac does best, had a snooze.
On arriving in Sicily it took ages to disembark. Once we were off we found our coach then it was on with the tour. We grabbed our spot up the back and headed towards our first stop at Nicolosi on the base of Mt Etna. We wandered around the featureless town for 30 mins before jumping back on the bus for the trip to the top of the volcano.
Going up the mountain was amazing. Our guide was pointing out the different lava from all the previous 200 years. It really created a bleak landscape of nothing. You can buy a house for next to nothing on Mt Etna but you will never be able to insure it. We saw how the lava can burn out a house and leave the neighbors standing and have photos of a house consumed except for the roof. Not much grows and no wildlife is to be found.
As we neared the top the sunshine disappeared and snow started to fall. We were told the previous day was like summer but today things were turning nasty. As a result we would not be able to hike to the crater. So we had a little wander until the snow got heavier and we retreated inside a cafe for some lunch.
At 2pm we boarded the bus just as the snow stopped. We were told the seas were too rough and would have to catch a flight back to Malta. As a result our tour was cut short and we were taken to the airport. The guide informed us that the tour company knew the weather was poor but wanted to test out their new catamaran. So the b******s knew that we should not have left Malta yet never gave us an option. Thieving a******s in management just wanted our money.
We were put on a plane and had a hairy old flight back to Malta. A bus was at the airport and returned us to our apartment where we had a shower and wandered out for dinner. It was a waste of a day and money but that won't matter to them.
As for what we saw of Sicily it was bleak and a very grim place. No one smiled and it had no really endearing qualities. The houses looked like eastern bloc housing that you see on tv and the place was a mess. It's a shame because we wanted to see more of the place but will probably never return. At least we knew we were heading back to a place that is beautiful, full of life and friendly people. We're coming Malta, show us some love.