With Motorhome in Europe for a whole year - part 7
Tone and Finn Bjurvoll Hansen have spent a whole year in motorhomes. The tour has been all over Europe, and in each issue of Bobil and Caravan Magazine they tell about their experiences. Today, the story comes from the island of Sicily in the Mediterranean
Tour of Sicily, Part 3
After digesting all the impressions of the temple valley, we wanted to continue south on the island. We had not found the next place to park before leaving the temple valley. This is quite unusual for us, but we figured we could find some places we could freecamp along the coast on our way further south, but this time we didn't find a single place we could park. We found many places, but they were not suitable for an overnight stay. Unfortunately, garbage management is poor in Sicily, and there are areas where garbage has accumulated. For some reason, it seemed like we drove straight to such "garbage dumps" every time we took a detour off the main road to find a place we could park.
Maybe it was time to find the app from CamperContact? That said, so done. We wanted to find an ok campsite, and the choice fell on Scarabeo Camping, so also turned out to be in the same chain as Agricampeggio Allesandra, ie a campsite of a high standard. It eventually got dark and suddenly the rain came. Driving on these narrow rural roads in the dark and in the rainy islands is a challenge. There are no street lights, and the Sicilians have a slightly different driving style than what we are used to. Here was just taking the time. Eventually we came to Scarabeo Camping and were assigned space. It was dark, so we didn't get that much impression of the campground that night.
There are great variations when it comes to campsites in Sicily, but Camping Scarabeo is top class. There are large beautiful spaces, one has its own private toilet and shower with its own key. Just that is an incredibly good arrangement. So no one else uses either your toilet or your shower during your stay. The campsite has a fantastic beach where many gather at night to turn off a chat and watch the sunset. This is true in the mornings as well, the gate from the campsite and out to the beach is a popular place to gather for a little chatter for the morning coffee.
Market in Vittoria
Most Mediterranean cities have their local market where the locals can trade their food, be it fish, meat, vegetables - yes everything that can be eaten can be found in such markets. In addition, you can make good purchases on clothes, shoes and other nice things. The largest market near the campsite is in Vittoria, about two and a half miles away. The campsite has a shuttle service with a minibus to the market, and for the modest sum of 6 euros is transported together with other shopping carts both to and from the market, which we also used. We wanted to see a bit from the city itself as well, so we wandered from the marketplace and up into town. Vittoria is a great city. We had googled a bit in advance, but the city was quite different from what we saw on google. Of course, many half finished buildings, poor maintenance etc, but the center itself was cozy with its narrow streets, cozy bars and restaurants.
An evening stroll along the beach
Back at the campsite after an informative drive - the campsite owner runs the minibus, and she was a living lexicon around Sicily's history. For those of us interested in such things, there was a lot of useful information that is nice to have in our luggage. After all, it's always fun to get into the history of the places you visit. The afternoon was spent on a cozy stroll along the beach. It had rained a little over, so it was a great opportunity to explore the old buildings we see from the motorhome on the headland at the end of the beach. We thought this might be some ruins similar to what we had seen in the Temple Valley, but most likely these are the remains of an old lighthouse. Whatever exciting, and great motifs for photos.
Santa Lucia's hometown.
After a few nice and lazy days at Camping Scarabeo we continued a few miles east towards the town of Syracuse. The city is ancient and was founded by the Greeks in 734 BC. The city grew rapidly and became a prosperous Greek colony. Throughout time, many have had dominion here, after the Greeks came the Romans, the Vandals, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Normans and the bourbons. Siracusa has also educated well-known people who Santa Lucia and Archimedes - the mathematician and philosopher known from physics and, moreover, for the invention of the catapult. We parked down in the harbor where we had read on campercontact that it was okay to stand - there were several motorhomes here and around the place there were also many restaurants. The view was nice, old and new sailboats lay snugly inside the pier and we looked directly across to the old town of Ortygia which lies out on an island shaped like an odd.
Greek Apollo Temple
We like to go and explore such places and here it was a lot of fun to see. Right after we cross the bridge, we see ruins of the ancient Greek temple in honor of Apollo. The city also previously had a temple in honor of Athena, but this has been replaced by a more modern Christian Duomo. We stroll further into the narrow streets reminiscent of the Gothic quarters of Barcelona. Here it is important to keep track of where you are going, because it is pure maze. There are small cozy shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, galleries, B & B's, hotels and churches. The facades have balconies that are richly decorated with wrought iron and artful stone ornaments. From here also hang flowers, Christmas decorations, garlands, flags and colorful laundry, all in a charming mix. Along the water, there is a kind of city wall that ends up at Castello Maniace castle at the far end of the headland. This is from approx. 1240 and the German-Roman era.
We strolled around the small and narrow streets for a while, and suddenly we came to a large open space. Here, of course, there was a church - which it often does in old cities - and this one was in honor of Santa Lucia. Also nearby was a great fountain on Piazza di Archimedes - well suited since he was concerned with water and displaced fluid bodies. There were many streets intersecting before we walked back to the "Silver Arrow". It gets dark so fast and we didn't want to get lost in all the little streets. On the return we also saw some newer pyramid-shaped architecture that had to be viewed and photographed. It was a church; Sanctuary Madonna della lacrime. (Continued in next edition)
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