April 2015

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Sun 12 Apr 2015 16:53
Hi All,

This is probably our last update from Marina di Ragusa.  Summer appears to have arrived and we have been wearing hats for protection from the sun!   We return home in 10 days for THE WEDDING before returning here on 7 May and to leave as soon as the weather is right.

Following Maggie’s return to Ragusa we hired a little car to buzz around the island – emphasis on buzz and little.  The car was a citreon d’ chevaux  (or is the hair?)– in this instance the “d” stands for demi!!  With it’s tiny engine It struggled up hills with two on board but then whizzed down hills with great élan.

We drove westward to look at Licata, the other marina we had considered and decided we had probably made a wise choice with Ragusa.  After stopping briefly we motored on to Agrigento – about half way along the south coast.  There on a hill are two Greek temples the largest and virtually intact one was the Temple of Concord.  Truly astonishing when you consider it was built in 440BC and is still standing. An amazing sight.

Sadly the weather was not on our side that day and we braved the occasional shower and gusty winds – coats and umbrellas were the order of the day and my RYA brolly finally surrendered to decrepitude and was last seen in a litter bin at the site.  

Maggie pulls a nice local boy named Iccarus  (seems like a nice boy – but wearing no trousers).

We then buzzed on toward Tripani where we had booked a B-n-B for 2 nights.  Maggie had been wise enough to bring our sat-nav from UK and we were able to tune this to the locality and find our way to the B-n-B and round about without difficulty. 

Tripani is a port city on the West end of the island below the hill town on Erice. 

We visited the Erice on day 2 but although we enjoyed tramping around the medieval city the town itself, which is some 750m above sea level, was enveloped in the clouds, so it was cold and damp. 

The Emblem of Sicily – Just like the legs of Man

There followed a tour through the vinyards of Sicily before returning to  Tripani for an exceptional dinner at a restaurant recommended to us by our land-lord.

Day 3 found us making our way to Palermo on the NW corner of the island.  Here for the first time we found traffic!  A bustling but scruffy city which we largely by-passed.  We called into a mechanic’s yard to order a new relief valve for our hot water system.  I had tried to order this on line but my efforts were ignored.  However, having turned up in person we could not have had better service and we now have the offending valve on-board ready for installation the next time I burrow down to that end of the boat.

Our next visit was to Piazza Aremerina in the centre of the island.  Here there is a roman “Vila del Casale” with the most exotic and complete mosaic tiled floors.  Look it up on the internet – the mosaics were just fantastic and the site has been tastefully preserved and is presented in an excellent and appealing manner.  Without doubt this was the star visit.


Hunting scenes


Hunting and transporting wild animals back to Rome


Nothing new with the Bikini!  The Romans had them in Sicily.

They even had porn in the Boss’ bedroom!

We took the car to Siracusa and toured the town there.  I was very taken with the cathedral which is built inside an original Greek temple – the Temple of Athena.   The town itself was built on the ruins of an ancient Greek settlement dating from 734BC with amphitheatre and various ruins to show for it.  It is a lovely city on a beautiful site on the sea shore

– we anchored here for several days last year but I didn’t get ashore as I was busy preparing reports.  Lunch was had in a deli-restaurant in the market area.  It was exceptionally good.  We will return there in May before crossing back to the Italian mainland on our way to Crotone where the boat is to be lifted for cleaning/antifouling.  Actually, I am becoming concerned about that, we have so much stuff on board now in readiness for next year in Greece I am concerned we make break the crane!

At Easter we went to Modica to witness their Easter procession.  

Jesus and Mary leave separate chuches in the town and wonder the streets looking for each other.  They are re-united in the main square, Mary’s cloak drops away and doves are released.  Then they greet each other and kiss in front of the cathedral


The cloaked Mary looking for Jesus.

The Kiss!

It was a memorable scene. 30 minutes later the streets were deserted once more and there was a queue to leave town.