Riposta-Taormina (1)

Mor Toad / Moy Toad
David and Jocelyn Fawcett
Tue 10 Oct 2017 06:19
After our epic 11-12 hour motor from the Aeolian Islands  through the Straits of Messina to Riposta we were pretty tired and our first day in Riposta saw us do very little other than have a walk through the town, try and get information on how to get elsewhere on land , the usual supermarket shop and a walk to the next village along the front hoping it wouldn't rain with some very ominous clouds around . 

We still hadn't seen Mount Etna at this point which we knew was above the town. 

The next day was forecast to be better and after a lot of asking questions in our very poor - in fact non Existent Italian we discovered that the best and cheapest way of visiting Taormina was by train. So this is what we eventually did on Friday morning after the Raymarine agent had been to the boat to check our wind instruments as the dial on deck was not agreeing with arrow up mast. This has been bothering David for sometime. The vein and cable down the mast  were new last year when we had the boat sorted in Palma. They seemed very good and thought it was the instrument in the cockpit - had it apart put back together and said would come to Catania on Monday to go for sail to check out before changing anything. In fact it worked on our sail here yesterday everything agreed. On the dot of 10 this morning they arrived and as I'm sat writing this on the quay they have all gone out in the boat to check. 

So a 20 minute walk through the town of Riposta - which at some point in its history must have been quite prosperous looking as some of the buildings.  We managed to buy  return tickets . A 15 minute train ride to Naxos  on the coast below Taormina and  if the weather had been better it is where we should have been. An amazing station hall . Long wait with 

with many other tourists  outside the station for the bus to take us up the hill. Well a very full bus lots people standing and goodness knows how many hairpins later we arrived at the bus terminus. Pretty hairy sheer drop good views but he'd had to reverse the bus several times to get round the bends. It was noticeable when we got off the bus he just crossed his arms and lit a cigarette as if to say 'not going anywhere just yet I've had enough' !

Well the town was beautiful but an onslaught on the senses with people ( dread to think what it's like in Jury and August  ) First stop the Greek amphitheatre - impressive. 

Superb views across the bay and up to the castle and hilltop village above the town.

Sadly Etna still in the cloud. 
We then decided we couldn't cope with people,  all the tourist tat and shops so found a cafe in a quiet or relatively quiet back street except thoroughfare for motor scooters and bikes (very popular form of transport in many of these Sicilian towns. Narrow steep streets built in the era of the donkey! )

After that we decided to climb to the castle above the town. Definitely got our 20000 steps that day. Well worth the effort for the views, mostly paved steps all the way - you wonder who built them . Not many other people around. Fitted the bill for getting away from the crowds, lovely little chapel built into the rock and a pretty derelict castle with a locked gate but we with few others got through the hole in the gate to get to the very top!!!