Steve & Carol
Thu 6 Oct 2022 23:36
We set off at first light for the 220 mile passage, soon we were having a fantastic fast sail despite the very lumpy sea until the early hours of the 6th when the wind reduced and we slowed down but managed to keep sailing until after lunch time when we ended up motoring the rest of the way to Siracusa getting into the anchorage at about 10pm. It's a big anchorage so getting in, in the dark wasn’t a problem. Adriana and Jack the lad both arrived during the night and were happily anchored nearby when we got up.
We spent about a week in Siracusa enjoying the Old town, its colourful market and had a sightseeing day with Craig, Zena, Steve and Janine to the archeology site in the north of the town.
The Archeology site also incorporates:
The Latomie of Syracuse which is a limestone quarry which was later used for prisons. Now it is a tropical garden full of local and exotic plant species.
Grotta dei Cordari (the ropemaker's grotto) ropemakers worked here for centuries, now the ceilings are covered with pretty mould / moss growth
The Ear of Dionysos (Orecchio di Dionisio) which is an artificial cave with some acoustic ability - not sure what it was created for though!
The Greek theatre
The is the most famous monument of the city, but also in antiquity it had great international fame and prestige being the most important building for shows of the Greek-western world,. It was also a place of worship and large popular assemblies, the site of public trials and, in Roman times, it was also adapted for circus and variety exhibitions. it's 138m across, was first built in the 5th century BC, rebuilt in the 3rd century BC and renovated again in the Roman period. It's really quite impressive and in very good condition.
The Altar of Hieron II
dates from the 3rd century BC and was dedicated to Jupiter Liberator (Zeus Eleutherios), in honor of which the feast of Eleutheria was celebrated, with the sacrifice of 450 bulls at a time. It is a , to the south and to the north the latter was once flanked by two Telamons, of which only the feet of the one on the right remain. Only the base remains of the building because it was demolished in the 16th century by the Spaniards.
, which is an elliptical shape - it's a bit smaller than the Greek theatre and it is except in the south side. here in roman times the bloody fights between gladiators or gladiators and wild beasts took place.
We also had some fun and games with some boats dragging anchor, this dutch boat was on the move - we went to see if we could do anything but with windlass switched off and unable to start the engine and it heading towards the shore etc we called the coastguard, luckily they arrived in time and got it in tow easily but they made hash of rescuing it - had they pulled the anchor up once they had it in tow it would have made their life easier 🤔 rather than try to tow it around with it down! The owners did return about an hour and a half after it dragged to find it on the dock!
Meanwhile this boat was metres from our bow when we eventually got the owner up into the cockpit by blasting fog horn and shouting at him 🙄. Must be time to head for Malta!