Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The last day. We had hired a car and driver to take us to Piazza Armerina to see the Villa Romana with its amazing mosaic floors. I fear I didn’t really have the oomph to do it justice, but it was worth doing nonetheless.

Friday October 19

We had a delightful outing. One of the hotel front-desk-men came along, for his day off, his English just marginally better than my Italian. He had never been to Piazza Armerina. He used to work in London but couldn’t stand the weather. His presence made the whole thing more of a party, since Archie could join in the conversation. The mosaics are pretty wonderful. I found it pretty demanding — all a bit up hill and down dale, and the crowds were appalling. We were delivered back to the threshold of a taverna about as du pays as you can get, for a late lunch, and are now back at base for a nap. The front-desk-man gave us a box of fichi d’India fruit which don’t taste very nice and are heavy. We will have to carry them at least as far as Catania airport.

There is a museum very near here dedicated to Sicily’s most recent invasion — in 1943. I think we might go see that tomorrow morning, before the airport. Also I’ll need to find cash. I forgot to budget for the taxi-to-airport. ATM’s don’t abound here.

Now safely back from evening supper-expedition. I hope my next bulletin will simply report safe arrival in Edinburgh and reunion with dear cats.

Saturday October 20

Here we are at Catania airport, a circle of hell beyond Dante’s imagining. We have still a long time to wait before our journey even begins. Several flights seem to be delayed — a bad omen.

Now here we are in Charles de G., the grandest airport I have ever seen. Archie was worried about making our connection, since CdeG is full of long, long walks and I am so slow; then I got worried because on top of those considerations, we were half an hour late getting in from Catania. But all is well. We are sitting at the Edinburgh departure gate, with time to spare.

And here I am in Drummond Place with a glass of Weston’s Vintage Cider — they don’t have THAT in Catania — and my dear cats, who seem glad to see me. Perdita met us at the inner glass door, the way she does when I get home from the supermarket, although her feeders have scarcely seen her all week. Maybe Archie texted her from the airport. 

I was right to be frightened, before we left. I’m really not strong enough for such an adventure. Archie was terrific and it couldn’t have been done without him. And we were lucky to get off so lightly from that fall. Probably, never again.


  1. Cider and cats - life is good!
    We were stationed in Tunisia for several years and got to see some amazing mosaics at diverse Roman ruins. One of my favorite parts of our stay was having visitors who knew about such different subjects. One gave us lessons on the wonders of concrete, another on the amazing pottery jars, and still another on the jewelry techniques. We lacked textile and mosaic experts to enlighten us as to what we ought to be appreciating.

  2. I loved reading about your wonderful trip. How lucky to have Archie to travel with. (And lucky for him that he gets to accompany you.) Never say never. There might be another adventure around the corner.

  3. All that walking you did! You may have been slow, but you did it. And you have next year's cruise to look forward to - or am I mis-remembering that bit?

  4. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Gad you are back safe and sound although it was fun reading about your adventures. Sounds like a cruise is a less anxious way to travel these days and still have an adventure. Just being on the water is an adventure to me. Chloe

  5. It sounds like a rather strenuous trip, all told. But home safe and relatively sound. I had to look up Fichi D'India, and discovered they are fruit of the prickly pear cactus. I've eaten it in Texas, and didn't enjoy it much!

    1. Anonymous3:28 PM

      Nopales! I find them rather bland - not distasteful, just not flavorful enough to bother eating.
      -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  6. =Tamar2:48 PM

    The mosaics are amazing!
    I want to think that perhaps all the exercise may have done you some good, even though you are tired now. I would probably be just as tired, couch potato that I am.