A quick post this morning before leaving Taormina for the next stage of my adventure. In just over half an hour, I'll be leaving to head off for Palermo. This is the only bit of travel on the journey that I didn't book in advance and I'm hoping it works out ok. I've been advised to take the bus as it's much faster than the train. I think in part that's because the train winds its way round the coast, and in part because they really are old and rickety here in Sicily. I thought perhaps one of the reasons they brought the Rome train across on the ferry was because it was a posh one and they didn't want to leave it on the island. But no, it was as rickety as the other ones here. I think the Italians, like me, just love the idea of putting passengers on a train and then putting the train on a boat. I confess it was partly that experience that persuaded me to train it all the way to Sicily!!
But back to now, I'm off to Palermo. City of grit, bad driving, baroque splendour, poverty, life and cannoli. I'm really not sure what to expect. As the guidebook says, like all big cities, you just need to have your wits about you. Don't look like a tourist - suits me down to the ground!
Interestingly, the guide book also says:
"Visiting here is thrilling for what the city has to offer, but, it can also be a challenge. Traffic is horrible as cars, trucks and buses clog the narrow streets, often coming to a standstill for hours. This has caused a yellow cloud of pollution to hang constantly over the city making air quality less than desirable, covering cars and buildings with dust"
And that's the guidebook - I hate to think what the critics say!!
But there are also plenty of sights to see and experiences (hopefully good ones) to be had. And if all else fails, I can hop on a train and take a day out to visit one of the surrounding towns or villages. Being the main city in Sicily, Palermo is well connected to most other parts - although not, it would appear, the one I'm in now! Go figure.
I'll check in later once I get there and let you know how it really is. And in the meantime, (Mum!) don't worry, I'll be careful. I survived Rome after all....