Thursday, November 22, 2007


It is getting dark. White lights twinkling on old lamppost's. A mist hangs in the air and gently covers the many domes of St. Mark's Basilica and the old clock tower. People are strolling along the waterside snuggled in their cozy winter coats and hats. Some are briskly walking home after a days work. The bells of St Mark begin to ring and a flock of pigeons flies up off of the square...

This is the setting I have been seeing nightly as I am now in Venice! It is VERY beautiful. Just as magical as everyone told me it would be!! I have been here now for 4 days but was only planning to spend 3 days after listening to backpackers tell me that you can see Venice in 1 day. PSHAW i say to that! With so many places to get lost in how could a person spend only one day in Venice?

I must say that arriving here was surely a breath of fresh air - literally! AS there are no cars here the silence, and smells of cold air and water are a delight to the senses. A welcome treat from the honking horns, exhaust and loud motors of Palermo.


So there is one more story from Sicily.

You know...sometimes it's the journey not the destination?

Being a tired sightseer and kinda bored of museums and ruins, I decided to take the advice of the guy on the bus and I went to where they make the best canolli! Piana degli Albanese - a one hour bus ride out of Palermo.

As the bus system is impossible to figure out in Palermo i resorted to asking a bus driver where the necessary bus was. He told me to meet him back in 1 hour and he'd take me to the right place.

Upon arriving he walked me to the right bus stop and asked a lady if she would take the responsibility of getting me to the right place. She agreed. Yay!

She (I think her name is something like Tiziana) asked if I was French or German to which i replied, "No I'm Canadian and I want to go to Piana degli Albanese to eat the best canollo. Are they good there?" She replied, "Yes of course but the BEST place is closed today but there is another place that is open that you can go to - they are also good there."

This other lady asks her (Tiziana) , "Is she American?"

"No she's Canadian and she is going to Piana degli Albanese to eat a canollo."

I don't know if they were proud of that fact or thought it to be strange.

She kept repeating that make sure I follow her on the bus and sit with her and when the bus arrived she hurried on yelling back at me to get on and sit next to her.

As we drove she pointed out the sights and people got on and off the bus greeting the driver, "Ciao Gianfilippo!"

We arrived at the destination and she decided to drive me to the bar in her car which was parked at the bus stop. How nice!

Upon entering she announced to the bartender, " Here is a girl from Canada and she came here to eat a canollo!" The bartender then pointed me out to some of the patrons as they entered for their afternoon snack. Wow...they mustn't get that many tourists here....

The canollo was VERY fresh - they filled the flaky pastry tube with the freshest ricotta cheese right before i ate it. What a delight! Buuuuuuttttttt.... i do like when the pastry is lined with dark chocolate it's a nice contrast to the sweet ricotta.

I took a walk around the small windy town and came upon an old sweet woman...not too many teeth. We talked and i understood barely anything as they speak a whole new language in that part of the world but she was sweet.

I returned to the bar for a glass of wine before I was to catch the bus at 4:30. I was reading when the bartender said at 4:15, "Signorina the bus". I shot up and ran out into the rain to a bus stop and the bus came right away and I hopped on. I bit into a piece of marzipan (popular in Sicily) and we arrived at the stop i got off at when we arrived.
The bus driver walked up to me and asked where i was going to.
I told him Palermo and he informed me that the last bus left at 4 pm and there were no more buses until tomorrow and no way back to Palermo tonight. I put my head in my hands and just said, " oh no"
I phoned the Hostel where i was booked - they had a car and we were only 30 km out of Palermo. But they told me to stay at a hotel where i was. NICE.
The bus driver (Gianfilippo) said there are no hotels in the area.
He told me not to worry as we drove to another town to drop off a little girl. He made a few phone calls to his aunt the English teacher to see what to do.
Apparently there was a B&B or GF's dad might be coming in for the evening shift to Palermo.
I was willing to stay at the B&B when Gianfilippo parked the bus and said he'll drive me to Palermo in his personal car.
Well in true Italian style when we arrived in Palermo he took me for 2 glasses of the best wine i have had in Italy. Of course local Sicilian.
I was willing to walk from the theater close to the hostel but he insisted on driving em to the door which meant he had to drive backwards because the street was a one way. My knight in shining armor!!

Now to discover the rest of Venice....

1 comment:

universal elixir said...

my parents were in venice in '67 - i don't think they liked it too much. i think it sounds sooo romantic. i too will go one day. i truly cannot wait to see all your photos. maybe you will have to start scrapbooking....i did start you off with an album. enjoy your stay in venice.