So I know it's been awhile, getting Emily to sit down and write is a pain in the butt! Now, I sit here and write by myself, finally getting done though.
Ok, well the weekend after Cinque Terra, our group decided to head to Sicily; March 13th - 15th. Sicily is the little "ball" at the bottom of the "boot." In Sicily we stayed in Palermo.
To get there, we had to take our first RyanAir flight. It wasn't too bad, small plane, pretty packed, but it got us from point A to point B. When we landed, we had to take a 50 min train to Palermo. Once again, more public transportation... Fantastic... Anywho, Sicily looked amazing from the train, and as we were passing through towns, they were beautiful, but then slowly as the mintues and miles passed, everything started to look a little rough. Finally, we went around a hillside, it had been about 50 min; we looked up and saw all run down buildings, walls broken down, moss growing on the outside's. It wasn't very pretty looking... As we went further into town, it didn't get much better... We got off the train and headed out of station to see such an amazing sight, construction and run down buildings, Yay... We headed for our hostel, stepping over piles of trash, walking around empty dumpsters, avoiding dog poop and creepy people... When we found what looked to be our hostel, we walked into a small courtyard, if that's what you wanna call it; but the ground was littered with trash, had a couple broke down looking cars, and one little homemade paper sign with our hostel's name on it. I was ready to turn around and leave... Don't worry, we went up the stairs like good little kids looking for their rooms.
The stairs were quite sketchy, and we had to climb all the way up to like the 5th/last floor; knocked on the last door with another a homemade sign, and to our surprise, a younger man answered door and seemed very happy to see us and was very welcoming. He owned the hostel, and had recently been doing renovations, but the place was really clean and well organized. His name was Giuseppe, and after we set our bags down he had us all sit down and he gave us a map and highlighted all the important sights, places to eat, told us what buses to take, and what beach to go too. So what I'm getting at is: He was awesome! Also, after telling us a good place to grab a bite to eat for lunch, (it was like 1:30 when we arrived in Palermo) he invited us to go to dinner at a buffet/wine bar with him, his girlfriend, and some fellow hostel mates; of course we agreed!
That afternoon though, we left the hostel on a mission to get some Arachiad's (the food he recommended). When he described them to us, he said it was like rice and other stuff (choice of spinach, cheese, or ham) in like bowl. Well, after walking about half an hour, we found the shop he told us to go to, and when we looked into the cooler we saw these large fried ostrich egg looking things. Turns out those ostrich eggs were what we were ordering. It was Friday, and lent, so we got the one with cheese. They looked like they were going to be light and kind of hollow, but when the waiter guy dropped them into our hands, it was like catching a brick... We took our lovely "eggs" to this park that overlooked the sea, and sat down to indulge ourselves. I don't think any of us have ever eaten anything sooo greasy and packed full of rice; Chipotle doesn't even compare. Also, the center was like a cream filled chocolate, except with cheese; it just kind of poured out. It's one of those foods that was nice to try, but probably never going to ever eat one again... Oh, but the sea we were looking out over was fantastic looking. For being in town that was replusive, the sea made up for it; it was crystal blue, and so clean. We spent the rest of the afternoon just walking around, and eventually headed back to the hostel.
That night we went to the dinner with Giuseppe and his crowd; dinner wasn't til about 9 pm, gotta love the Italian's... But the wine bar was amazing, we paid 8 Euro's for all you can buffet and all you can drink wine; also they had live entertainment, the overall environment couldn't have been better. The live entertainment was quite hilarious, it was an Italian man that didn't actually speak a lick of English, however, he sang, in English, American Oldies and had a pretty good voice without an accent. We all had a really good night, and Joe and Reese actually had a little dance off with an older Italian couple. It wasn't so pretty...
The next day we set out pretty early to see all the sites that Giuseppe had highlighted as important. We went to a couple churches, and then made our way for the Catecombs. Now, I had no idea what the Catecombs would actually consist of, so I was pretty excited... Bad Idea... They were under an old monstary, and we payed 1 Euro 50 to some monks to get in. We walked down this slightly narrow tunnel that slowly headed down underground, and we made a left at the end to be greeted by a Skelton strung up on the wall at about head height with a goofy expression on his face; if that makes any sense. These Catecombs were pretty much tons of skeltons, I'm talking about hundreds, all dressed up ranging from monks to soldiers to peasants, and they were all hung up by like thin wire. It wasn't very modest or respectful; rather repulsive... So we spent about, oh... 5 min. We all felt pretty disgusted after leaving, and decided it would be best to just head straight for the beach.
Upon arriving at the beach, we found it to be covered by 14 year olds; it was packed. Oh, and not only were they immature 14 year olds, they were also very affectionate immature 14 year olds; they were very friendly with the opposite sex... We found a good spot on the beach that wasn't too close to any groups of kids, and spent the next 4 hrs just laying there trying not to stare... It was nice to relax though and just lay in the sun, especially after seeing hundreds of boney bodies. We went to mass that evening, and then ate a delicious, well desevered hamburger... If you didn't know, we miss American food a great deal...
After that, we just headed back to the hostel to catch a couple Z's, had an early morning. We left pretty early and got back to our villa about 1 that afternoon. We all decided, that everyone has to have one bad trip, and so far, Sicily had taken the award with out any doubts. I recommend, if traveling to Sicily, DON'T GO TO PALERMO!!!! SPARE YOURSELF, ITS NOT THAT GREAT!!! PLEASE DON'T GO THERE, EVER!!!!
But I hope y'all can laugh at that trip, we didn't... I think we're even still a little scarred from it, it's a touchy subject...