Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010 – Messina, Italy – 70s – Mostly Cloudy

Distance Traveled from Alexandria: 822 Nautical Miles

Messina, founded by the Greeks in the 8th Century BC,  has a population of 300,000 people (third largest city in Sicily). 

Our plan today is to do our own walking tour of the city.

From the deck at Breakfast, I am able to get a great view of Mt. Etna, the 10,092 ft high active volcano, that holds this area of the world hostage with a potential eruption.  That is not smoke coming from the volcano but a very interest cloud lit by the morning sun.  At this time of the year, Mt. Etna’s peak is covered with snow.

Mt Etna (Small) 

 Mt Etna Volcano

The ship is crossing the Straits of Messina, the body of water between Sicily and mainland Italy.  At its narrowest point, the Straits are only about 3 km.  Italy is thinking of building a bridge connecting Sicily and Italy (the President’s idea) but the locals are not sold on the idea of a very expensive bridge in a seismic zone.

Messina Straits and E (Small)

Ellen and the Straits of Messina

The ship is docked very close to the city of Messina so getting to the shops is less than 10 minutes away. 

Messina Sicily (Small)

Messina from the Ship

Equinox in Messina (Small)

Celebrity Equinox from across the street in town

We follow the main street to an area of shopping and coffee shops.  Along the way, there are some interesting buildings (churches mostly).

Church of Catalans 14th century (Small)

Ellen at the Church of the Catalans (14th Century)

Church of Sangia Catherine (Small) 

Church of Sangia Catherine 

We went back to the ship for lunch and then back to Messina looking for a WIFI Hotspot.  Unfortunately, the city literally shuts down between 1 and 4 PM and we did not find any such place (despite many locals sending out on several wild good chases).  The deserted main street in the picture below is a good example of the 1-4 PM dead time in this city – prior to 1 PM, this street was difficult to cross.

Messina Main Street (Small)

Main Street in Messina during the Siesta

We did find a sympathetic desk clerk at a hotel that let us use her computer to check and send e-mails.

Back on the ship for dinner and the Sail Away.

Messina Sailaway 2 (Small) 

Sail Away from Messina

The entertainer tonight is Jason Chase, a comedian and singer who focuses on the 50s.  He is very funny and not a bad singer.  We enjoyed his show.

Tomorrow, we have a big day in Naples (Pompeii, etc) so it’s an early evening.

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