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May 26 / admin

North West Sicily – Thoughts

Shortly after leaving the airport I asked a guy who was filling his gas tank for directions to a B&B. Even with language issues it was clear that he wanted to give me a ride to the place, he was going right by it. It felt safe to me and off we went, very nice guy.

Before going I had a few people comment on pick-pockets, dangerous people, crime. Surely that sort of thing exists everywhere, you have to be careful anywhere. But every single interaction I had with people from Sicily during the trip was fabulous. Courteous, helpful, friendly, and going out of their way to help. From the airport in Trapani to busy, intense streets in Palermo it was the same. Go to Sicily! 

One of my goals was to check out rent costs – Gozo, Malta still wins that one (I pay €230/month for a two bedroom, sea front place). However, the other items on my new digs list are food, things to do, people, etc.  are quite better in Sicily. 

I will surely spend a few weeks at San Vito lo Capo. No doubt.

———–

Thank you Ermanno for taking the time from your busy day to meet with me. Taking the ride up to Erice was a real highlight of my trip  :-)   I’m sure we’ll meet up again.

Thank you Remo, The Man of Marsala  -  spending 24 hours in your orbit was a unique experience for me to say the least. YOU are the reason to go to Marsala.I will never forget you driving down the Sicilian roads with your iPhone hooked to the car’s visor, Skype on and you talking, switching to various women as you drove, video camera on so you can show them the traffic and we could see them ;-)  Say hello to Inga for me, please. 

Filippo, Bruno, and Marianne – although it was a short visit it convinced me that I must go back to Palermo again. Had a blast at the English language event, an interesting international group. I hope Marianne gets her opportunity to write the book she has in mind. 

Couch Surfing people in Sicily are very active, arranging fun like the San Vito lo Capo event and surely many others. Seeing new places is interesting but meeting new people is far more fun and enriching for me. 

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WordPress – I tried using the iPod Touch app with a free WordPress blog but found it to be a pain. Kept having problems with passwords and other things.

So, I’m going to continue my travel notes with an older blog that I have on my own server  http://ezpzapps.com/blog/  I’ll be better able to tweak it with apps that I make, or so I think.

My next edition/trip will likely be about the area around Catania and Siracusa. I’ll be posting that to http://ezpzapps.com/blog/

If anyone has questions please email me at:  sims@ezpzapps.com

Ciao ciao!

May 24 / admin

On the bus to Palermo

The long bus route from San Vito lo Capo takes about three hours. It also takes you through small villages, by small & big farms, and gives a bit of perspective on how much there is to explore.

All photos in this blog were taken with an iPod Touch, the following were also through the bus window :-P

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May 22 / admin

Form follows function or am I in the Med?

Italy has beautiful things all over the place, design is important, how one looks is very important. So why is it that many Italian websites seem bizarre and unusable? I’m talking mostly about what the tourist (me) wants to use.

The same thing drives me crazy in Malta – interface design & usability.

Have a look at some of the train and bus websites. Can you figure out how to use them? Maybe I have some mental block?

Here’s a tip: if in a train station on a Sunday or holiday the printed schedule will likely be wrong. The schedule on the ticket machine will likely be correct but always ask at least two people ( if possible) about train & bus times.

That way you won’t waste nine hours like I did. Some places would be great for checking out more – some are not.

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May 21 / admin

Day one San Vito lo Capo

Exceptional service from Stefano & his wife, details of the small hotel will come later.

Beautiful beach!

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Early morning late May video:

Late May, quite nice warm weather minutes after this photo taken and not crowded at all. Best time for me would be early October – warmer water and few people.

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May 21 / admin

What to see in Marsala

Other than Remo the only thing to see there is this

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Now that you’ve seen it you can check Marsala off your list.

May 21 / admin

Trapani & Erice

A good reason to visit Trapani might be that you took a Ryanair flight to Sicily. But it’s also Italian, that means great food, happy friendly people, gelato, and in general good vibes.
There’s the usual like this

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An ungodly number of shops like this

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And the usual Passigatta & meal.

The best reason is availability to Erice. Take bus 21-23 to the cableway cars:

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and you get a fantastic view of the islands and Trapani.

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Erice is a dream of a village, perched high on top of a very tall hill. Very much worth a visit, making Trapani also worth visiting.

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Gorgeous views that make anyone think they are pro photographers…

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May 17 / admin

ZINGARO RESERVE

Zingara Reserve

Large Nature reserve, great swimming, camping (they provide stone huts as shown here). Ermanno says they go swimming here, have CS events here. Looks great. If I don’t get there this trip I’ll surely get there next trip, maybe in October. Water will be even warmer than now then.

They have a series of camping huts that can be used from October to May,

Camping shelters are located in Contrada Sughero along the half coast path. It is possible to camp out after making a request to the Direction of the Reserve.The shelters used to camp out are granted after the Direction permission and only in a specific period of the year, from October to May.

May 16 / admin

Cheapo Digs

http://www.hostels.com/san-vito-lo-capo/italy

Went for the Deluxe €40, excellent location hotel this time but will surely check out these when I get there. If I end up planning a three month stay in Sicily every Fall I gotta be cheap conservative with my no-llittle-apparent-income lifestyle.

May 12 / admin

Trapani

After a dozen years in Gozo, Malta I want need a change. Weather is great but just too small in many ways. So, Trapani – Marsala – San Vito lo Capo – Palermo.

If I stay with my 90 day routine for a while I want to expand my places to live. Ireland in Summer was great so I want to keep that going.

Not a very long trip but meeting local couch surfers there might prove valuable.

Sicily for a beach location in September-October-November might work out well also. Maybe some mix with March-April-May-June added. I’m going to find out more from the active couch surfer hosts there.  It’s not likely I’d want to be there in the very hot, active July-August months.

I’ll get to Sicily from Malta via Ryanair, under €30 total for return trip. Booked a hotel in the city (looks a little like Valletta to me). I have plans to meet Ermanno as he works in the city, IT and web work. Very active CS person, helpful to the extreme.

"We are young family of 3 people:  Ermanno, 32 years old - web
developer/coder/IT expert  Eva, 33 years old - biologist  Enrico, born on 27th august 2009  

In march 2009 Ermanno moved back 
to Trapani (Sicily) after
 10 and more years in Siena - Tuscany
Now we are living in Valderice a cute hill village 
between Trapani and Erice, between sea and mountain"
May 12 / admin

Sicily – Marsala

Will stay one night in Marsala, just South of Trapani. The extremely CS active Remo invited me. He’s a chef, has a restaurant, villa, private beach on the sea, and by all accounts a great guy. Maybe meet his girlfriend Gina, but likely meet some of his huge family that visit all the time. He also takes in lots of surfers. Likely meet a bunch of people there, fabulous meal, local wine…what’s not to like?

May 5 / admin

San Vito lo Capo beach

 

Interesting 360° view:    http://www.destinazionesanvito.it/virtual_tour/percorso/start.html

I booked a hotel room via Booking.com  for 20 May, right near the beach. CS people likely get swamped with requests so I just went ahead and booked. Maybe I’ll meet some surfers and learn more about the place.

Nearby are two large nature reserves:  http://www.riservazingaro.it/index.php?lang=en

Some CS people have commented that they use beaches in the reserves, less people, more interesting areas, plus they camp free.

May 3 / admin

My stay in Palermo – CS FILIPEK

21 & 22 May with Filippo, Bruno, Marianna

http://maps.google.it/maps?q=via+resuttana+367+palermo&r

Filippo has visited at least 76 countries, 700 locations, and has hosted well over 200 surfers at his home. He’ll be a major help in enabling me to find out more about Sicily and travel in general. It will be great to make friends with some Sicilians even before I do anything about staying there.

Tian’anmen square – Bruno and Filippo in front of Forbidden city – Beijing:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their home in Palermo: