Monday, September 18, 2006

Catani-Yeah!

The first thing that will always come to mind when I think about Catania isn't that it's situated upon the sea and in the shadow of Mount Etna (the largest active volcano in Europe) nor the wicked-ass nightlife that would warrent an extra day extension in the city (the second night being even better than the first!), but the extereme HEAT! Damn it was hot in Sicily, averaging 31-33 degrees each and every day (no rain the entire 2 weeks), but no more so than that day in Catania. I've never had heat stroke before but I certainly know now what it must feel like!

For the more culturely sensitive there's a fantastic church:



Here's me soaking up the culture... and the sun rays, ok I know I'm repeating myself, but it was damn hot! :-)



Just off the square and near the hostel (simply the best party-wise on the island) was the daily farmers/fish market (8am-1pm every day except Sunday). The fish stank, the vendors were rank, there was no bank, but the market was as good as crank! :-)



PS> this goes for all Sicily but especially Palermo, Messina and the market in Catania: keep your wallet, passport and other valuables stuffed down your pants or risk losing them to some fishy pandhandler!

Another famous landmark in Catania is also located in the square, the famous trade elephant:



Other than the church, market, elephant, hostel and shopping area which is all located near one square in the city there's not much else to see as Catania isn't the prettiest of cities... it does however have a fantastic nightlife! One of the main reasons the hostel is so great is that it has one of the most popular patios in the city which promptly fills up by 10pm regardless of which day of the week it is.

After warming up with a few brews or wine to suit your taste, the main strip is just a 5 minute walk away with dance clubs to irish pubs to late night cafes to suit anyones fancy. After a late night out it was back to the hostel for a few night caps... which turned into a few more with staff until 6am!

I'm not sure what Mr. Elephant had to say, but my 8am wakeup to hit Syracuse one day and to climb Mt. Etna the next certainly hurt the head a little!



Syracuse and Etna next... :-)
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