Last weekend I visited Sean in Catania - it was lovely. Traveling was a bit of a hassle, but fortunately none of my modes of transport were late. Due to the nature of Ryanair, a cheap airline in Europe, I had to fly Pisa to Palermo rather than Florence to Catania. This requires: bus from Florence to Pisa airport, fly to Palermo airport, bus from Palermo airport to Palermo city center, bus from Palermo to Catania. So, a two hour flight turns into ten hours of travel? Well, I made it roundtrip for less than 100 euro, so I think it was worth it.
I gave Sean a list of things I wanted to see/do: Mt. Etna, the Mediterranean, the fish market, limoncello. The only thing I didn’t get to was Mt. Etna, but I certainly saw a lot of it from afar, so I feel pretty satisfied. The night I arrived we checked me in at Bianca B&B and headed to Capoiera at the local kommie community center. I had a lot of fun dancing, but man oh man... we then went out to a nightclub for 80’s night. The rest of the weekend I walked funny, my legs were so sore. Sunday we hung out with some of the people from Capoiera - originally we were waiting for a ride to a practice out in the woods by the ocean, but it turned into us jamming together (I actually played musical instruments!) and eating tasty tasty pasta with pepporicino (sp?). I also saw an old Roman ampitheater that mostly exists under the streets of Catania, but they have one small portion of it excavated and open to the public.
While I was there I met most of the people in Sean’s program, saw Nigel Nicholson, and ate horse meat. There was much drinking and hanging out in the evenings, and much sunshine and wandering around during the day. Catania was almost completely rebuilt after an eruption of Mt. Etna back in the 1600’s, so all the architecture is very similar, and pretty. But, because the city is much more poor nowadays it’s also dirty and filled with stray dogs. People were more prone to riding scooters on the sidewalk, there weren’t any actual crosswalks, and everything was cheaper. I met a mini-pony that goes into coffee bars with its owner.