Last day in Giardini Naxos
Any Danish summer would envy this April day in Sicily. What a weather! It does not take us long to agree that nothing exhausting is going to happen today. Anyway we slept late, and if we wanted to go anywhere we should have been up earlier. The excuses for being lazy are endless.
At 9:30 we drop in at the local fish market just behind the hotel - not to buy anything, just to look at the goodies. There are fresh fish and shellfish. There are big tuna chunks and a swordfish with a ready blade. It must be here the local restaurants shop. The fish is not cheap; 17 to 20 €/kg for ordinary fish, and the swordfish is close to 30.
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We stroll to the pier. The breeze is pleasant; it is warm and not hot. We enjoy the view from the pier and look at the fishermen and the lone angler who has 3 rods working. The blue sky above Etna is hazy, but as there are no clouds the smoke is clearly visible indicating that Vulcan is at work forging weapons in the heart of the mountain.
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We sit down for an espresso at a restaurant just where the pier begins. The sun has grown noticeably stronger during the last hour. Back at Villa Pamar I go to the roof terrace to enjoy the view. A sign says the roof-bar is open Friday and Sunday from 18:30 to 20:00, so when Startour writes that there is a bar at the hotel it is true, but only just.
When it gets too hot on the balcony we move inside for our last lunch in Sicily this time. It is siesta time, but I cannot rest and make some coffee, which I enjoy on the balcony before the sun disappears around the corner. After that I do some packing.
Promenade and evening at Da Antonio's
Helle does not feel fit and has taken a pill for her headache. Maybe it is too much sun. Helle packs some as well, but prefers some rest to a walk. I am full of pep and need some exercise, so I go for a long walk in Giardini.
There is a bar on the way with tables outside. I enjoy a beer while the traffic floats by. The beer is an Italian "Birra Moretti", which according to the label has been brewed since 1859. It is OK. A couple with a dog in tow starts an argument. They yell at each other in dialect, and I understand but a few words. However that does not matter - the lines have been rehearsed for generations worldwide and require no translation.
At seven we go for a walk and end up on l'Isola del Gelato's terrace. The three men are still sitting in the corner enjoying nothing but silence, and once again we order white wine with delicious olives and roasted corn. We are among the first guests at Da Antonio, but it is not weekend and the pressure is off.
I have praised the linguine with scampi and zucchine highly, so Helle really has no choice. This time I try their linguine with scoglio (mussels). Very delicious. After that we both get a thin grilled steak with mixed salad. The red house wine is so-so, but definitely better than the terrible concoction we had at Taverna Naxos yesterday. The conclusion is clear: buy bottled wine. The bill is 40 €. The night is soft and comely as we walk home.
Tuesday April 25th 2006.
Up at 6:30. We are going home today and the bus picks us up at 8:30. Nature called me at 03.45 and I had no real sleep afterwards, because the old lady next door walked up and down tapping the stone floor with her walking stick.
We are at the airport at 9:30 and line up for check in. Nothing happens for a long time, and we hear that the plane has not left Copenhagen yet because of technical problems. At last check in begins, but our line is at a standstill for about 20 minutes because of two suits who want to bring half a vineyard in boxes on the plane. They plea for a long time and do their very best to look important, but as far as I can see they are allowed only one box on the plane. I am shamelessly thrilled when I see the number of wine cases they could not get on the plane. Pompous fools.
When the suits have finally been dealt with everything goes speedily, and with our boarding card we get a ticket for the cafeteria. Now they are saying that departure is expected at 15, but we will get more information at 12.
When we do get new information it is a message that we shall return to Giardini Naxos. The plane in Copenhagen has still got technical problems. So past noon we drive back and get our old rooms. There will be dinner at seven at La Conchiglia, and the bus will pick us up at 21.
Helle manages to sleep a little, but I don't. At six we go to Venus Bar for espresso. Today is a holiday, and once again the promenade is teeming with locals. At the next table is Jønke from Hells Angels (who once did time for murder) with a buddy and two girls. They comment loudly and contemptuously on cars and girls passing by. Our ears tire quickly and we leave.
La Conchiglia serves a dull tourist menu, but we have a nice time with our fellow travellers. Everybody present takes the delay in good spirit. The old lady is not here - it is probably too far. The suits aren't here either. It is probably below their standards, but in a fantasy I see them in a hotel room sipping gallons of wine and missing the plane.
Before the bus arrives at 9 there is a problem: the old lady refuses to leave her room. She is tired and demands to be treated decently. The staff is outside her door. They do their best to persuade her, but the old lady is stubborn.
Somehow though they manage to get her out in time, but she is angry as a wasp when she enters the bus. At the airport things are easy because our luggage is checked in already. We just have to wait, wait, wait.
At last the plane leaves at 1 past midnight and we land in Copenhagen at 4. Fortunately our suitcases are among the first on the belt, and we run through customs (!) and make it to the train station in Olympic time. Here we catch the first train to Aalborg at 04.40 with one minute to spare. When we finally arrive in Aalborg at 10 we are very tired, and siesta greets us with open arms.