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Canny lass

Going places, meeting people

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If you like history, nature, good food and good wine then you’ll love Sicily. There’s a lot to see and do but if you take a few hours and plan your visit it’s surprising just how much you can achieve in just one week. We booked a hotel in Aci Trezza, just 20km from Catania airport, for one night but extended it to three as we thought it was a good base for visits to Etna and Taormina – with a fantastic Greek/Roman theatre. Book a walking tour with a guide around a couple of Etna’s craters. You can do that on site much cheaper than from the hotels. You won’t be disappointed! South from Aci Trezza you’ll find Siracusa. A visit to Parco Archeologico is a must before moving on to the island of Ortygia.

Heading west toward central Sicily you’ll find Piazza Amerina and the roman Villa del Casale with it’s wonderful mosaics. Thank you ExBedlingtonian for that tip. It was a joy to visit! Driving south west from Piazza Amerina towards the coast you reach Agrigento. Stop off en route and take a slow walk through the Valley of the Temples ‘Valle di Templi’. There are a half dozen temples, some dating back to before Christ and in surprisingly good condition. It’s well signposted. You can hire a guide here as well but it’s an easy walk in a straight line so just buy a little cheap guide book and go by yourself.

Follow the coast northwest from Agrigento through sloping vineyards towards Marsala and on the way take a few hours to visit the small medieval town of Erice. It’s a hair raising drive that takes you to a height of 750m above the sea but well worth the journey. It’s strewn with beautiful, small piazzas and some of the most wonderful courtyards I’ve ever seen. The views are out of this world!

From there, cut across the north west tip of the island towards the capital, Palermo. Just enjoy wandering around the town. We visited the Capella Paletina which, if we understood the guide book correctly, is the chapel of the royal palace of the Norman kings. It’s very beautiful and extremely interesting both from a historical and religious point of view. From Palermo it’s just a short distance to Monreale, another small, old and very picturesque old town.

Leaving Palermo follow the coast eastwards towards the small, medieval fishing village of Cefalu - dominated by a huge rock and a huge, Norman cathedral. Close up it’s not so huge. It’s just built on a bit of a hill in the town centre. We had hoped to make it to Messina but were a bit short of time so we drove directly from Cefalu to the airport in Catania.

3g was right about the mosquitos. They can be a bit of a pain in the evenings but their ‘bark’ was worse than their bite – so to speak. Their whining can get on your nerves but I didn’t get bitten until I got on the plane for the homeward journey!

If I was to give any more advice on Sicily it would be:

  • Buy a guidebook and guide yourself. It's much cheaper and you can do it at your own pace.
  • Hire the smallest car you possibly can. Driving in Sicily is a pleasure until you hit the towns and villages where the roads are the narrowest I’ve ever seen and parking is a nightmare!
  • Both as a driver and a pedestrian proceed with caution at all traffic lights. Why Italy has chosen red and green among its flag colours I do not know as Italians clearly can’t distinguish one from the other!
  • Hire a room on the outskirts of town and the use public transport within the town. This way you'll avoid some of the frustration of parking the car.
  • If you only speak English avoid talking to the elderly.They don't seem to have any knowledge of the language. They understood Spanish but answer in what I assume to be Sicillian. 
  • Drink wine instead of water. They are both the same price.
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I'll have some of their sprouts CL, if you don't mind. If we're still a Christian nation by the end of this year I'd like a few on my Christmas dinner! :D

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Are sprouts a Christian tradition? Beggar me, I'm not a woman of faith and yet I've been following a Christian life-style without knowing it!

I'll see what I can do, webtrekker. How many sprouts do you want? Do you want to stock up thoroughly while you've got the chance? There are rumours that prices will go through the roof when the article 50 button is pressed. They freeze well BTW.

 

PS Should I throw in a bottle of something alcoholic? There'll be none of that either.

Edited by Canny lass

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Bah! Article ... Shmarticle! That button will never be pressed! Not by the tossers we have in power these days anyway.

 

No, it's ok, I'll grow my own sprouts thanks. Monsanto have some great varieties out now. Could do with a bit more sunshine though, those chemtrails don't half get in the way. Will the EU place a cap on my sprout production I wonder? I might end up throwing 2/3 of them away! :D

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30 minutes ago, webtrekker said:

Will the EU place a cap on my sprout production I wonder? I might end up throwing 2/3 of them away!

The answer is probably YES but they'll only be creating an enormous black-market for sprouts. You'll have to start growing them in the cellar along with the cannabis. If you can't get them sold buy a horse. Feed the horse with the sprouts and wait a day or so. Sell what comes out of the other end of the horse to any politician or newspaper. I'm sure they'll pay well. Hope this advice helps.

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Good advice CL, but there's no way I'd cut the cannabis production for sprouts, but you've given me another idea ...

When cooking sprouts, it's common procedure to cut a 'cross' shape in the stalk to aid cooking. Now then, if I inserted an amount of cannabis into the 'cross' and then cooked them I would be able to start up a mobile Sunday Dinners service that would be the envy of the country! A similar tactic got Coca Cola off the ground, so why shouldn't it work for me?

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Brussels again for me tomorrow. Just a two day job this time so I've only got cabin luggage, therefore no room on the home journey for sprouts and the likes.

Anybody want any messages delivered or buttons pressed?

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Have a safe journey!

"We" already have a team there that has delivered the messages that they simply don't want to hear, but thanks for the offer.  I know quite a few people who would like you to press the (immediate) (BR)Exit button. :)

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Please, please, please, CL negotiate a deal that prevents sprouts from being eaten anywhere except Brussels. Strike a bargain with Brussels - they can have the sole rights to sprouts; growing, boiling and eating, and Melton Mowbray can keep it's protected name for it's pies when we leave the EU. ( don't pull me up on this, I know the chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association Matthew O'Callaghan, who is also chairman of the UK Protected Food Names Association, said the protected status could be maintained).

The European Union granted the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie protected status in 2008 which meant only pies made in the area could carry the label. This must also apply to Brussel's Sprouts
 

Cutting an 'X' in the stem of a Brussels sprouts to aid cooking = Br-x-it.

Is it only me that hates the taste, and the smell when cooking?

If however the miners had of taken sprout sarnies down the pit then  I am sure the smell of the sprout sarnies and the expulsion of the sprout gasses would have driven the 'shit-flies' out of the shaft and Symtoms wouldn't have his current project to prove how those flies survived the byeways of the pits.  

Br-x-it.jpg

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You're not preparing them the right way, Eggy! Prepare and boil as usual. Drain well. Chop a few slices of streaky bacon in small pieces and fry until crispy. Place the sprouts in the pan with the bacon and all the fat. Fry lightly till warmed through. Eat, lick your lips and fingers and don't forget to wipe the grease from your chin before you kiss the wife goodnight!

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18 hours ago, Canny lass said:

You're not preparing them the right way, Eggy! Prepare and boil as usual. Drain well. Chop a few slices of streaky bacon in small pieces and fry until crispy. Place the sprouts in the pan with the bacon and all the fat. Fry lightly till warmed through. Eat, lick your lips and fingers and don't forget to wipe the grease from your chin before you kiss the wife goodnight!

Buttered sprouts with chestnuts and bacon - 

----------------------------------------------------

1¼kg Brussels sprouts, trimmed (or if buying pre-trimmed, buy 1 kg)

6 rashers smoked streaky bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces (or use more, if you like)

200g vacuum-packed chestnut

50g butter

--------------------------------------------------

 

Take the sprouts out, leaving the crispy, crunchie bacon + nutty bits and your on. Otherwise I'll stick to peas and carrots.:P

 ------------------------------------------------

Some of the Daily Telegraph Brussels sprout facts

The area covered by Brussels sprout fields in the UK is the equivalent of 3,240 football pitches

Last year, a team of scientists and local schoolchildren used the energy from 1,000 Brussels sprouts to light a Christmas tree on London's Southbank.

In 2010, the British vegetable brandTozerseeds created a new vegetable called the Flowersprout, a hybrid of the Brussels sprout and kale that contains double the amount of vitamin B6 and vitamin C of traditional Brussels sprouts.

In August, adventurer Stuart Kettell, 49, rolled a Brussels sprout to the top of Mt. Snowdon using only his nose, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer support.

Sprout fan Linus Urbanec from Sweden holds the current world record for the most Brussels sprouts eaten in one minute. He swallowed 31 on November 26, 2008.

The heaviest ever sprout was grown in 1992 and weighed 8.3kg (18lb/3oz).

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21 hours ago, Eggy1948 said:

Brussels sprout facts

The area covered by Brussels sprout fields in the UK is the equivalent of 3,240 football pitches

Last year, a team of scientists and local schoolchildren used the energy from 1,000 Brussels sprouts to light a Christmas tree on London's Southbank.

In 2010, the British vegetable brandTozerseeds created a new vegetable called the Flowersprout, a hybrid of the Brussels sprout and kale that contains double the amount of vitamin B6 and vitamin C of traditional Brussels sprouts.

In August, adventurer Stuart Kettell, 49, rolled a Brussels sprout to the top of Mt. Snowdon using only his nose, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer support.

Sprout fan Linus Urbanec from Sweden holds the current world record for the most Brussels sprouts eaten in one minute. He swallowed 31 on November 26, 2008.

The heaviest ever sprout was grown in 1992 and weighed 8.3kg (18lb/3oz).

Well done Linus but I think you were pipped at the post by the scientists and schoolchildren. A measly 31 sprouts wouldn't  produce much methane gas!

And Eggy, that 8.3kg sprout - I've grown bigger garden peas!

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totally concur with the crunchy bacon chestnut thing - although in the light of ''brexit' whatever that is - this year we have put an olive tree in the orchard and it is bearing fruit (or whatever it is they grow) in case of impending shortfalls of the martini additives - promising so far they have the green things that look like olives but smaller. will update on their progress

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that is easy - I listened to all the 'brexit' (again whatever that is) arguments and it seems that post leaving our allies across the water ((Azincourt, Crecy, those damn Huns (not including Her Maj of course) etc.) there will be no illegal immigrants (like them Roman types and those Normans and of course the Angles), no asylum seekers and of course no refugees, thus allowing the road hauliers association to dispense with having to smuggle people into the country and get back to their traditional ways of contraband booze and baccy hidden within secret compartments presently used for people. this would be a tremendous boost to the economy as you can pack booze and baccy into much smaller places!. You may say this would be a loss to the economy, but this would be offset by the fact that we would need no border control or immigration officers or their non working ever so expensive ships, thus saving millions. it would in fact boost the economy as folk would have more money to spend on important things like bingo and even larger screen televisions.
NOT forgetting the price of postage stamps these days, it means that all them Johhny foreigners are off the Christmas card list thus saving vast amounts!!!!

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I am sure we could make Martini .

Afterall it seems we are making local gin.

The decision then would be :- should it be shaken not stirred.

Who could be the Bedlington James Bond?

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18 hours ago, pilgrim said:

that is easy - I listened to all the 'brexit' (again whatever that is) arguments and it seems that post leaving our allies across the water ((Azincourt, Crecy, those damn Huns (not including Her Maj of course) etc.) there will be no illegal immigrants (like them Roman types and those Normans and of course the Angles), no asylum seekers and of course no refugees, thus allowing the road hauliers association to dispense with having to smuggle people into the country and get back to their traditional ways of contraband booze and baccy hidden within secret compartments presently used for people. this would be a tremendous boost to the economy as you can pack booze and baccy into much smaller places!. You may say this would be a loss to the economy, but this would be offset by the fact that we would need no border control or immigration officers or their non working ever so expensive ships, thus saving millions. it would in fact boost the economy as folk would have more money to spend on important things like bingo and even larger screen televisions.
NOT forgetting the price of postage stamps these days, it means that all them Johhny foreigners are off the Christmas card list thus saving vast amounts!!!!

You do realise, that with no illegal immigrants you'll have a hard job getting workers for the olive harvest. You and the missus will have to do it yourself.

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