We spent the evening in Catania. After checking in at the hotel we went to the "party street" to get some food and cocktails. We decided to have some ice cream and went into a nice looking gelateria at a nice piazza close to the theatre. I thought about ordering a crepes instead of ice cream - but due to many misunderstandings we left the shop with one crepes for each person filled with three huge ice scoops and chocolate sauce! Wow.. that was enough food for the evening. After that we went to a cocktail bar - nobody was talking English again.. - and ordered two cocktails. Maybe cocktail is the wrong word - actually it was pure alcohol with a bit of flavour 😮 One was enough.. and luckily the hotel was not too far away...
Nevertheless after a good night of sleep and a more or less strange breakfast we were ready to do some sightseeing the next morning. But before that we wanted to buy the tickets for the bus to Palermo which should (according to the schedule on the Internet) leave at 1pm. But.. what a surprise.. there was no bus at 1pm - instead the bus was leaving at 11:30am. We bought some tickets and we happy that we found a bus at all. So we had to reduce the time for sightseeing a bit..
After that we went to the centro storico and saw the landmark of Catania which is the elephant fountain. We spent some time at the piazza and watched the Italians talking to each other and meeting up there... Then we walked around a bit through the historic city center.. Before we got to the bus we found a really nice bakery, bought a wonderful bread for the long bus ride and arrived just in time at the bus station. Now our next stop would be Palermo.
After landing in Catania we took the bus from the airport to the train station. At the train station we bought a ticket to Taormina. Taormina is a small town about 40 minutes away from Catania. It is said to be the most beautiful town on Sicily. But when we left the train station we were wondering where the town is.. Besides the train station there were only a few houses... and nothing especially well looking.. so we started walking along the road until a man stopped us. He asked if we want to go to Taormina per pedes. We said yes and he explained to us that we cannot take the road, instead we should go up a small path on a slope. So we followed that path for about 30 minutes and arrived 200 metres above sea level in the city center of Taormina! From there you have a great view to the sea. Taormina has a beautiful historic city center. After walking around for a while and we decided to visit the old theater. It is really worth a visit. You have a great view around! We spent a lot of time lying around and enjoyed the sunshine 😀 After that we were very hungry and went to a nice Italian restaurant. From our table we could see the sea - very nice! Afterwards we visited the public garden - a very nice green spot at the edge of the town. From there we walked back down to the train station and took the train back to Catania.
We took the bus from Catania to Palermo. That takes about 2:30 hours. I was surprised to see that there is nothing inside the center of the island - only the motorway, some sheep and green hills... You can also find snowy mountains there - but no cities, no towns, no people.
Other than Palermo.. Palermo seems to be a noisy, narrow city. Many allays, but no nice places to sit down and relax. There is also a lot of traffic. After arriving at the train station we went to the sea. We walked through a actually quite nice garden, but unfortunately it was located besides a busy road. At the sea there was much concrete but no place to sit down and no sand... So we decided to have a coffee. We found a coffee bar - but no place to sit down. So we ordered a coffee - and got espresso! We did not know that for the Italian coffee always means espresso... Then we walked around the city a bit, becoming frustrated about the traffic. In front of the theatre we found another coffee bar. Now we ordered a coffee with milk with the hope to get a (at least for us) "real" coffee in a big mug. Nevertheless again it was only an espresso with a milk froth hat... Ok, so now we definitely know that Italians only drink espresso.. After that we decided to go back to the train station and take the bus to the airport... an interesting fact is that all airport buses have free wifi. The bus took about 50 minutes. It felt like we were driving through whole Palermo to pick up more people. But after leaving the city the view outside was really nice. We drove along the coast, saw many cliffs, small houses and the sunset. Arriving at the airport was a bit strange - the building looked really old and it was quite cold inside and even the security person did speak only Italian... But nevertheless our flight left in time and after two hours we were safely back in Stuttgart.
We spent two days in Barcelona. The connection from the airport to the city center is very good. A bus is running every five minutes.
Our hotel was located at the famous road "La Rambla". On our first morning we visited the historic city center with its cathedral. From there we passed a nice garden and went to the beach.
In the afternoon we went back to the city, visiting Casa Mila (where Gaudi lived) and Sagrada Familia. Sagrada Familia is a huge construction area and said to be finished aroud 2026. Nevertheless you can still get a good impression of its style. We were a bit surprised to see Star Wars figures on the front of the church. That contributes to the fact that many people say that Gaudi must have been crazy.
After seeing this interesting church we walked back to our hotel passing the Arc de Triomf.
In the evening we took the bus back to the harbour to enjoy some really good paella there.
From Barcelona we took the train to Sitges which is about 30 minutes away. Sitges has a nice beach and a historic center. We walked around and found a very nice place for a coffee. After enjoying the sunshine at the beach we took the train back to Barcelona.
We spent our second day in Barcelona on the Montjuic. The Montjuic is a small hill close to the harbour. You can walk up there and have a great view of the city and the sea. On top of the mountain is the Castell de Montjuic which was a military fortress in the past. After spending some time walking around we continued in the direction of the old Olympia area. In 1992 the olympic games were in Barcelona. Afterwards we passed the Museo Nacional d'Art de Catalunya and took the escalators (in a public garden!!) down to the Plaza de Espanya. On our way back to the La Rambla we stopped at a Spanish looking Tapas bar and tried different tapas...