Tag Archives: sicily

Running for the plane in Sicily!

A story of anxiety, hilarity, and near heartbreak.

Sometimes even the most seasoned traveler – the traveler who has been in too many airports to count, has flown in more airplanes than you could imagine, and could probably go through a security check line in their sleep – sometimes even that traveler can fuck it up.

On this particular morning in Sicily, we woke up with the sunrise; it was lovely. We prepared ourselves for our travel day. We would leave Letojanni, take the train to Taormina, transfer trains and head to Catania. At Catania central station, we would take the bus to the airport and get on our flight at 1:10pm. Big day! We packed up and left our beautiful Airbnb. I did my checks of the rooms, and we hadn’t left anything inside. I was messaging our host to thank him as we walked out of the apartment, and as soon as I closed the door, I realized my jacket was inside. No!!! We had just locked the keys inside, so there was no way to get it. We looked under the welcome mat, in the BBQ, and under every plant for a spare key, but to no avail. I messaged our host, and we agreed he would just send the jacket in the mail.

Defeated, we walked quickly down to the train station, only to discover, of course, that we had missed our train. Damn! The next train to take us to Taormina was in an hour, so we decided to bus there instead of waiting. I stepped off the bus at the Taormina bus station at 10:15pm, and asked the info lady how to get to the airport. She informed me we could take the bus that would arrive at the airport at 12:10pm. Our flight was at 1:10pm. It would be tight, but it was better than a €90 cab ride, right?

On the bus, driving. We drove until 12:10pm, and the bus stopped. At Catania central station (not the airport, as promised). I really started to sweat. My stomach did a backflip. The next 15 minutes was the longest 15 minutes ever. Our bus arrived to the airport at 12:29pm.

We found the check-in desk and stood in a short line that was taking WAY too long. I interrupted the four, middle-aged Italian people in front of me and asked if I could go in front of them. They looked at me and in very broken English asked, “Where are you from?” I responded, “Canada…?” The man looked shocked, “Oh no… you can’t get there,” he said and pointed at the check in gate, “wrong place.” Bless him. I don’t need to fly to Canada from here! I smiled and just walked in front of them to the desk. I pointed to my phone and showed the lady the time of our flight. Her eyes nearly fell out of her head when she saw that boarding for our flight began two minutes ago. She worked quickly and checked my bag lightning fast. We ran to security and navigated through the ridiculous, snaking line up to the security gate.

Michael and I are both the traveler who has been in too many airports to count, has flown in more airplanes than you could imagine, and could probably go through a security check line in their sleep, so we breezed through security. Belts off, change out of pockets, boots off, computers out. We went so fast, you could see the wind flutter in the hair of the security officers. We went so fast, time seemed to stop. We went so fast, we ran right past our gate. Right past gate 10, where they were calling our names over the intercom.

We figured it out after we ran down two flights of stairs and were told by some airport workers to go back upstairs. We arrived at gate 10, sweaty, breathless, and hopeful. The woman smiled and picked up the phone and made a call. The other lady took our passports and told us to breathe. We made it!

The Bethst of: Beaches in Favignana

Favignana is a gem off the coast of Sicily. It is one of the three, and the most populated of the Aegadian islands. Favignana is a thirty minute ferry ride west of Sicily and is among my favourite islands to adventure. Once off the boat, head over to Noleggio Ginevra di Catalan Amadeo (their website) and rent yourself a hog for the duration of your stay. It’s the best way to get around.

Lido Burrone

Lido Burrone is a beautiful sandy beach. It is also the only beach with facilities. Here, you can rent a beach chair and an umbrella, and you can head up to the bar to order a drink or buy a snack. You can also use their toilets. It’s nice to be on a sandy beach, but this one can get quite crowded. It’s not good for incognito topless tanning, but it is great for people watching!

Sandy: yes

Crowded: definitely

Swimmable: yes

Speedos: too many to count

Cala Azzure

Cala Azzure

Named after the colour of the water, Cala Azzure is a total stunner! The water is so crystal clear, it’s almost unreal. As for lounging by the water, there are a few sandy parts for lounging, but there wasn’t much room when we arrived. We walked along the beach, over the rocks and found a more secluded area to set up camp. This place can get super busy too, I am sure, but feels a bit less so because of the way the rocks are located around the water. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only ones there.

Sandy: somewhat

Crowded: not if you walk to the other side

Swimmable: yes and it’s refreshing AF

Instagrammable: #youbetterbelieveit

Bue Marino

Bue Marino

This is less of a beach, and more just a really cool place to hang out and not swim. There is a little path down towards the water that opens up over a huge, flat area. The cliffs down to the water are jagged and beautiful, and the water is, again, crystal clear. Here, you can find all sorts of caves in the rock. It’s a fun place to adventure, hang out in the sun, and drink fresh orange juice from the huge, orange-shaped bar at the top of the hill (if it’s parked there).

Sandy: no

Crowded: not a soul in sight

Swimmable: not if you want to live

Adventurous: totally!!

Cala Graziosa

Cala Graziosa

Yes, you will park in a big, empty parking lot, yes you will be across the street from a big factory looking thing, no, there won’t be any other cars in the parking lot. You’ve found the place! This is such a lovely swimming hole. The quality of your experience will be determined by the wind. If it’s coming from the north, skip this place. If it’s coming from any other direction, this place is heavenly. The water is still, deep, and super clear. There are rocks around the edges perfect for jumping into the deep watering hole. Don’t feel like swimming? That’s fine! Go explore the rocks, you’ll find an abundance of tide pools around!

Sandy: no… it’s rocks

Crowded: not when we went! We were the only ones there!

Swimmable: if you’re prepared to jump!

Life in the tidepools: crabs and urchins galore!