A Sicilian Place

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Travel  |  House: Booksie Classic

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My day in Sicily.

I am laying on a million pebbles. It hurt but it is a good kind of pain. With my eyes closed I let my skin soak up the warmth of the Sicilian sun. The sound of the waves crashing onto the rocky shore fill the cool breezy air all around us as people sun bathe and swim in the sea with their families. I turn my face to the right and open my eyes, knowing exactly what I will see. But no matter how many times I see it, it still catches my breath every single time. Mount Etna, the tallest volcano in Europe, stands in clear view of the hotel beach I am laying on. Smoke is spiralling out the tip of Mount Etna, ascending into the clouds. It is still active and could erupt any day. Knowing this gives me, and a lot of people probably, a strange thrill in being here. Why is it exciting to risk one’s life?

The Island is basically solidified lava from Etna’s eruptions and even the gravel on the streets is layered with the ashes from it. My stomach rumbles, I reach for my bag and take out the box of fruits I purchased from the market earlier today. I take a bite of a fig. No, I don’t even have to bite. The fig came apart with just the slight pressure of my lips pressing into it. The softness, the sweetness and the juiciness of the fruit brought tears to my eyes. I have never tasted sweeter figs in my life. It is like honey. ‘Because of the volcanic soil on the island, the crops that grow here are extra sweet and ripe,’ said the tour guide upon arrival at the hotel. Boy, he wasn’t kidding. 

Staring at the glistening sun on the surface of the crystalized aquamarine coloured water, practically French kissing my fig, I let out a soft moaning sigh of pleasure. 

Later that day I decide to take a walk and find a place to have dinner. For a Mediterranean Island that is hot in the day, the nights are surprisingly cold here. So, I make sure I am dressed properly in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt and head out into the night. 

Passing by the extravagant reception of the five-star hotel and through the motion sensitive glass doors of the main entrance, I receive lots of smiles and nods from the polite hotel staff. ‘Ciao, Bella,’ one of them cries after me. I smile back and wave. Stepping outside, the night is chilly, and the smell of flowers enveloped my nostrils, the big tree right outside has flowers that during the day are closed, but now at night they all opened into gorgeous and large pink blossoms. I stand under the tree, astonished, marvelling and take a closer look at the lower flower covered branches. I smile and take deep breaths, enjoying the flowery scent. 

A hotel employee walks up towards me, reaches up, plucks a large pink flower from the branch, and offers it to me with a grin on his face. I accept the flower smiling back and say, ‘Grazie,’. He replies, ‘Prego, Bella.’
 I walk away with the flower pressed against my nose. Just a few steps away from the resort, there I find an Italian restaurant. ‘The Best Spaghetti in Sicily!’, read the sign above the gate. I go in and am welcomed immediately by a waitress there, and ushered to a seat by a large window with plants on either side. The tables all have red and white checkered clothe on them with a candle lit on the centre. The furnishing is wooden and classic, and the walls painted a lovely cream. I notice a little souvenir shop across the street. On its window is displayed a remarkable collection of dried lava carvings. The Sicilians are brilliant crafters of dried lava.  I see shapes of roses, cats, even ash trays. A brilliant way of taking a piece of Sicily home with you. The Island is riddled with carved lava stones in every boutique on every corner of every street. But the lava stone I intend on purchasing, is from the volcano itself. I look forward to the trip to the top of Mount Etna tomorrow.

Submitted: February 07, 2018

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