We had intended to leave tonight, Saturday, but there were supposed to be some very strong winds forecast to blow down the Messina Straits today. Other forecasts show a different view but the swell is still big from the the SE winds coming up from Africa that managed to cover Nimmie in orange sand. There’s not much we can do about that at the moment as we don’t have access to water and don’t want to use up a precious commodity. Jo also woke up full of cold so we are going to enjoy another free night on the town quay. Some boats have left but others have come to join us. It seems that everyone who walks by wants to chat about the boat, where we have come from, going to or just passing the time of day. It’s almost as if they feel they can talk to you if they see you in the cockpit, despite the fact you might not want to! The latest were Darius and Marius, two Polish guys who are on a Norwegian flagged boat on the quay. They wanted us to keep an eye out on their boat whilst they went out to a bar. I did try to point out we’d been here three days and not had any trouble. Yesterday, we took advantage of our extended stay to wander around the streets of Ortigia and be a tourist for the day. There are many alleyways and pedestrian zones although you wouldn’t know it by the number of cars and scooters that go up them. Clearly, traffic restrictions are for guidance only. The ramparts are very reminiscent of Alghero with restaurants and bars overlooking the sea.
We spent an hour or so going around the Castello Maniace that guards the entrance to the harbour. The entry fee was €2 and great value for money.
After a liquid lunch stop in Archimedes Plaza, which has Diana’s Fountain (sadly in the middle of a busy roundabout), we went in search of the relatively new museum dedicated to Archimedes and Leonardo da Vinci. It was a fascinating visit showing many interactive inventions from the two men, including what may well be the earliest type of lifebuoy!
Today, we took a Hop On, Hop Off bus around Siracusa and Ortigia for the princely sum of €5 each. Whilst we had seen many of the spots, it was nice to get our bearings again. We visited the Basilica Sanctuario Madonna Della Lacrime, which is a very modern church with a copy of the Turin Shroud (not sure why it was there). A very late lunch and then a bit of retail therapy for Liz will be in order.