The Italian Job travel blog


Growing hothouses?




Check the gargoyle on the right


We left the hotel at 8am and headed off to the Planeta winery that we think was at Vittoria for a wine tasting. We got there just on 10 and the group got to taste two whites and two reds followed by olive oil tastings as well.

I thought it was a weird time to taste grog but there you are. I don't think they made many sales, if any, apart from me buying a three pack of olive oil to send to Barry and Lee.

From there we drive to rugosa where we had the obligatory tour around the old town and lunch. I had the best antipasti there. David had risotto with pineapple in it and swimming in butter and Kevin had spag Bol but it had ricotta in it. I think I was the winner.

After the walking tour which I think was just designed to use up time we all had a lemon granita which is nearly my new favourite thing. I still hadn't tried a coffee granita though so I found out where to find one and scurried off. It was worth it. It was obviously a granita but with brewed sweetened coffee. Very strong. Very very good. That's my new favourite thing. Sad though as we are leaving Sicily and I'm sure they won't have them anywhere else. Back on the road in a full circle as we drove past mt Etna again to end up in Catania for a rushed dinner which had been prearranged. We got there late so there was a small sense of panic. The reason we were late has never been fully established but the cars came to a complete stop about 30 minutes from the city. As we crawled along we eventually saw what looked like an abandoned car crawling with army boys with automatic weapons. They looked too young to shave. I guess maybe they thought it was a bomb threat or something?? It did look totally suspicious.

Anyway we got to the restaurant. It was gob and go and back on the bus racing to the airport. Whilst I was gathering my things together I saw that the olive oil had leaked everywhere which did not thrill me one bit. Creating an instant plan b I decided Barry and Lee would not be receiving three gourmet empty bottles which previously contained olive oil. I would give them to the guide. So I did. Sorry B&L. It saved a hassle as I'd already planned to put them in someone else's bag. There was no way I was going to out leaking oil into someone else's luggage. So... My only real purchase isn't leaving Italy at all.

The real fun started at the airport. They said they wouldn't process us as a group. Each person would be individually processed, and bags weighed. So I decided to go up with Phillip just in case. The next thing though was that they weren't processing people. And they didn't start. Emanualla went and asked and eventually she found out that the plane hadn't left Munich and was indefinitely delayed. So we weren't allowed to leave the queue but just had to stay there. Emanualla had to go, she just said seeya and went. So we didn't give her the tip or anything.

So we waited and waited. Eventually we were processed and were on the plane by 10.45. It was basically straight up and down with an actual flight time of 26 minutes. The Malta airport was very efficient. By the time we unloaded our luggage was coming out. By now David's bag had lost one leg stand thing and the wheel thing that was damaged previously is now really really damages. It wasn't the Malta flight that did that tho. It was the Italian bits that smashed it up but it was difficult to manage. It's a bugger really as we have a few more flights yet and it makes a shitty job a lot harder. However... Back to the story... We walked out not knowing what would greet us but there was the Bunnik sign, a tour guide person from the company and two drivers so soon we were loaded on and deposited at our hotel by 12. It was closer to one am by the time we were in our rooms and sorted out, which for me meant doing my washing, unpacking and sorting out my bits and pieces. I like my jobs to be done when I go to bed. The rooms are luxurious and everything looks fabulous.. Wifi works like a dream, tea and coffee in the room. What more could you ask for... Well it would be good if the aircon worked. It's almost 30° in my room so not much sleep to be had and still tossing and turning at 2am, and then multiple trips to the bathroom, back and forward to the A/C controller but fiddling didn't change the fact it just doesn't work. Over tired and none too happy but still better off than the Tasmanian woman Julie whose luggage had completely lost its handle.. I mean the bit that pulls up... Completely missing.. So I need to keep some perspective as all my problems are first world ones.

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