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A report from Andalucia, July 2017



 
 
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  #21  
Old July 13th, 2017, 07:50 PM posted to rec.travel.europe
tim...[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 44
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017



"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
On Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 8:24:54 AM UTC+1, tim... wrote:
"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
Well, it's the long version or the short version! We'll keep to the
latter
pro tem.

Our normal travelling is usually very much DIY. So, based in the east
in
Taormina, we had sketched out two weeks in May of moving around most
sights in the island.
However - thank you travel industry - we were advised with far too
little
notice that G7, of which we'd never heard, was causing a lockdown and
cancellation of all hotel reservations in Taormina for the duration.

We wanted to stay with the hotel carefully chosen (within all this was
a
family celebration) so we ended up in Taormina a month late, and in
uncustomary heat and humidity (even for Sicily!) that foreshortened too
much activity.
So we stayed centred in the east, cut our various overnighting stays
planned in the west and, in the reduced 'charging around' time relied
on
conducted tours more than we usually would.

Here's a precis of some notes I sent to a friend who's also shortly
visiting for the first time.

Aeolian islands: Beautiful. Get cruises for the day from the port near
Messina. Do include the version that stands off at sea in the dark of
the
evening so that you can watch Stromboli erupting - we saw 4 good
bangs/flames within 45 minutes. Great stuff!

Etna: Can't be missed - we were very lucky and apart from heat haze had
exceptional views. Depending on your preference you can stop at the end
of
the road access (with views up towards the main craters, plus small old
craters nearby to look at), or go on the cable car rather higher, and
then
take 'jeep coaches' higher still, and then move as high as the guides
will
let you trek depending on volcanic action. Your choice! We saw copious
smoke action from two top craters plus some black ash eruption.
Marvellous
day!

Syracuse: Its history is rather more interesting than what is left (!)
but nevertheless well worth walking around if you have spare time. Good
stuff from ancient Greek to Roman/Byzantine/Norman and later, but
relatively sparse. A half-day conducted walk would ensure you saw the
highlights.

Taormina: Our base, which proved exceptionally good for that, and very
attractively sited below Etna. It appears on numerous excursions from
other parts of Sicily, but I wouldn't have thought it was worth any
significant diversion by travellers unless close anyway, but it's
certainly very pleasant, with several good mediaeval piazzas.



All the above using locally arranged day trips?


Aeolians, Syracuse & Etna, yep.


okey dokey



  #22  
Old July 14th, 2017, 10:51 AM posted to rec.travel.europe
Sheila Page[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 18
Default Sicily A report from Andalucia, July 2017



In message
engr.vans.vg,
Giovanni Drogo writes
On Wed, 12 Jul 2017, tim... wrote:

a van). The islands (Vulcano, Lipari, Panarea and Stromboli are the ones
I visited, the others are farther) are definitely worth visiting.


I hadn't really considered visiting the Islands


The ferries don't seem to be overly helpful when visiting for a day
trip, but accommodation on the islands is so limited that you really
have plan ahead to get it right


spending 3 or 4 days on these islands definitely works against
touring by car


You won't need a car except perhaps on Lipari which is a bit large to
be walkable (some 6 km across and hilly), if you want to collect pumice
and obsidian.

Actually there are no cars at all at Panarea (we walked from the
harbour to the archeological site), and I'm not sure about Stromboli
(the two inhabited points should not be connected by road). Even
Vulcano should be walkable.

As far as I know the boat and hydrofoil service should be acceptable.
Problem can be rough weather. We were in an organized tour with a small
group. We went by van from Catania airport to Milazzo (getting an
impressive thunderstorm on the motorway just as we left the shade of
Etna), and found all boats were cancelled. Our guide found an hotel at
Capo d'Orlando, and found that the morning after there was a boat from
there to Vulcano and Lipari (Italian Touring Club guides usually have a
budget to cater for situations like these).

We did a day trip to Vulcano by regular service boat (it's just across
the strait), and another to Panarea, and Stromboli coming back in the
evening, but I guess this was a chartered boat (not just for our small
group, we weren't alone). It stopped off Panarea to let people have a
swim, and after dinner toured a bit around Stromboli to see
Strombolicchio and the Sciara (the incline where lava gets down into
the sea). We had a van to go round Lipari (not the one we left on the
mainland), and came back by hydrofoil.


And don't get me started on maps that are orientated the wrong way round


Don't tell me. I cannot stand the hybrid stuff ATM (the Milan transport
agency) has placed at tram stops. They are not linear line DIAGRAMS,
and they aren't regular maps, north up, but sort of Peutingerian maps,
long and thin, made cutting pieces of regular maps and joining them
"rectified" along the tram route.

I've never visited Marsala, the saline (salt flats) and the western
coast.


didn't know of the salt flats


Uh, actually I had to look up the word, so I may have got the wrong
one. We call them "saline" (plural, sing. "salina"). They are flat
areas where they let sea water in to evaporate, and then collect the
salt.

The main ones still in use for commercial purpose should be in Puglia.
I guess the ones near Trapani are also still active, but part of them
is a museum/park. So for the smaller ones near Cervia (northern
Adriatic), which produce a particularly sweet salt (I am not sure if
depends on the concentration of which oligo-element). Some amateurs
supporting the salt museum in Cervia run "manually" a salina in the old
way, and this salt is for sale at the museum.

I heard there are also salt mines in some place in the interior of
Sicily (should date back to the "Messinian salinity crisis" when
Gibraltar strait closed and the Mediterranean evaporated)

The railway line to Castelvetrano (on the southern coast) should have a
stop near the Segesta temple (but I guess a fair walk).


would that be the stop called Segesta tempio?


the name makes sense, I cannot locate it on google maps. I'll try
openstreetmap (rather good at computing walking paths though
underestimates walking time) or openrailwaymap

hmm, according to openrailwaymap that's tagged "abandoned track", but
Calatafimi looks near, wikipedia lists Segesta Tempio as in use, but
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrovia_Palermo-Trapani says "service
interrupted"

Hmm ... actually zooming in on openrailwampa one sees that the
"abandoned track" goes south through "Calatafimi-Segesta", but
Calatafimi station is on the east and Segesta Tempio to the north of
the archeological area ... but on the suspended service line ! :-(

Some other site quotes a "Tarantola Bus" company.

Oh, looking on DB I see that all the Trapani services are via
Castelvetrano, so the direct line's not still open


I tend also to use a DB site to get railway timetables across all
Europe, though one has to use the Trenitalia site to get tickets (but
that mainly for Le Frecce, "the arrows" i.e. the high speed trains,
which haven't got south of Naples), but I found instead useful this site
http://www.rfi.it/rfi.html (RFI is the owner of the infrastructure,
rails and station). If you click on "Quadri orario online" you can get
a pdf of the arrival and departure timetables of each individual
stations, exactly the ones present in the station.

http://www.viaggiatreno.it is instead the utility to get real time
situation of trains (both long distance, and by region). For Lombardy,
where Trenord runs regional train, the qeuivalent service is
http://www.my-link.it/mylink/


Just a thank you to you and others in this thread for all the
information.


--
---
Sheila Page
  #23  
Old July 16th, 2017, 07:07 AM posted to rec.travel.europe,talk.politics.european-union
Paul Aubrin
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 94
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017

On Mon, 10 Jul 2017 16:54:45 +0200, Simon Laub wrote:

Have just returned from a trip to Andalucia.
Lots of impressions to pass on, but, sadly, not much activity in
rec.travel.european these days? I.e. not that many to pass the story on
to?
Nevertheless, I'll give it a go:

Shortly: Andalucia has certainly been influenced by a lot of people over
the centuries.
From roman emperors, onwards to muslim caliphates,
followed by Viking raids (Vikings who later settle in the area, selling
cheese) and forward to Spanish kings,
who started expeditions to the rest of the world from the Andalician
heartland.
Between all the wars you certainly don't get the impression that the
past was such a glorious time of stability that you sometimes see it
portrayed as in the media ...

But, well, the land is still there.
And well worth a visit.

You can see some pictures from my trip he
http://www.simonlaub.net/Fortunecity...017/index.html

best wishes -Simon


Andaluces de Jaen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unVF1tAALUk
Miguel Hernandez 1937
Paco Ibanez.

Another version.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNpXVzCwvjs

Andaluces de Jaén,
aceituneros altivos,
decidme en el alma: ¿quién,
quién levantó los olivos?

No los levantó la nada,
ni el dinero, ni el señor,
sino la tierra callada,
el trabajo y el sudor.

Unidos al agua pura
y a los planetas unidos,
los tres dieron la hermosura
de los troncos retorcidos.

Levántate, olivo cano,
dijeron al pie del viento.
Y el olivo alzó una mano
poderosa de cimiento.

Andaluces de Jaén,
aceituneros altivos,
decidme en el alma: ¿quién
amamantó los olivos?

Vuestra sangre, vuestra vida,
no la del explotador
que se enriqueció en la herida
generosa del sudor.

No la del terrateniente
que os sepultó en la pobreza,
que os pisoteó la frente,
que os redujo la cabeza.

Árboles que vuestro afán
consagró al centro del d*a
eran principio de un pan
que sólo el otro com*a.

¡Cuántos siglos de aceituna,
los pies y las manos presos,
sol a sol y luna a luna,
pesan sobre vuestros huesos!

Andaluces de Jaén,
aceituneros altivos,
pregunta mi alma: ¿de quién,
de quién son estos olivos?

Jaén, levántate brava
sobre tus piedras lunares,
no vayas a ser esclava
con todos tus olivares.

Dentro de la claridad
del aceite y sus aromas,
indican tu libertad
la libertad de tus lomas.
  #24  
Old July 16th, 2017, 06:18 PM posted to rec.travel.europe
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 16
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017

Am Dienstag, 11. Juli 2017 21:36:20 UTC+2 schrieb tim...:

I first (and only) visited Sicily in 82 when I was working a year in Italy

This was pre internet, without a guide book, flying by the seat of my pants
stuff

I knew a few places that I had to go to: Mt Etna, Agrigento, Palermo etc

I scheduled a two week holiday which I spent in the very south of Italy and
on the Island - travelling by train. It was November BTW, glorious weather
all week, though it did **** down the previous week when I had been in
Naples :-(

I'm sure that I missed some places. I remember that I got the train to
Enna, fully expecting that if the station wasn't in the town centre (it
isn't by about 5 km) there would be as bus as the had been at *every* other
random Italian town that I had visited. But there wasn't and still isn't
(actually I found a web site that says that there us, but there are no bus
stops on street view!) - and there isn't even a sign of a taxi rank, though
no doubt there's now a phone number on the wall that you can ring with your
mobile - something that I, of course, didn't have in 82.

Now, with 35 years of traveling experience behind me, I think I should go
back and fill in the gaps.

I'm minded to hire a car, but I am concerned by the overly cheap prices that
are charged and whether it is possible to avoid all the scams that you read
of to bump up the costs when you get there.

Or I can again go by train (and bus) though this time using the internet to
plan properly.


Although the Train Station has not been included to
the local bus network http://wwwnew.saisautolinee.it/publi...Mappa-S.U..pdf
http://wwwnew.saisautolinee.it/?cmd=orari Shows
Solutions for weekdays if entering/choosing Enna F.S. as the first
and Enna as second point.

Regards, ULF
  #25  
Old July 17th, 2017, 10:19 AM posted to rec.travel.europe
tim...[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 44
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017



wrote in message
...
Am Dienstag, 11. Juli 2017 21:36:20 UTC+2 schrieb tim...:

I first (and only) visited Sicily in 82 when I was working a year in
Italy

This was pre internet, without a guide book, flying by the seat of my
pants
stuff

I knew a few places that I had to go to: Mt Etna, Agrigento, Palermo etc

I scheduled a two week holiday which I spent in the very south of Italy
and
on the Island - travelling by train. It was November BTW, glorious
weather
all week, though it did **** down the previous week when I had been in
Naples :-(

I'm sure that I missed some places. I remember that I got the train to
Enna, fully expecting that if the station wasn't in the town centre (it
isn't by about 5 km) there would be as bus as the had been at *every*
other
random Italian town that I had visited. But there wasn't and still isn't
(actually I found a web site that says that there us, but there are no
bus
stops on street view!) - and there isn't even a sign of a taxi rank,
though
no doubt there's now a phone number on the wall that you can ring with
your
mobile - something that I, of course, didn't have in 82.

Now, with 35 years of traveling experience behind me, I think I should go
back and fill in the gaps.

I'm minded to hire a car, but I am concerned by the overly cheap prices
that
are charged and whether it is possible to avoid all the scams that you
read
of to bump up the costs when you get there.

Or I can again go by train (and bus) though this time using the internet
to
plan properly.


Although the Train Station has not been included to
the local bus network
http://wwwnew.saisautolinee.it/publi...Mappa-S.U..pdf


well no it wouldn't because it is miles from the town with no built up area
in between (but i didn't know that at the time) so unlikely to be a frequent
city bus.

As someone else said, it's not an immediately obvious tourist destination so
no hoards of tourists arriving at the station wanting to get to the remote
city (as there are at Assisi, say)

http://wwwnew.saisautolinee.it/?cmd=orari Shows
Solutions for weekdays if entering/choosing Enna F.S. as the first
and Enna as second point.


OK thanks

not that the resulting 2 buses a day (3 on schooldays) is useful :-)

I did actually find information on long distance busses and saw that there
are a few a day from the larger towns on the island. So if I decide to
include it in my destination list, that is the way to go

tim





  #26  
Old July 25th, 2017, 09:25 AM posted to rec.travel.europe
Surreyman[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 299
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017

On Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 7:50:56 PM UTC+1, tim... wrote:
"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
On Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 8:24:54 AM UTC+1, tim... wrote:
"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
Well, it's the long version or the short version! We'll keep to the
latter
pro tem.

Our normal travelling is usually very much DIY. So, based in the east
in
Taormina, we had sketched out two weeks in May of moving around most
sights in the island.
However - thank you travel industry - we were advised with far too
little
notice that G7, of which we'd never heard, was causing a lockdown and
cancellation of all hotel reservations in Taormina for the duration.

We wanted to stay with the hotel carefully chosen (within all this was
a
family celebration) so we ended up in Taormina a month late, and in
uncustomary heat and humidity (even for Sicily!) that foreshortened too
much activity.
So we stayed centred in the east, cut our various overnighting stays
planned in the west and, in the reduced 'charging around' time relied
on
conducted tours more than we usually would.

Here's a precis of some notes I sent to a friend who's also shortly
visiting for the first time.

Aeolian islands: Beautiful. Get cruises for the day from the port near
Messina. Do include the version that stands off at sea in the dark of
the
evening so that you can watch Stromboli erupting - we saw 4 good
bangs/flames within 45 minutes. Great stuff!

Etna: Can't be missed - we were very lucky and apart from heat haze had
exceptional views. Depending on your preference you can stop at the end
of
the road access (with views up towards the main craters, plus small old
craters nearby to look at), or go on the cable car rather higher, and
then
take 'jeep coaches' higher still, and then move as high as the guides
will
let you trek depending on volcanic action. Your choice! We saw copious
smoke action from two top craters plus some black ash eruption.
Marvellous
day!

Syracuse: Its history is rather more interesting than what is left (!)
but nevertheless well worth walking around if you have spare time. Good
stuff from ancient Greek to Roman/Byzantine/Norman and later, but
relatively sparse. A half-day conducted walk would ensure you saw the
highlights.

Taormina: Our base, which proved exceptionally good for that, and very
attractively sited below Etna. It appears on numerous excursions from
other parts of Sicily, but I wouldn't have thought it was worth any
significant diversion by travellers unless close anyway, but it's
certainly very pleasant, with several good mediaeval piazzas.


All the above using locally arranged day trips?


Aeolians, Syracuse & Etna, yep.


okey dokey


Not as 'touristy' as it might sound.
Bearing in mind that we rarely hire cars ...
Aeolians visits are largely by the same ferries anyway.
Etna, to see various other aspects en route, would be difficult via public transport.
Syracuse area sites are spread out and favour personal transport of whatever type.
Using public transport for all these visits might have saved some cash (not our primary concern) but otherwise would have added little. We're all for 'local flavour' (using dolmeshes in Turkey etc.), but not if it unnecessarily complicates just getting from A to B.
  #27  
Old July 25th, 2017, 12:24 PM posted to rec.travel.europe
tim...[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 44
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017



"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
On Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 7:50:56 PM UTC+1, tim... wrote:
"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
On Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 8:24:54 AM UTC+1, tim... wrote:
"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
Well, it's the long version or the short version! We'll keep to the
latter
pro tem.

Our normal travelling is usually very much DIY. So, based in the
east
in
Taormina, we had sketched out two weeks in May of moving around most
sights in the island.
However - thank you travel industry - we were advised with far too
little
notice that G7, of which we'd never heard, was causing a lockdown
and
cancellation of all hotel reservations in Taormina for the duration.

We wanted to stay with the hotel carefully chosen (within all this
was
a
family celebration) so we ended up in Taormina a month late, and in
uncustomary heat and humidity (even for Sicily!) that foreshortened
too
much activity.
So we stayed centred in the east, cut our various overnighting stays
planned in the west and, in the reduced 'charging around' time
relied
on
conducted tours more than we usually would.

Here's a precis of some notes I sent to a friend who's also shortly
visiting for the first time.

Aeolian islands: Beautiful. Get cruises for the day from the port
near
Messina. Do include the version that stands off at sea in the dark
of
the
evening so that you can watch Stromboli erupting - we saw 4 good
bangs/flames within 45 minutes. Great stuff!

Etna: Can't be missed - we were very lucky and apart from heat haze
had
exceptional views. Depending on your preference you can stop at the
end
of
the road access (with views up towards the main craters, plus small
old
craters nearby to look at), or go on the cable car rather higher,
and
then
take 'jeep coaches' higher still, and then move as high as the
guides
will
let you trek depending on volcanic action. Your choice! We saw
copious
smoke action from two top craters plus some black ash eruption.
Marvellous
day!

Syracuse: Its history is rather more interesting than what is left
(!)
but nevertheless well worth walking around if you have spare time.
Good
stuff from ancient Greek to Roman/Byzantine/Norman and later, but
relatively sparse. A half-day conducted walk would ensure you saw
the
highlights.

Taormina: Our base, which proved exceptionally good for that, and
very
attractively sited below Etna. It appears on numerous excursions
from
other parts of Sicily, but I wouldn't have thought it was worth any
significant diversion by travellers unless close anyway, but it's
certainly very pleasant, with several good mediaeval piazzas.


All the above using locally arranged day trips?

Aeolians, Syracuse & Etna, yep.


okey dokey


Not as 'touristy' as it might sound.
Bearing in mind that we rarely hire cars ...


It's just that I am wary of hiring a car in these places where the headline
price has been dumned down by online booking sites

It's just not credible that 8 pounds per day is a viable price, even off
season when the company has spare cars because they are stocked up for peak
demand.

And I've been stuffed before by a dishonest hire company (with an
international brand name)

tim



  #28  
Old July 26th, 2017, 10:35 AM posted to rec.travel.europe
Surreyman[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 299
Default A report from Andalucia, July 2017

On Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 12:25:49 PM UTC+1, tim... wrote:
"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
On Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 7:50:56 PM UTC+1, tim... wrote:
"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
On Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 8:24:54 AM UTC+1, tim... wrote:
"Surreyman" wrote in message
...
Well, it's the long version or the short version! We'll keep to the
latter
pro tem.

Our normal travelling is usually very much DIY. So, based in the
east
in
Taormina, we had sketched out two weeks in May of moving around most
sights in the island.
However - thank you travel industry - we were advised with far too
little
notice that G7, of which we'd never heard, was causing a lockdown
and
cancellation of all hotel reservations in Taormina for the duration.

We wanted to stay with the hotel carefully chosen (within all this
was
a
family celebration) so we ended up in Taormina a month late, and in
uncustomary heat and humidity (even for Sicily!) that foreshortened
too
much activity.
So we stayed centred in the east, cut our various overnighting stays
planned in the west and, in the reduced 'charging around' time
relied
on
conducted tours more than we usually would.

Here's a precis of some notes I sent to a friend who's also shortly
visiting for the first time.

Aeolian islands: Beautiful. Get cruises for the day from the port
near
Messina. Do include the version that stands off at sea in the dark
of
the
evening so that you can watch Stromboli erupting - we saw 4 good
bangs/flames within 45 minutes. Great stuff!

Etna: Can't be missed - we were very lucky and apart from heat haze
had
exceptional views. Depending on your preference you can stop at the
end
of
the road access (with views up towards the main craters, plus small
old
craters nearby to look at), or go on the cable car rather higher,
and
then
take 'jeep coaches' higher still, and then move as high as the
guides
will
let you trek depending on volcanic action. Your choice! We saw
copious
smoke action from two top craters plus some black ash eruption.
Marvellous
day!

Syracuse: Its history is rather more interesting than what is left
(!)
but nevertheless well worth walking around if you have spare time.
Good
stuff from ancient Greek to Roman/Byzantine/Norman and later, but
relatively sparse. A half-day conducted walk would ensure you saw
the
highlights.

Taormina: Our base, which proved exceptionally good for that, and
very
attractively sited below Etna. It appears on numerous excursions
from
other parts of Sicily, but I wouldn't have thought it was worth any
significant diversion by travellers unless close anyway, but it's
certainly very pleasant, with several good mediaeval piazzas.


All the above using locally arranged day trips?

Aeolians, Syracuse & Etna, yep.

okey dokey


Not as 'touristy' as it might sound.
Bearing in mind that we rarely hire cars ...


It's just that I am wary of hiring a car in these places where the headline
price has been dumned down by online booking sites

It's just not credible that 8 pounds per day is a viable price, even off
season when the company has spare cars because they are stocked up for peak
demand.

And I've been stuffed before by a dishonest hire company (with an
international brand name)

tim


As I said, we rarely hire cars.
The alternative we used in Sicily, especially when aiming for out of the way hilltop villages etc., was taxis.
Very good day rate is negotiable - after half an hour or so and a couple of drinks! - and includes what often becomes a very useful guide.
 




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