It has been two years since my last visit to Sicily, and that is definitely too many. This year is a little bit different. It is the first time I head off to do research not directly related to my own PhD with the specific purpose of helping a first year PhD student (Tom Wilkes) with an exciting new gas remote sensing project.
A late flight in to Palermo meant a stay at a B&B in nearby Terrasini. I must admit that I had no idea what this area was like at all, so a bit of a gamble. But the gamble paid off, that is, once we had navigated all the many one way systems which were incorrectly labelled on Google Maps. A short walk from our B&B and there is a square filled with different options for food and drink. A late dinner and then back to the B&B ready for the morning journey to Palermo to pick up equipment for the journey to Linguaglossa.
The driving is always an interesting experience. This is my third time driving in Italy, on the mainland around Naples/Sorrento and previously in Palermo. There is no acclimatising to the driving style. My ethos: expect anything to happen at anytime and that anyone may do it. For those who have done the UK hazard perception part of the driving test it is much akin to clicking the mouse constantly and furiously! That being said there is a certain enjoyment in driving under these more testing conditions. The journey from Palermo to Catania is fantastic, relatively empty roads through a semi-mountainous region, with amazing towns perched on hilly outcrops.
I write this post from a lovely B&B in Linguaglossa, after an awesome and Norma Pizza, with a nighttime view of Etna in the distance. I think I might try some night time photography then it's early to bed before an early start tomorrow.