Some initial thoughts on Sicily
You may have noticed that we’ve been a little lax with our posts lately. Besides hosting the Travel Photo Roulette contest last week, we’ve really only posted a couple of “fluffier” pieces – rich in pictures but light on writing – since the start of the new year. Although I could rifle off a list of the dozen or so excuses we’ve been making to avoid writing this past week, in the end our silence really comes from one place – we don’t know what to say.
After some nice downtime in Prague over the holidays we hoped to continue the trend with a couple quiet weeks in Sicily and made our way to Catania, our first stop on the island. However what we intended to be two peaceful weeks on the ancient sun-soaked streets of some of Sicily’s most charming towns actually became one of our most difficult and challenging travel experiences to date.
Perhaps it shouldn’t have been such a shock, but after two weeks in Germany and the Czech Republic (two very well-organized countries) and a month in Turkey where travel was surprisingly stress-free, we experienced some major culture shock upon arrival in Sicily. The noise and traffic combined with the haphazard, chaotic, and often cumbersome approach to seemingly simple tasks ranging from crossing the street to grabbing food to getting from point A to point B, was beginning to stress us out.
It seemed that only moments after arrival we were ready to turn around and hightail it the heck out of here. But we know better than that.
Since our first taste of Sicily in Catania, we’ve had some time to adjust to the Sicilian way of life with stays in Siracusa, Modica, and Palermo; However, we’re still stumped when it comes to expressing our feelings about Sicily. Do we hate it? Not completely. Have we grown to love it? Not completely.
Adding to the issue of “how do we feel about Sicily” is the fact that we’ve been traveling for awhile now at a pretty fast pace – 13 countries in 5 months – and it’s finally getting to us. I won’t complain about burn-out for fear our family at home will begin penning hate mail, BUT we are definitely not feeling like ourselves. Furthermore, the timing of our visit to one of Europe’s most Catholic nations coincided with St. Stephen’s Day (December 26th), New Years Eve, New Years Day, and Epiphany (January 6), meaning many restaurants, shops, and attractions have had severely reduced hours (even more so than normal).
With all of this in mind, we are left wondering if our issue is actually with Sicily or ourselves?
Deep, I know.
We clearly need some time to process everything we’ve experienced over these past couple of weeks – and to explore Palermo and it’s world famous street food scene. However some of our
best posts have come out of not knowing what to say so don’t worry about us too much, we’ll have something new to share before you know it! (Don’t believe me? check out here, here, and here.)
At least we aren’t back in freezing cold Canada – yet.
Have you ever traveled somewhere that challenged you? Was it worth it in the end? Let us know in the comments.
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