Monday, November 17, 2008
Juanita in the Sahara
Sicilia did not dissappoint! I spent a week there with a friend from Vancouver, Caede Pungente, and her uncle, Ken, at his new home in the lovely coastal town of Portopalo (di C. Passero). Set in the lush countryside, olive and citrus orchards surround the beautiful classic town. Each morning, after waking up in his gorgeous casa, we would wander to the cafe for pastries and capaccino, then we either went on daytrips or spent the day wandering the quaint streets exploring and visiting. I was welcomed so warmly by the people of the town, visiting people in their homes, or just stopping to talk on the streets.
Some of our daytrips included Noto, a city that was once destroyed, then rebuilt in baroque style. Unfortunately on this day the battery on my camera died, so there are no photos until Caede sends me copies of hers. Streets and streets of baroque architecture, I was in awe. One of the buildings we went into was an opera house (I did get photos of this).
Siracusa is an incredible city, and Il Duomo, the magnificent cathedral was the highlight (see photos). We also visited the Greek Theatre there.
Caede and I spent the last night in Catania, a stunning modern city, but in a setting of baroque, sicilian and roman architecture. The city square in the centre of the city is surrounded by blocks and blocks of incredible historical buildings and fountains.
During my week there, I just touched on the beauty of what is Sicily. I will definately go back, and spend much more time exploring.
The food was amazing, sundried tomatoes, dried in the warm sicilian sun, drenched in fresh local olive oil, fresh basil and pasta, local cheeses and warm bread from the oven, we shopped at the market and cooked our meals in Ken's kitchen. Each meal was of course served with the rich dark red wine of the area. One night I cooked Kefta for them, a Tunisian dish I learned to make in Douz (see previous blogs). I think I gained 5 pounds in one week, but I needed to after being sick recently.
Then there was the shopping. It's a good thing I don't live in Sicily, my savings would be gone before I could blink. I don't know what the prices of clothes are in Italy's large cities on the mainland, but the prices for beautiful clothes in Sicily justified me spending too much! (Can you say italian boots???). I also bought jars of pesto, balsamic vinegar, sundried tomatoes and other dishes and foods to stock my larder in Tunisia. Also a blender so I can make my own pesto in Douz.
So I am back home, in Douz, and tonight am cooking pasta with pesto and chicken for Mounir, and Thursday, I am cooking lunch for my beautiful friend Kharia and my new friend Nadia. I have met some women friends here and am happy about that. Will include photos and more stories in my next blog. This one is dedicated to the beautiful Italian island of Sicilia... Salute