Sunday, December 2, 2007

Isole dei Ciclopi

So one day I noticed that the local city bus, 534, said "Aci Trezza" on it. Aci Trezza is a little town just up the coast from Catania which has now been made a part of Aci Castello. The 534 bus line, it seemed went through Aci Castello all the way up to Aci Trezza and then turned around and came back all the way to the south end of Catania. Aci Trezza is where we had heard the islands of the cyclopses were, as well as the museum of the sea and a protected marine reserve with flora and fauna unique to that zone. So, with an 80 cent bus ticket and some time to kill, we decided to go check it out. We rode the 534 all the way to the end of the line, got off, and walked half a block to the waterfront, and there the were. Le isole dei ciclopi. The very rocks thrown into the water by Polyphemus after being blinded by Odysseus. (Or lavic formations from an underwater volcano--which story do you like better?)

We ate a sandwhich and wandered around a bit. It was pretty but the place was pretty dead, there was a visitor center but it was closed. It looked as though the tourist boats had all been drydocked for the season. So although there were rumors of a museum of the sea and glass bottom boats to view the unique flora and fauna, all we found was a quiet seafront and some cute feral kittens.

On the bus ride back we did get off in Aci Castello and saw the Norman castle there. It is built on a cliffside of black lava rock overlooking the sea. It was pretty, too, but we didn't get any pictures. On the whole, a nice, pleasant, relaxed day.