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SICILIAN SPRING HAS SPRUNG

By late April Sicilians are drawn outdoors by the brilliant sunshine and bright blue skies, just as we are drawn to leave the security of our berth at Marina di Ragusa and continue our “Med Adventure”.

At our farewell dock party. . .

Kent proposed a toast to all the Marina di Ragusa cruisers.

And then we were off–leaving friends is bittersweet.

Arrivederci, old and new friends at Porto Turistico Marina di Ragusa!

Our route took us back north along the eastern Sicilian coast where we were scheduled to meet our friends Ann and Dudley Welch in Siracusa.  Along the way we had a chance to see how Sicilians enjoy spring’s arrival.
Boats of all sizes and shapes leave their winter homes.

Square-riggers set sail. . .

like "Star Clipper" from Malta.

 But there are other ways to enjoy the sea

Day excursion boats transport tourists to caves. . .

or students on school trips. . .

and families enjoy fun in the sun on small inflatables with BIG engines.

There are some more unusual outdoor sports this time of year as well.  Take for example the waterpolo competition we saw in Siracusa–using kayaks (called canoes locally)–I kid you not!

Siracusa Canoapolo is a big, well organized event.
The field is between two bridges with nets suspended from each.

As they scramble for the ball. . .

under the watchful eye of the official. . .

it is easy to see why they wear helmuts.

While “canoapolo” is a sport for the young, there is sport for the “young at heart”.  While sitting at an outdoor cafe we heard the roar of motorcycles–at least 50 by count that roared into the little square and proceeded through the gate into the Old Town of Siracusa.  These elegant bikes, ridden mostly by couples, appeared to be on excursion together–what a way to travel!

One by one. . .

all equally elegant. . .

they disappeared through the town gate the noise of their engines echoing off the walls.

But some fun in the sun is more sedate.

Little girls tool around on little pink trikes. . .

while fashionable young women chat on cells and promanade in treacherously high platform shoes.

 The local monuments are dramatic against the azure blue spring sky.

And there are plenty of cathedrals. . .

and forts to visit like this one at the entrance to Siracusa.

 Tourist season has begun in earnest.

Accordian music wafts through the air. . .

for the enjoyment of outdoor cafe patrons.

There is a universal appeal to spring and the anticipated arrival of summer that transcends culture and geography.  Sicilians are doing what Bostonians, and Croatians, and Turks are doing this time of year.  Awakening from their winter hibernation and soaking up the sun.

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