Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Salita Mura delle Cattive, 7 (Palermo – Sicily, Italy)

For whatever reason, I was up at 4:30 a.m. Wide awake too! This gave me time to confirm our travel plans for today and take care of finances too. The sunrise this morning was a no-show. Clouds had moved in and there was only a hint of color on the horizon.

Before Barbara got up I was able to shower, pack and make sure I had everything picked up in my room and bathroom. So far in my travels I haven’t left anything in drawers or a closet. (Hope I didn’t jinx myself for writing this.)

We had just enough time for breakfast and it was time to meet our taxi. I asked the Airbnb host if she would make our reservation and she gladly accepted. The taxi was waiting for us as we left the building shortly before 9:00.

On the trip back to Catania, I was able to see views that I didn’t see during the ride to Palermo a few days ago. The three-hour journey seemed to take less time and before we knew it we were at the Catania station. We had plenty of time to reach the airport so I walked around to find an ATM. I was completely out of cash.

Since we’re leaving in different directions, I needed to carry cash for any cash purchases. Most taxis prefer cash. I’ve been keeping track of our combined spend on a spreadsheet so we can settle up later on. Was helpful for me to have someone else to travel with since I do almost all of my traveling by myself. I feel that I get fixed in how I do things and good to experience sharing with a fellow traveler. I don’t want to get too set in my ways.

We had time at the Catania airport to have a small snack and then it was time to say our good-byes. Was so much fun to travel with Barbara. We made some wonderful memories during this time together. I know that she will have a good trip on her flight back to the U.S.

I had a little slip up getting to my flight to Malta. I mis-read the departure display and walked to the wrong terminal. It was only a 10 minute delay and was at my gate in plenty of time. I make it a point to be early.

When I arrived at the Malta airport I expected to find my driver waiting for me as I entered the arrival lobby. No driver. I texted and called my Malta host and finally got ahold of her. She had the wrong arrival time. (I double-checked the note I sent to her.) She called the driver service and said my ride would be there in 10 minutes. After 20 minutes I called her back and said to cancel her ride and I’d find another. Then I booked my own ride and it was going to be a further delay. I ended up taking an airport taxi. I had thought my host’s offer for a driver would be easier, but I was wrong. It happens. In the end, I got to the flat, though a bit late.

This was the same flat that I had last year when I visited Malta and enjoyed my time here very much. The big difference this time is that I just stayed in three very large flats (two of them took up the entire floor) and this one seemed a bit small, but I’ll get over it in a day or so. It is located in a area where there are primarily locals in the neighborhood, which I like. I’ll be here two weeks then I’ll take a flight to Nice and start my southern France tour.

My host, to apologize for the mix up with the driver gave me a bottle of wine. That was very nice of her. I had bought two tuna sandwiches at the airport and a couple of beers for dinner. I’ll go shopping after she leaves for coffee, milk and some fruit, then go shopping again tomorrow for more items that I’ll need for my stay.

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