The Catanian coastline was spectacular. Unlike many other Sicilian shores we’d seen, Catania had no sandy beach. This is, perhaps, what caused ancient authors to equate this place, harsh and rocky as it is, to the land of the Cyclopes.
This also must have been one of the first landing points for colonizing Greeks. With the natural super-phenomenon of Aetna and the mythology of the Cyclopes, ancient Katana must have been a religious/mythologically important area for the Greeks. (But then again, what place wasn’t?)
There was an interesting mini-ecosystem in the freshwater spring of Arethusa, complete with palm trees, fish, and geese! One wonders how such a diverse assortment of creatures ended up in the same tiny pool, located between a dirty city and the salty ocean. Maybe some nymphs were involved.
Meanwhile, in the heart of the city, an old temple of Apollo served as a playground for a delightful cat. Fur of black, heart of gold.
Modica offered one of our first tastes of baroque architecture. It also provided an example of “unique” civil engineering; the age of the city showed in the sheer number of stairs and ramps. Newer cities, such as those in America, would opt to either change/flatten the landscape, or else would just be located elsewhere.
We stopped for a breathtaking vista on the southern coast. This is, apparently, the place where some Saracens landed during their conquest of Sicily in the 10th century. I can’t imagine they were disappointed with what they found.
Tons of dragonflies and some really interesting geological formations. I’m sure Cam was pumped.