Locked Down in London, Day 44: The Rubbish Dump
Having found that people now dump rubbish everywhere, the council had a change of heart and reopened the local rubbish dump (or as they fancily call it, the reuse and recycling centre).
We can’t go to the pub, a restaurant, the theatre, a museum or a concert – but we can visit the rubbish dump! Whoppee!
Virtual Escape: An Idle Woman in Sicily
Remembering the times when we were allowed to travel – when I was an idle woman in Sicily. 🙂
And we do so with a maverick 19th century traveller, Frances Elliot, who, having unwillingly and laboriously climbed to a look out point on the insistence of her companion, the Doctor, despairs of the view:
Before long the Doctor insists on our climbing the lesser fort of Euryalus to see the view…
What long, low, desolate lines! What a vast saddened plain! Plain, west, towards Lentini and Catania; plain, south, towards Ragusa and Noto; nothing but plain!
Not a fertile vega, dark with mandarin and citron groves, and broken by palms and magnolias, as at Palermo, but ashen, bare, desolate!
Oh! for a dash of red, purple, or orange, on the mountainside! A tawny sunset over ilex woods! or that pure coral tinge which mantles the northern peaks when the sun sets!
And the sea!
Just under Epipoloe there is another plain, boundless as the land; only this one glitters in azure and opaline, fading lines and broad circles breaking its surface.
The sparkle and gaiety of this second plain, with its harmonious ripple and fresh breathing airs, shadowed by great cirrhus clouds that come riding up from the south, make the monotony of the land even more solemn.
On land there are no trees, no houses, except the little heaped-up island-mound of Ortygia far away. There are rocks, ruins, and stones, and the dead, lone look of what was once a great city, trodden out by war and conquest!
But for its history, who would come to Syracuse?
The sun is setting in pale saffron tints over that wide channel, across which the Carthaginians came for so many centuries, Himilcon, Hannibal, Hamilcar, and afterwards Saracen Emirs, and Kaliffs, in fleets of galleys and triremes, their black painted sides outlined in gold and purple; the African captain at the poop, the dusky rowers rising and falling to the banks of oars, the dusky sails set for victory!…
(Frances Elliot: The Diary of an Idle Woman in Sicily)
Although Mrs Elliot above seems to suggest that Syracuse is not worth a visit, nothing could be further from the truth, and in fact, she herself spent about a third of her book there. 🙂
Sicily is in fact a fascinating holiday destination, especially if you love history, the sun, the sea and Italian food. Oh and of course volcanoes!
⇒ Oranges Like Blazing Fire
⇒ An Idle Woman in Sicily by Frances Elliot
⇒ More books on travel in the Mediterranean by Frances Elliot - available on Project Gutenberg
⇒ A Brief Overview of Sicily's Fascinating History
Keep safe, keep sane – read a book on Sicilian history! 🙂