Train to Messina

Clearing out a hard drive, I came across a file with some notes made whilst travelling in Sicily in 2009.

  • Left on time!
  • Regio to Messina: packed. Made rush for seats.
  • Views of Etna. Cloud or steam? Snow on peak.
  • Lemon groves.
  • Tatty towns. Old ladies wearing aprons on balconies.
  • Grey skies after hazy sun during the day.
  • Army officer with smallest laptop in the world and wireless internet dongle.
  • Typical: me as photographer sitting next to a window half-covered in graffiti.
  • Tired and looking forward to hotel+bed.
  • Train gradually emptying at small towns along the east coast.
  • Stony beaches and large empty riverbeds (paths for lava?) 
  • Jo excited at first view of Messina Strait. Mum passed through here on a ship when travelling over from India.
  • American on train heading from Syracuse to Lipari.
  • Shared taxi: woman coming out of the darkness and calling big bearded husband from camper van parked next to a takeaway van to drive at break-neck speed to the port in an unlicensed cab. “Sorry, haven’t got any change” and a big smile.
  • Checked in at hotel; American reeled at price and headed off to cheaper hotel. Room lovely; blue and cream with big ceiling fan, aircon.
Jo on the train to Messina in 2009
Catania railway station in 2009
Railway station kiosk in Messina
Messina train station in 2009

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