This past weekend Les had Friday off so we decided to get out of town for a bit to the Aeolian Islands. We stayed on Lipari Friday through Sunday and had a fabulous mini vacation. We drove up to Milazzo and then took a Hydrofoil to the island. After a brief lunch we set off to find our hotel in hot humid weather. It wasn't far but we were happy to have a bit of a reprieve from the heat and relax for a bit before setting out to see the town.
A few shots in and around Lipari Town:
The next four pictures are actually murals painted on the side of buildings. They were life sized and very realistic.
After walking around Lipari Town we set out to find the beach, which we were told was in the nearby town of Canneto. We didn't have our bathing suits with us (they were at the hotel) so we walked along the waterfront, enjoyed gelato and the beautiful scenery.
On Saturday we went in search of scooter rentals. The first place we stopped had reasonable rental fees but wanted a cash deposit of 100 euro per scooter. They wouldn't just hold our credit card number. We didn't have quite that much on us (and even if we did we had other uses for it) so we moved on. A little ways down the street I spotted this tiny little two seat car, kind of a cross between a go-cart and a Smart Car. I decided that was what I wanted to rent. That way we could be together and chat as we explored the island. A few short minutes later (and much more reasonable deposit payment) we were off! As we circled the island on the main road we were able to glimpse other islands in the archipelago.
After we finished our circle of the island (which only took a few hours at a very slow pace) we headed back to Canneto, suited up for the beach. Our first stop was at a local dive shop to purchase masks and snorkels. Excited and ready to cool off we found a Lido (which happened to be free) and headed for the water. Les decided to go back for his shoes and I started splashing around and getting the hang of using the snorkel.
All of a sudden I felt what I at first thought was Les pinching my arm. I turned around and got "pinched" on the other arm. I freaked out when I realized there was no one nearby! I got out of that water as fast as I could, both of my arms really hurting by then. I didn't know what had gotten me but it hurt like hell! There was no way I was getting back into the water.
Les was dying to try out his snorkel too but he was skeptical about diving in considering the pain I was in. After he made sure I was ok he decided to slowly wade out into the water and see if there was anything out there. Sure enough, he came back a few minutes later and said he saw a lone jelly fish, probably 2-3 inches around with tentacles about 4-6 inches long!!!! EWWWY!!! I had been stung by a jelly fish! I have been swimming in the ocean all of my life and have never (until now) been stung by a jelly fish. And let me tell you, it wasn't fun. It hurt for HOURS! Now (five days later) I still have marks from it.
The afternoon wasn't a total bust though. We did enjoy the lido, the warmth from the sun, reading, and listening to the gentle splash of the water against the shore. It was still a lovely afternoon, even though my arms hurt.
Later that afternoon we headed back to the hotel to clean up from the beach, then it was time to return our little car. We ended up walking around Lipari Town some more and visiting some of the historical sights.
After the sun went down we went in search of food and wine. We spent some time at a cafe drinking wine and listening to some live music. Later that evening we went to another ristorante for dinner that I had seen earlier. It had given me "warm fuzzies" and I knew that was the place for dinner. It was FANTASTIC!! After dinner we went back to the cafe with the live music for a bit. Since I had already had plenty of wine I had a granita (kind of like a slushy). Eventually, quite late, we made our way back to the hotel and crashed out for the night.
Sunday morning it was time to get our stuff together and get ready to go. I didn't want to leave!! But we had to, so after a delicious breakfast at the hotel we hoisted our backpacks and set out to the ferry dock and bought our return tickets. We had about an hour to kill so we bought a few edible souvenirs (capers in salt and olives) and stopped for a coffee. Too soon we had to leave. Lipari was so much fun and such a great place to relax. Even though our trip was short it still felt like a real vacation. I needed that, so much.
Now playing: Paul McCartney - The Long And Winding Road