Smooth sailing makes a poor sailor in Catania

A Broken car, A Broken tooth and still a nice holiday in Catania.

Broken tooth Alex Kerr

Albeit that I’m currently sat in a cafe in Catania with pouring rain and thunderstorm the view and the holiday, optimism still flows forth. Maybe helped by the young Americans excited about travelling for the first time or the young Sicilian couple in youthful love where they can’t keep their hands off each other, or maybe the two travelling couples writing and drinking coffee.

Piazza universitàMount Etna, Piazza università

The reason for no post last week was not just to keep you on your toes, it also was down to a combination of it being my birthday and my car of 20 years finally collapsing and quite possibly for good. It might also have been due to having to wait 8 hours for the RAC and missing most of a birthday, that was just 15 minutes walk away. That might seem like a silly thing to miss but it does come with a tip. The car thankfully broke down in a very busy bus stop, and we waited for 3 to 4 hours for the first RAC man to arrive. He pointed out, that if this happens, after a few hours, feel free to write a note saying “Gone to the bathroom, RAC called,” and then leave your number. As long as you don’t go far and your warning signal lights are on, and you honestly feel you have done everything to make the area and car safety, you should not have too many problems! Plus you might be able to have your mates bring you a slice of delicious vegan chocolate cake.

So once the car had been safely returned from London to Oxfordshire the next part of my journey. Back to Sicily, Catania, excitement filled my boots, a large flat awaited, great food and beach filled with sunshine awaited.

However, on the flight into Catania, I had the joy of cracking my tooth with a wasabi pea. The only thing I thought I had as a plus was testing and hopefully improving my Italian language in medicine.

With some pain, I had to forgo the Italian cuisine I had been waiting for until I could see the dentist.

The dentists were interesting, a lady put me in an x-ray machine from the future. You had to stand in it, bite down on a piece of plastic, and it would adjust its height to yours as you stood in it. With all this excellent technology the inventors had clearly not anticipated the significant height differences between a man from the U.K. and a lady from Sicily, she clearly could have down with yellow pages.

With all of this, the results were grim. €1000 for a route canal was what I was told. In a shocked face, the dream had been dashed. With no way to afford it, I decided to check and see how much it would cost in the U.K. as well as what the insurance would cover. As Lady Luck would have it, my insurance company had foolishly emailed me a month before my year-long travel insurance that it was to expire and would I like to renew.

“Dear diary, jackpot!”

Again the dream was dashed, £100 dental cover only, but if you need to return home due to an injury then you could be covered by the insurance! You would need justification from the dentists, medical evidence, and my GP from the U.K., all explaining it was necessary for me to return home for medical reasons.

I called my dentist, £250 for NHS treatment! Flight through Skyscanner £150, £35 for baggage, an extra night in Catania £45 and in the meantime I would hit that beach and ocean as much as possible.

I can not state how excellent the trip has been regardless, it really has felt like an excellent mini-break, except for the tooth pain.

Catania is a hidden gem, quite fresh air, an ancient city, with a modern vibe, very rustic, and with views that could defy belief, imagine having a cappuccino in a beautiful piazza, with a volcano 🌋 bubbling and smoking in the background at 7 am. Suffice to say 4 swims and view is nothing to complain about.

I will say this, if you stay with anyone on Airbnb be sure to pin down exactly what you want and if there are any problems with the flat to make sure you alert the owner. If you rent privately in Sicily be aware that they can change their mind. The flat I was meant to rent privately was a pain. I checked twice that the dates were fine, I booked the flight the next day, informed the owners and they said they weren’t there that weekend so I had to find somewhere else 😤

The joke was returned, when I discovered I was not staying, and that I was leaving immediately. So I stayed in my flat, and they did not pass go or collect their £600, so I guess, “what goes around, comes around…” I do feel a bit guilty, as it was a couple of months, will speak to them and see if they managed to fill out the apartment whilst I was away. Two days vs a month doesn’t seem fully fair.

Let’s see what next week brings…

If you enjoyed this weeks blog,  why not look at last weeks blog:

Or if you are feeling adventurous why not start at the beginning and click the link below.

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