After breakfast we grabbed a cab to the airport to collect our car. Note: the cab from the airport to the hotel the previous day was just over 30 Euros, while the reverse trip was a set price of only 20 Euros. You can probably bargain, if you have the energy.
At the airport it was easy to find the rental location, but we must have a gotten there just after a big flight arrived. We waited around 30 minutes before it was our turn. We had to be a bit forceful to get the car we actually ordered, but the the person registering us was helpful and made sure we got the Alpha Romeo. Joe was happy to have a car with pep! We also had to sign a form indicating that if, in Catania, we parked anywhere but our hotel we were liable if the car was stolen. Elsewhere in Sicily we could park where ever we liked. This of course made us a bit wary about safety in Catania; but we had no problems while there.
After we received the car we headed to Siracusa and Ortega. We succesfully navigated to Ortega, an older part of Syracuse - and an island. We easily found a parking lot and with the help of an older local a free spot. Ortega was quiet, quaint and a real pleasure. When we had walked, lunched and explored our handy iPhone helped us navigate back to the car. We then headed to the Greek and Roman amphitheatres where again we found free parking. Take note: you have to buy entrance tickets about 3/4 kilometre before you get to the entrance. We did not know this and got extra exercise. You can't miss the ticket area it is surrounded by garish souvenir stands.
The Greek amphitheatre was amazing. Such sophisticated design. We sat on the stone seats and imagined people watching a play there 2400 years ago! There are also caves to explore.
Returning to Catania was uneventful except for the half an hour detour when the GPS decided to get us lost and send us down one way streets - the wrong way!
DInner that night was at the Osteria Antica Marina in the Catania fish market. A small restaurant specializing in fish. See next post.