Travel report 2016


Göttingen, December 2016

There were some trips in 2016, both privately and professionally. The latter went to post-Brexit London, where if you make it dependent on the number of construction cranes, the economy, at least the construction industry, has come back on track some hungry years after the financial crisis. However, according to the Financial Times, property prices have fallen in part by 18 percent compared with 2015.

We visited Sicily for the first time, staying in guesthouses, and, for the first time, in accommodation offered by the online platform airbnb. We had booked all pensions and lodgings in advance. Sure, if you do something like this for the first time, you are a bit unsure, but they were great encounters that you as a normal traveller staying in a hotel might not make. First morning after the arrival at midnight in Palermo (our host had assured us by e-mail in advance that he would pick us up from the airport, and yes, we will all fit into his Fiat 500, together with our suitcases, (which was also true)), the first morning we woke up to a murmur that could not be interpreted at the beginning. It was constant, but varied in intensity. Slowly I made my way through the still dark room up to the window, opened the window, opened the shutters and booom: a noise and smell level which was almost overwhelming. Our accommodation was in a very narrow street and today, Sunday morning, the weekly market was taking place directly in front of the front door. There was no other choice but go out in the crowd and take everything in with all the senses. Isola delle Femmine was the place where we were, a small suburb of Palermo, a small place where, at least that was the impression, every street has its own bakery, café and hairdresser. The next two weeks we discovered Sicily, as far as the walled town of Cefalu east of Palermo and the seaside town of San Vito Lo Cappo west of Palermo. The last two nights we spent in Palermo, accommodation in the middle of the old town, Via Bandiera. How do I get there by rental car? Drive along the Via Maqueda? It is a pedestrian zone. "Go on", the friendly police officer waved us through. Our accommodation, an inconspicuous building surrounded by other inconspicuous buildings. But inside: painted ceilings, stucco work in the entrance area, verdant courtyard; the ugly duckling shows its true identity. It was an old city villa, certainly a little run-down, but alive with character and soul. And as a farewell to Sicily: another street market right on our doorstep! Sicily: Driving a car, where suddenly two straight lanes become 4 Sicily: helpful, friendly people Sicily: narrow roads, vast landscapes

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