Tag Archives: Syracuse Sicily

Challenge Your Camera 8 – SPORT

Dr. B has a new challenge this week – Sport. Below are my sportie images

The first two are from my friend Solange Hando, travel writer and trekker, who has covered most of Nepal and Bhutan and who can’t resist climbing a mountain if she sees one. I know, I’ve holidayed with her and waved her off many times as my energies don’t run as far as mountain-climbing.



The next photo shows a slower and more sedate form of sport, river fishing on the Guadalquivir River that flows through the heart of Seville, in Spain. There was often as many as 20 sitting along the banks of the river while just as many stopped to chat and pass the time of day.

River fishing on the Guadalquivir, Seville, Spain

Still in Seville, it is kayaking this time, and the second image is the same sport taking place in Syracuse in Sicily. Both are major cities and both support a large number of water-sports clubs.


Off to Thailand now for horse riding on the beach. A few of the beach hotels have recently opened stables where horses are kept for visitors to ride along the beach, very early in the morning or late in the evening as it is too hot for afternoon trotting – even in the water.


Horse riding on the beach at Hua Hin, Thailand

Still in Thailand, windsurfing is one of the coolest (in both senses of the word) and most enjoyable sports to be had on the water.


Along with windsurfing, para-gliding is popular in Thailand and I first encountered it there in the early 70’s, long before safety harnesses were thought of, never mind health and safety rules. I grow failt at the thought of the foolishness of it all, trusting myself to a harness into which I was strapped by someone whose language I didn’t understand and relying on his mate to catch me as I landed on the beach – if the boat maneuvered correctly. And my husband encouraged me! I have dark thoughts about that now. The quality of the first photo is pretty bad but I had to include it as this was Pattaya before it got its reputation for night-life of a certain kind. It was just beginning to attract the US servicemen on R&R from Vietnam, but was at that time, quite genuinely, a fishing village with, I think, about 5 hotels and we had one of our best holidays, ever, there.

And last, PELOTA, the Basque game of very fast handball. This is a Pelota Court but I never got a photograph here because the game is so fast and the atmosphere so tense that I couldn’t really take a camera out as it would have disturbed the onlookers. They were all locals as this was quite a small village and this was the main event of the week. If you are ever in an area in which it is played (mostly along the northern coast of Spain and in the Canaries), then do try and catch a game.

Pelota Court in Navarre, Spain

One Word Sunday – Arches

Posted in connection with Debbie’s One Word Sunday – Arches

Arches are hard to avoid anywhere with ancient Roman or Greek architecture but I managed to find a ‘natural’ arch to supplement the two historic ones from Sicily/

Cave of the Nymphaen at Syracuse, Sicily
Arch in the rocks off the coast of Lipari, Aeolian Islands
Greek Theatre, Taormina, Sicily

If I had to choose a favourite it would be the Greek Theatre one, through which one can see a snow-covered Etna during the winter or on a still, calm, day, perhaps smoke erupting from the still-active volcano, at all times a perfect background to the play being enacted.

Posted in connection with Debbie’s One Word Sunday – Arches


My recent trip to Syracuse gave me lots of material for posts but as I have written before about this Sicilian city I thought that this time I would hone in on the Archaeological Park of Neapolis which holds Syracuse’s most important Greek and Roman remains.  The Park covers approximately 240 square metres and the Greek and Roman periods are divided by a green, tranquil oasis in the midst of the ruins, called Viale Paradiso.

Between the two cultures, through the Viale Paradaiso.

The Park came into being between 1952 and 1955 with the idea of bringing together all the monuments, pillars and stones which previously had been located on various private properties and were not accessible to the public.  The result has been an outstanding success.

The Roman part dates back to the 3rd century AD and the Amphitheatre (seen below) is the largest in Sicily at 140 x 190 metres, and it is recorded that the first performance of Aeschylus’ Etnean Women was performed here in 476 BC.  To avoid this turning into a history lesson, I shall leave the images, with captions, to speak for themselves.

Not only was the amphitheatre used for drama: political life was played out here too, especially the assemblies in which all citizens participated.