I picked up our destination very fast. I Googled “best Italian beach” and the first result was “Rabbit beach” (or Cala dei conigli in Italian) on the Island of Lampedusa. I found out later that even though it’s close to Bulgaria, the trip to Lampedusa takes as long as a trip of the Caribbean islands. We departed at 7.00 am and arrived at 10.00 pm, changing three flights with a total duration of 5 hours and 10 hours of stopovers.
We landed at Lampedusa at 9.00 pm (+1 GMT). The flight from Palermo takes from 45 to 60 minutes with a propeller aircraft (Baby is good at noticing such details. I don’t make any difference between a propeller plane and a jet plane.)
There are two flights every day, one in the morning, one in the evening. There is also the opportunity to either fly via Catania or take the ferry from Malta.
/the white building to the left is our hotel Port Hotel Calandra; there is also a hotel complex of the same name Calandra, but this is another place; it is located on a cliff and it is out of town./
The hotel offers a free transfer from the airport, which is very close to the center, to the hotel, but one cannot walk the distance. I can’t tell what other opportunities there are to get from the airport to the town. I could see no taxis and it would be strange for taxis to operate in such a small place 🙂
Our hotel is located at the Port and our room boasts a huge terrace overlooking the sea. This is what it looks like in the evening; we were there at full Moon.
I have this dream to live by the sea and have my morning coffee enjoying this view.
The breakfast at the hotel sucks – croissants, some type of packed sweets, bread, jam, butter… and fruit. They won me with the fruit – they have these lovely red apples.
The coffee though makes up for the poor breakfast, which however nice I usually skip. To kick off I have a coffee Italian style – short, all cream. Then I have one Americano – a long one. I have two glasses of water with them. I contemplate. I enjoy watching the sea and the boats; it’s sunny and the birds are singing.
The hotel is run by two people – a man from Tunis and a lady from Romania. They are not the owners but they act like ones. They are very considerate, smiling, polite and eager to help, in Italian, with gestures. 🙂 The hotel is very clean. I have no idea if this is so during the high season (July and August) when there are many tourists, mainly Italians. We have come before the season and the island is almost desolate. Not all restaurants and cafes have opened yet.
It strikes me as impressive that restaurants and cafes are open till about 2.00 pm, then there is a lunch break and they reopen after 5.00 or 6.00 pm for dinner. Well, right during their lunch breaks I get tremendously hungry as I have no breakfast. So what saves me is tomatoes.
Oh, these are some tomatoes they have at Lampedusa. I love cherry tomatoes! And they are in abundance. I like the longish type best. They are super sweet and have this strong tomato flavour. The moment you bite the little tomato, sweet-scented juice oozes from the tomatoes.
When tomatoes have just been picked up they have this sweet aroma, which reminds me of my childhood, when I would pick up tomatoes right from the plant and would eat it like an apple. They are so sweet, sappy and fragrant, and I really eat them as if they were cherries. We had no plates in the room so I washed and ate them, washed and ate…
In this photo you can see me eating a little more than a kilo. I asked Baby if he wanted tomatoes, but he refused and I ate them all by myself. But at the very last little tomato I felt sorry that he hadn’t tasted these divine tomatoes and I gave it to him. His eyes jumped out of his head and he said that he hadn’t eaten such tomatoes in twenty years.
The first day we went to the beach near the Port. The beaches are not big and the locals call a beach every single teeny-weeny inlet. The water is blue and crystal clear, and the sand is white. They remind me of the Caribbean beaches. We’ve been to Costa Rica and they really look like them in colour, although the beaches there are wider.
I can’t stand in the sun for more than 30 or 40 minutes. I usually sit under an umbrella or I put on long-sleeved tops and trousers to hide when my sun time is up. So, I can see big umbrellas at the beach, not like those one can carry around. I ask if anyone can sit under them but I can understand nothing from this English-Italian mixture. They show me the way to a man who sits by a heap of deck chairs. I have a “conversation” with Italian gestures with him too. Finally I get it that he comes with the umbrella and places it wherever one wants! He has a very smart gadget which helps him dig holes easily and there you are, you end up under a huge umbrella. But this is not the end of the drama. As it’s windy, I feel cold under the umbrella! So I start changing my position – now under the umbrella now in the sun… At the same time Baby lays calm and sunbathes… he can survive both in the sun and in cold, unlike me. I’m lucky he’s used to my strangeness and pays little attention 🙂
The sea is unnaturally azure, as if they’ve edited it with Photoshop. It was a little colder than what I like. But for the wind it would have been great. I tested it just with my toes.
While at the island I read “Autoimmune Disease The Flame Within” (or buy the e-book for 10$); it gave me fresh ideas for experiments. I would recommend it, just easy on the medicines mentioned in it – I would not use them on my own responsibility! I would use alternative methods but cautiously and conservatively. So much for this topic. Shall we keep on the discussion in the comments below? If you wish, get the book and decide for yourself! 🙂
Coming up next The Beaches of Lampedusa; Food in Lampedusa; A Romantic Dinner in Lampedusa. 😉