Catacombs

These are not my own photos. Photography is not allowed so I just got all these from the net. I just want to share with you the most mesmerizing thing that I have ever experienced in my entire travelling life.

You are looking at the photos of a 2,000 year old network of tunnels dug underground during the Roman Empire to be used as cemeteries. They are empty now, saved for few skulls and fragments of bones scattered here and there. Some of the sarcophagus bearing the remains of the dead have been removed and taken to archaeological museums, some stolen along with the precious possessions that were buried with them.

All I can say is, how darn lucky I am to have walked on the same grounds as the Romans did and the other empires that followed and also the early Siracusans who used these tunnels as their hiding place during the Second World War…

 

 

Murals of the Byzantine period (from 3rd century AD) are still intact.

 

 

Boats, Ships, Yachts….

“Don’t forget to take photos of boats!” H tells me over the phone.

So, far from the weddings,  food, people, flowers, etc etc that I have been posting lately, dear readers, our subject for today is boats.  Boats of all sizes and forms, dedicated to my loyal follower -blogwise and heartwise – my husband, which I identify in this blog simply as as the letter “H”.

I must admit, we have been to many parts of Sicily in search for the ideal place to call home but it was not  easy for us to meet halfway, what with two different personalities with different preferences.  H, the sea and all the things around it, and I, a bigger town with its museums,  old architecture and vibrant life.  And with Siracusa, we found both and so, we declared the search over!

So, let’s get down to the business of boats, in Ortygia:

 

What are these?  Well, if you look underneath, they are the fishing nets “hidden” on the quay by the fishermen.

Fishing net getting straightened by its owners

Cantier-Naval or Boat Yard where boats are built, repaired and maintained

The colourful fishing boats  of Siracusa.
They sport the colour of  their venerated Saints , such as this green for Santa Lucia

…White for Santa Sofia.
Notice the drawing of  a wide eye on the bow.  The other side would have one, too.  They symbolize Prudence….
Prudence in the sea is never too much

 

… Blue for the Immaculate Mary.

At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much…..- Robin Lee Graham

 

After a hard day of fishing, these fishermen try to relax and enjoy each other’s company…..(but they look so serious, though)

While these two brothers prepare their fishing net for this afternoon’s trip, I approached them and did an on-the-spot interview.  Here’s an excerpt of the Q&A:

Mariadams:  (Watching the elder brother straightens and untangle the net) Whoah! That’s a very long net!  How many meters is it?

Fisherman:  duecento metri.. (two hundred meters..).

Mariadams:  Blow me down!!!

The harbour in Ortygia

Even the boats’ names are those of the Saints!

This South African ship, Endurance,  carrying construction heavy equipment onboard has been moored here for several days now.

The Italian flag flying on  the Endurance.
It’s a Boat Flag Etiquette to hoist the host country’s flag alongside that of the boat’s country of registration.

Cruise ships like this one bring in hundreds of tourists each time.  Great for the Siracusan economy!

 

This red topped boat belongs to the cruise ship. It is ferrying  the passengers from the ship into Ortygia harbour where they will spend few hours of sightseeing, shopping and whatever they want to do.

A wooden yacht

The cruise ship “Seabourn Sojourn”

The Making of a TV Shoot

It’s probably for a Siracusan TV soap opera. I cannot say because my TV (pronounced “Tee Vu” in Italian) has only 3 channels that show only pixelated screens. There’s a problem with the receiver box and I am hopeless in tinkering with gizmos.

Anyway, I was supposed to go only for my evening walk when I saw this shoot going on. I’m glad that I always have my camera with me. The problem is, the idea of “walking-to-keep-fit” is getting thrown into the backburner!

 She’s supposed to be having some ice cream when Mr Prince noticed her..

 Then they started walking together.  Notice the camera crew.

 

 They had to stop next to a rubbish bin.

 

 

 How can they keep themselves so slim!!

 

 

I think she saw me….

I was more interested in scrutinizing the crew rather than the actors, actually

 

A Student Fashion Show

I was on my way to somewhere else when I heard some music coming from the Antico Mercato (Antique Market). A student fashion show was about to begin featuring wedding dresses of different cultures, coiffure, make-up. The sky was the limit. I just clicked and clicked …….

 

A classic wedding dress

 

An Indian bride

The Indian bride’s bracelets

Her high heels broke but the show must go on

 

Cleopatra bride

Hmmm.. a vineyard heiress bride

A Greek goddess wedding dress

African bride

A Gypsy bride

 

 

A Footballer’s Wedding

If you have been following this blog since we arrived in Siracusa last month, you might have been getting overloaded with the many wedding photos I’ve been posting here. Well, that’s the bonus of living in this city. It’s a photographer’s paradise and if one is aiming to be a wedding photographer, Siracusa is definitely the place to practice.

One thing’s for sure though. I will never get bored waiting for each wedding shoot opportunity because there is always something different from the previous one and the one before that.

Take for example the Spring Wedding posted yesterday. I was simply blown away by it all! Never have I seen a bride wearing a pair of sandals and flower girls in sunglasses! Oh well, just goes to show how relaxed they are in this island.

Here’s another eye-popping wedding highlight!