LITTLE SICILY HAUL

Before I went to Sicily I had little thoughts about what I would really need or want to buy. It was actually a good thing to do before the trip: shopping was so much easier when I knew what I was looking for, and I didn't buy anything  that I'd be regretting later. Usually I just go crazy and everything that comes along.

Ennen Sisilian matkaa mietin mitä tavaroita oikeasti tarvitsisin tai haluaisin ostaa matkaltani ja näin jälkeen päin ajateltuna se oli järkevästi tehty. Normaalisti hullaannun ulkomailla shoppailessani ja ostoskoriin tipahtaa heräteostoksia, joita kadun karvaasti kotona mutta nyt tunnen ostaneeni vain tavaroita joista oikeasti pidän tai tarvitsen.

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Sicily is full of beautiful and colorful ceramics. I knew I had to get one, but I didn't want to carry huge yellowish plate to home and realize it wouldn't fit to my other tableware. There were beautiful little plate magnets, which I almost bought but then I wound this tiny jewelry box. It's beautiful! Later I found a dreamcatcher bracelet from OVS.

Sisilia on tunnettu kauniista värikkäästä keramiikasta, joten tiesin että minun täytyisi saada pieni keraaminen matkamuisto mukaan, jos vain löytäisin sopivan yksilön kotiini. Vaikka hiplailin useita isoja keltaisia lautasia, ymmärsin ettei ne lautaset kotona olisi mitenkään harmonisoituneet Iittalan astiastoni kanssa. Meinasin ensin ostaa vain pienen miniatyyri-lautanen magneetin jääkaapin oveen, mutta onneksi löysin tämän pienen kauniin korurasian. Myöhemmin löysin sen sisälle vielä OVS:ltä unisiepparirannekorun.
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These are maybe the weirdest things I bought, but also the most useful. I bought this oil and three packages of oil sheets from the beach where nice Thai woman was giving massages and selling oils. I have always had healthy issues with my back and last year when my mom brought me similar oil from Greece it helped a lot! Oil has strong eucalyptus scent and it turns tingly coldness on your skin. This helps my back's circulation of blood and relieves my pain.

Aasialainen öljy ja hoitoliuskat ovat mahdollisesti kaikkien ostosten omituisen kööri, mutta samalla se kaikista hyödyllisin. Ostin nämä mukavalta thaimaalaiselta naiselta, joka möi rannalla hierontoja ja näitä kyseisiä öljyjä. Terveydellisistä syistä ja osittain myös liika lukemisesta niskani ja selkäni ovat lähes aina jumissa ja äidin tuotua samanlaista öljyä Kreikan matkaltaan niskakipuihini on löytynyt buranaa tehokkaampi vaihtoehto. Kun öljy lasahtaa iholle nenään tunkeutuu erittäin voimakas eukalyptuksen tuoksu (auttaa muuten tukkoiseen nenäänkin) ja iho alkaa kihelmöidä ja ns. kylmää. Tämä auttaa selän verenkiertoa ja helpottaa kipua.
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This little bag is from Istanbul. I needed a bag where I could storage all my little stuff (chewing gums, lip balms, mirror, plasters etc.). Now I don't have to hunt that little stuff from the bottom of my bag.

Tämän pienen pussukan ostin Istanbulin extempore matkalta. Tarvitsin pussukan kaikelle pienelle tavaralle, joka normaalisti seilaa laukun pohjalla.
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Only piece of clothing I bought was this blue top. I found it from a small booth when I was at Letojanni's private beach. 

Tämä sininen toppi on ainoa vaatekappale, jonka ostin koko matkan aikana. Toppi löytyi Letojannin rannan läheltä pienestä kojusta.
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Of course I had to buy shoes from Italy! Before I left to Sicily I knew that Italy was famous of their quality shoes. Last year I tried to find myself good classic black boots from stores, but wasn't able to find good pair anywhere (I lied I found one, but the price tag was horrible). While in Naxos, we found Shoes Outlet store and I found these. They were last pair and right size (thank god). Can you believe these only cost 27€?

Tietysti ostin Italiasta kengät. Ennen lähtöäni tiesin että Italia on tunnettu laadukkaista kotimaisista kengistään ja huomasinkin että melkein kaikilla paikallisilla oli laadukkaat kengät. Viime vuonna yritin metsästää kaupoista ja nettikaupoista klassisia mustia nilkkureita, mutta huonolla menestyksellä. Löysin yhden kauniin parin mutta hintalappu oli kenkiä niin paljon hunajaisempi että jätin suosiolla kengät kaupan hyllylle. Naxosin kaupungista löydettiin kenkien outlet myymälä josta raahasin kengät oitis kassalle. Nämä kyseiset nilkkurit olivat juuri oikeassa koossa ja viimeinen pari, joten kengät lähti niinkin halpaan hintaan kuin 27€. 
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And yes..I bought a second pair of shoes. These are better quality. Shoes are made in Italy and it's real leather. I found these also from Naxos and they were more pricey than black boots (149€). I tried these three times at the store until I was sure they were worth it. After the trip I can say this Nero Giardini shoes are my favorite ones from all the things I bought.

Kyllä ostin toisetkin kengät Italiasta. Löysin nämä Nero Giardinin kengät myös Naxoksesta. Kengät ovat mustia nilkkureita huomattavasti laadukkaammat. Kengät on tehty Italiassa ja materiaali on aitoa nahkaa. Hintakin oli tietysti hunajaisempi, 149€ mutta kengät oli kyllä jokaisen sentin arvoiset. Mietin kenkien hankintaa normaalia pidempään ja kokeilin kenkiä peräti kolmesti kaupassa ennen kuin kiikutin ne lopulta kassalle. Matkan jälkeen täytyy sanoa että nämä kengät oli paras ostos koko reissun aikana.
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Fun fact: I always try to find myself a magnet from a new country I'm visiting. Right now I have magnets from Harry Potter Studios, Tokyo Skytree, Lion King musical, Stonehenge and Belgium. I was able to find this cool Etna volcano magnet from Sicily. 

Hauska fakta: Yritän aina matkustaessani uudessa kaupungissa löytää itselleni magneetin jääkaapin oveen. Tällä hetkellä jääkaapin ovessani on jo Harry Potter Studios, Tokyo Skytree, Lion King musical, Stonehenge ja Belgia magneetteja. Onnistuin löytämään itselleni Taorminan lukuisista turistirysäkaupoista tämän hienon Etna tulivuori magneetin muistoksi Sisilian matkasta.
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Fun Fact 2: Since I got my student boilersuit I have tried to find patches from countries I visit as a memory. It was extremely hard to find these from Taormina but I was able to find old Taormina and Sicily patches from small old souvenir stores. 

Hauska fakta nro 2: Sen jälkeen kun sain yliopistohaalarini olen alkanut keräämään kangasmerkkejä maailmalta lahkeisiini. Näitä kangasmerkkejä oli järjettömän vaikea löytää. Jostain syystä kangasmerkit eivät olleet ainakaan Taorminassa muodissa, mutta onnistuin löytämään kahdesta vanhasta matkamuistomyymälästä nämä kaksi vanhaa kangasmerkkiä.
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Sicily was full of oranges and citrus, but of course I wasn't able to bring them with me. Instead I bought Dark Chili Chocolate, Pistachio Cream and Strawberry honey. 

Sisilia oli täynnä herkullisia appelsiineja ja sitruunoita, mutta en tietenkään voinut ahtaa laukkuuni tuorekamaa ellen olisi halunnut appelsiinilla värjättyjä alusvaatteita ja kenkiä. Ostin kuitenkin tummaa chili suklatta, pistaasi tahnaa/kermaa/mitälie ja mansikka hunajaa.
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And last but not least I bought bracelet made from lava stones and three nail polishes. I found my favorite clear nail polish from essence and two dark color nail polishes from Kiko. 

Ja viimeisenä ostin rannekorun, jonka mustat helmet on tehty laavakivestä. Löysin myös kolme kynsilakkaa: Lempi kirkasta ja kovettavaa kynsilakkaa Essenceltä ja kaksi tummansävyistä Kikolta.

SICILY

Taormina, Catania & Naxos.

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Here are some photos I took from Sicily. This was my first time in Sicily and we stayed almost two weeks. We had a nice little hotel at Taormina, next to Isola Bella beach. I liked our hotel, even the bed was hard as a rock and walls were paper thin. Every morning I squeezed myself a glass of fresh orange juice and enjoyed beautiful view to the beach.

What I really loved about this trip, was that I was able to let go of my stress. I didn't think about my responsibilities or anything else. I just enjoyed my life. I was also able to experience new things, like relax on the beach, swim in the ocean (with jellyfishes..oops), taste how salty sea actually is, pay less than five euros on a wine bottle, eat croissants with Nutella every day, took a cable car ride and so on.
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One place we visited was Ancient theatre of Taormina. This ancient Greek theatre was built in the third century BC and it was on my must see list. View was amazing and it was worth to take a visit, even the place was pretty crowded.

Before we go forward, we should talk about Italian food, which was really good! I ate Catania's famous Saint Agatha's Breast pastry, Italian ice cream, Kinder and Ferrero Rocher ice cream, lemon granita, Italian pizza, pasta with seafood, Sicilian pasta, Cannoli and Arancini balls. I was surprised how much cheese Italian's use, it was everywhere. You were enjoying your Arancini ball and suddenly huge pile of hot cheese flows to your mouth. I wasn't able to eat it anymore, just too much cheese to me. 
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Anyway, Let's continue with pictures from center of Taormina. We spent several days at the beach sunbathing and swimming, but we had few rainy days which we spent shopping in different cities. 
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Streets were small and filled with small stores. We didn't find much clothing stores, but we managed to find pretty good shoe stores. I ended up buying two pairs and my mom went crazy and ended up buying four pairs! I was laughing, when she was trying to fit all of them to her carry-on baggage, so checked baggage wouldn't go over weight limit. 
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This picture from center of Taormina is one of my favorite ones. The view was amazing. Beautiful blue ocean, little restaurants beside town square and someone was playing accordion in the shadows of old church. 
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If I would have to describe Sicily in three words, I would say lemon, cats and mafia. Wherever you looked at you were able to see lemon trees and wild cats. I didn't see mafia, but when I entered souvenir stores all I see was Godfather merchandise. Godfather was filmed in Taormina, so of course there was all kind of stuff about Godfather. Like example T-shirts, shot glasses, music, little baseball bat (why?), lighters, anything you could even think about. 
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These pictures are from Isola Bella beach, next to our hotel. It was a small public beach. I was reading and listening music of ocean. Waves made stones dance and the calming music was on the air. It was so relaxing to sip coca-cola and read, while sun was warming my skin. 
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Our trip was coming to an end, and so we had to finally visit Mount Etna. Mount Etna is Europe's tallest active volcano, currently 3,329 m high. Etna erupts frequently and had actually erupted three days before we visited. Because of that eruption we weren't able to reach 2950 m, but we managed to reach 2750 m. Honestly I was little disappointed, I was expecting more, big lava show or something. Instead I got bare black wasteland, ash to my teeth and rocks to my shoes. It was still great experience, but I'm pretty sure I won't visit Mount Etna next time. 
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When I was walking around Mount Etna (2750 m), I saw a dog. First I was horrified, because I was sure he was dead but when I got closer I noticed he was snoring. If I heard right, his name is Jethro and he is a tourist dog. He wanders around Mount Etna with tourist. So cute.