Sorry this post is a day late! My computer wouldn’t start so I couldn’t get to my pictures, but my husband magically brought it back to life so I could do a blog post and make sure all my pictures are backed up!
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Ah, yes, another installment of our journeys on our Mediterranean Cruise, Sicily!
I have ever so slightly mixed feelings about the area of Sicily we were in. It was naturally beautiful and structurally unattractive at the same time. The nature there is gorgeous, the coast is stunning, but the towns (at least the ones we drove through) are not that nice to look at. I am so glad we went, it was wonderful, I highly recommend going, but it’s not some place I am dying to go back to again.
Our cruise stopped in Messina where we headed off on our excursion to Tindari to see where the famous Black Madonna is housed.
The legend of the Black Madonna states that long ago an empty ship beached itself at the bottom of the cliff. The people of Tindari had mysteriously good weather while the ship was there and decided that it was a blessing. A while after the ship had landed on the beach they decided to board the ship and see what was on it. All they found was a large wooden crate. It is said that as soon as they removed the crate from the ship, it sailed off. When they opened the crate, they found the Black Madonna. It has been in the church, blessing the town, ever since.
The church is situated up on top of a huge hill with cliffs looking over the sea. The view is to die for.
A short 10 minute walk from the church lies the ruins of an ancient city. It was magnificent. There are some mosaics still intact, a large structure that was used at the city gate, as well as a huge amphitheater.
While heading back to the bus that was parked near the church, we passed through a market and had a bovine family pass through as well.
When we made it back to Messina after our excursion, we still had some time to explore on our own. We decided to walk up to one of the churches where we got to climb all the way to the top to enjoy the view of the harbor.
Between us in the picture above, you can see the Golden Madonna on a tower that welcomes ships to the harbor. After we visited the church, it was time to head back to the ship. This was a wonderful stop on our cruise and I am very happy to say that we made it to Sicily!