It seems appropriate that my quest to find an internet connection where I could upload my blog posts should finish in the small Sicilian coastal town of Syracusa, birthplace of Archimedes. You’ll remember, of course, that Archimedes is said to have jumped out of his bath and run through the town shouting ‘Eureka!’ after discovering his principle about a body displacing water. Don’t ask me to elaborate, I don’t think I was paying much attention in school the day we did Archimedes :
In brief my path to enlightenment was as circuitous as a queue in a PosteItalia. But since when have I been brief :-)) My hopes were raised when, at the end of our guided tour of Syracusa, we asked a waiter at an outdoor restaurante in the Piazza Duomo where we might find a wireless hotspot, and he said he thought there was free public wi fi in the square. ‘Is possible’, he assured us in a tone that was at once reassuring, yet at the same time left a loophole large enough for his escape. Enjoying a lemon granita in the shade of his restaurante we made plans to return in the evening with my laptop, and I envisaged myself taking care of my uploading in this exquisite baroque piazza opposite the Duomo while we sipped on a coffee or enjoyed a gelato and watched the evening passeggiata. However there was one more hurdle to jump. When Boak turned on his iPod Touch and found the aptly named Eureka public wi-fi network in the square his screen told us we needed to pre-pay and obtain a username and password. But where? The waiter smiled and pointed us to the tabacchi. The old man in the tabacchi grunted and pointed us to the post office (PosteItalia). Here, after standing in two queues, and being assisted by three charming young men also waiting in line, eventually the manager of the post office made a phone call for us (we know not where) and returned to tell us, very apologetically, that he knew absolutely nothing about the Eureka public wi-fi in Syracusa’s biggest piazza - however there was an Internet Point right around the corner from the PosteItalia!
It was a poky little room, hot and airless with mismatched furniture, but it was close to where our ship was docked, and the young man in charge was only too willing to help me connect to the ADSL for next to nothing.
Thus it was that in much less romantic surroundings than I had envisaged I was at last able to update this somewhat patchy blog, - and when the first post published successfully I couldn’t help uttering just a tiny "’Eureka!’
[Postscript: In the midst of all our ‘to-ing’ and ‘fro-ing’ across the piazza we stumbled across a little gem, a church boasting a Carrraveggio over its altar – The Death of St Lucy. Serendipity is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?]