Sunday, 7 October 2012

In praise of ...

I feel that my recent posts have perhaps been a little negative. Altogether too much moaning and complaining and stressing about things. So I decided it was time to dedicate a post to something purely positive. 

When we went to Palermo we stayed in a bed and breakfast, the B&B Porta di Castro , and it was a totally delightful place to stay. 

 When we arrived, because of some kind of mix-up in booking or, as I later gleaned from conversation with the very helpful Alessandro, perhaps because another client was not totally happy with their room, we were offered not just a room but a whole apartment to stay in for our four nights on Palermo. Truly, we could almost have put up the whole family, there was so much cat-swinging room. OK, there was no lift but there was air-conditioning throughout which made up for a lot. 

Our balcony looked out onto a busy back street of Palermo. Neighbours across the street waved if you went out onto the balcony. 

The foyer was decorated in an esoteric fashion, totally charming and often added to by the presence of an old gentleman who just sat and passed the time of day, possibly the father of Massimo and/or Alessandro. I never did work out whether those two were brothers but I do have a sneaky suspicion that that was the case. 
The day we arrived was hot and sticky; there was talk of the hot scirocco wind making conditions even worse. We had walked from the central station through some very dodgy-looking streets and were more than a little tired. (This was before we had discovered the metro service form the central station to a place five minute sup the road!) Before we even checked in we were offered a bottle of mineral water or, if we preferred, coca cola, from a fridge next to a bit of old memorabilia. 

Elsewhere on the ground floor was an old carpenter’s bench, used as a kind of filing cabinet cum storage place for odd extension cables and other electrical bits and pieces. 
Breakfast was served from a bar made by placing a sheet of thick glass over a big old stone bathtub. And what a breakfast: as much coffee as you cared to ask for, croissants, brioche or whichever pastry you selected, accompanied by a plate of freshly chopped fruit. 

They were determined you were going to have your five-a-day! And then, when you were halfway through that, they brought you freshly made ham and cheese toasties. The philosophy was that you had to eat to keep your strength up to face the hard work of walking around in the sunshine. 

 On top of all that, they recommended excellent places to eat, even going so far as to book a table for you. And if they didn’t actually do that, you just had to say you came from V&B Porta di Castro to get good service 

 When the time came to leave, Alessandro got on his moped and rode up to the (hard to find) metro station to buy tickets for us. AND he got up early to make sure we did not leave without our hearty breakfast. 

 A wonderful place! Everyone should go there!

No comments:

Post a Comment