Parking Nightmares in Sicily – June 5, 2012 – By Natalia

June 5

In the morning we drove to the ferry service from Italy to Sicily.  We had to make it to Palermo by night and check into a hotel, because we expected to receive a fully repaired  Renault in the morning.

Waiting for the ferry.

In line for the ferry

The ferry ride to Sicily was quick, and they served the best Sicilian junk food, including French fry pizza:)

Once the boat docked, we started driving toward Palermo. The drive was faster than we expected, so we thought there would be time to check into the hotel, park the car, and see some sites.

The hotel was great! The name of the hotel is “Hotel Ambasiadori”.  We received an apartment with two bedrooms for 90 euros.

The only problem was parking….the hotel staff sketched us a map with the nearest parking lot, but it was not exactly easy to find. We spent two hours driving around the hotel trying to find the lot.  Stress completely overtook us during the second hour of searching for the parking lot.   According to the GPS, map, and iPad,  we were on the right street.  But we could not find the parking lot.  We kept finding large gates that led into alleys.

While driving down the street I saw a minuscule sign that had the name of the parking lot written on it! Unfortunately the gate was locked….I really wanted to cry! Then a guy on a motorcycle opened the gate and drove in, so feeling lucky, I decided to run after him and ask about the parking lot.  Poor guy! A few moments later I realized that I had chased him into his backyard. He was really nice about it, and pointed out that the parking was behind the gate next door and down the alley!!! I felt like yelling ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!! Behind a closed gate and down an alley, yet the hotel just expected us to find that! And why did he have the name of the parking lot on his address???

Well we finally found it….then the lot told us that we had to hand over our keys. That meant taking all of our gear out of the car and lugging it back to the hotel/apartment. Wow. As if things weren’t bad enough, once we reached our rooms we realized that the key was not working …or so we thought. A hotel attendant came upstairs, he turned  the key, and let us in.   Somewhat embarrassing.  Once inside we sat down on the sofas, stared at each other, and started laughing. The whole thing had been so comically horrible.  Sorry we don’t have pictures of this craziness.

Fortunately we found an incredible restaurant near our hotel. The pork chops with fondue they served definitely made us feel a lot better.

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