KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
What terrific weather we had during our month-long stay in Sicily! Once again the pattern continues; it seems that whenever we are ready to leave a travel destination the rainy weather sets in and hurries us on our way. However, this time there was a twist to our departure.
We woke up to cloudy skies and no view of Mt. Etna on our last day in Taormina. Just after making our way onto the major motorway that links the northeast coast with Catania, the skies opened up with torrential downpours and obliterated our view of the highway just meters ahead of our car. We were so glad that we were on a four-lane divided highway and not on the small, narrow, winding roads that we had been travelling on in the interior of the island.
We dropped off our rental car and made our way to our hotel near the airport. We were pretty much confined to the hotel for the following 24 hours due to the heavy rain. No one at the hotel mentioned the weather to us, so we figured the heavy rain was not unusual for this time of year.
Our flight to Malta the following day was scheduled to depart at 6:30pm so we lazed around our room till it was time to check out, and then passed the time in the attractive lobby for the afternoon. The skies had cleared a little, so we decided to walk to the airport for a breath of fresh air, it was only a little more than a kilometer away and we travel pretty light in terms of luggage.
The rain started shortly after we checked in and made our way to the departure gate. The large bank of windows gave us a great view of the weather outside and eventually the winds picked up too. Just before we were due to board, we were informed that the flight was postponed due to the weather, but no one seemed at all concerned about what was going on outside.
Every few hours we were again told of continuing delays, and eventually someone in authority came round and told us they were waiting for a break in the weather, in order to make the quick 45-minute hop over to Malta. I have to give it to Air Malta; they managed to come around with water, coffee and snacks throughout the wait because all the airport food services were closed for the night.
Eventually, we were allowed to board just after midnight, and little did we know that we were heading into a possibly very dangerous situation.