I have to admit that I felt rather sad when I left Sicily. I had a marvellous time there, and despite all my moaning about the heat, I found the sunshine extremely soothing for the soul. So my parting meal at Palermo airport, if you could even call it that, was a big fat cannolo, even though after about my eighth one I vehemently swore I would not eat another. To me the humble cannolo, which can be found throughout Sicily, was a symbol of what made my time there so great. And this one at the airport tasted the best of the lot. Why is food, when touched with a twinge of nostalgia, always extra good? Barely two hours after leaving Sicily I was yearning for the taste of that cannolo again.
But new experiences were to be had, some unwanted. On my arrival in Split, Croatia, my luggage went AWOL. Croatian Airlines blamed the Italian luggage handlers and were rather unhelpful during the whole episode. There were no reassurances from them that my bag would be recovered. In fact they suggested that it might never resurface at all. But it did, although it would take two pretty stressful days. What I discovered during that time was how little you actually need.
After Split I headed to Dubrovnik. The bus route hugs the coast all the way, and the scenery was truly amazing – cliff edge precipices married with pristine waters and lush green islands. But greeting Dubrovnik for the first time at night was something else. Wave after wave of stone make up the Old Town walls, and when lit up in lights, it is truly a spectacle to behold. I will never forget the adulation I felt the moment I first laid eyes on those walls.