Sicily

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Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 23rd, 2018, 7:14 am

(Maybe we should have a sub thread topic for holidays.)

Everyone (well at least three people at work, it turns out) seems to be going this year, and we had been thinking about it for a while. Thinking, but of course not doing anything. Would we be mad to go at the end of July? I don't mind the heat, but crowds...? We can't go anywhere in August (but probably just as bad for crowds anyway) as husband's colleague and back up has announced he is taking the whole month off :shock: :evil: and I can't wait until September. (In fact, I want a holiday now!) June is too soon.

Also any favourite spots?

We may abandon the plan as the flights all look very expensive (left it too late, no doubt) but it's still at the top of the list.

Fall back may be Puglia.
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Re: Sicily

Postby StokeySue » May 23rd, 2018, 8:41 am

I went on an organised trip to Sicily, loved it
It does get very crowded, you might check hotel availability as well as I think it will be quite hard to get good places, and I'm not sure there's a lot of self catering accomodation
We stayed 4 nights in Agrigento and 4 in Giardini Naxos, near Taormina Giardini Naxos is a resort, nice enough but not exciting, we had a nice hotel and used it ad a base
We saw
The valley of the temples (a must), visited Palermo, Syracuse and Taormina and did a trip up Etna.
Loved it, would go back
Puglia on my list but I booked in a bit of a rush, and I'm staying in Pompeii and visiting Amalfi & Capri as well as the archaeology
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Re: Sicily

Postby TeresaFoodie » May 23rd, 2018, 8:46 am

Never been to Sicily or Puglia, just the northern lakes and Venice which were breathtaking, but Sicily is one of the destinations I would actually renew my passport for. :luv:

Heat and crowds wouldn't bother me much if I really wanted to go somewhere as long as it fitted in with budget and other commitments. If timings were right I'd just be prepared to step off the plane and get that first hit of heat in the face like walking into an oven, acclimatise, get stuck in and enjoy.

I prefer the idea of individual holiday threads by the way. Then I can just dip into the ones that interest me or where I can offer advice.
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 23rd, 2018, 8:54 am

I have been looking at HomeAway - a fair amount of availability still at the moment. Definitely need a two bedroom apartment :shock: (If I am to get any sleep.) plus I want some garden space and the possibility of cooking :D

Thanks for the tips. I don't think we can do too many different areas, as we will be doing the driving (by 'we' I mean my husband of course...)

Amalfi coast was where we wanted to go last year, but we left it too late for it to be affordable,, and I guess we have again this year. It's horribly hard getting my husband to commit to time off work :( (As in getting blood out of a stone, hard.)
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Re: Sicily

Postby StokeySue » May 23rd, 2018, 8:57 am

I am limited by being unable to drive
I was going to go to Corsica but the only good escorted tour sold out whike I was thinking about dates
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Re: Sicily

Postby KC2 » May 23rd, 2018, 9:09 am

We had a fabulous time in Sicily some years ago. We used Catania as our base and did daytrips on buses as I didn't want to drive there. This b & b is fantastic http://www.5balconi.it/en/index.php
Run by a couple of Brits, friendly, helpful, lovely lovely people - can't recommend it too highly.
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Re: Sicily

Postby StokeySue » May 23rd, 2018, 9:18 am

Ooh, kc2, that's the sort of place that might suit me
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Re: Sicily

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » May 23rd, 2018, 9:49 am

Reading with interest as we're booking for next June
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Re: Sicily

Postby Bubbles » May 23rd, 2018, 10:39 am

It's horribly hard getting my husband to commit to time off work :( (As in getting blood out of a stone, hard.)
I can empathise, mine has loads of time off as retired but doesn't like holidays much. I have to book flights without telling him then find the right moment to break the news. He then has a melt down for a day or two but eventually calms down and even books things like accommodation, car hire etc.

I have been to Taormina and loved it. Full of wonderful old buildings and lovely cafes and restaurants. The coach drops you outside the town so although there are crowds milling around I don't think there are vehicles to contend with as far as I remember? The amphitheatre was amazing and we spent a good couple of hours there before returning to the town for a glass of wine in one of the squares by the church. We travelled from Palermo as we were on a cruise. I would happily return to Sicily to see more of the island. Have you registered with Skyscanner to keep an eye on flight prices?
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 23rd, 2018, 12:26 pm

Oh dear. With mine, it's more a workaholic thing, but he also has days when he has to be in the office to prevent massive money loss :shock: (Option expiry dates and some other such stuff i don't really understand.) He is, alas, never totally on holiday. He has a lot more annual leave than me, but doesn't take most of it.

Taormina sounds lovely.

I did look at Skyscanner but we are very inflexible with dates...
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Re: Sicily

Postby Ratatouille » May 23rd, 2018, 12:32 pm

Tezza. if you get hot and bothered in Luton at this time of year, I fear you would be utterly miserable in Sicily or Corsica in the summer months. Something to save for a lovely spring I think :hug:
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Re: Sicily

Postby TeresaFoodie » May 23rd, 2018, 3:43 pm

Ratatouille wrote:Tezza. if you get hot and bothered in Luton at this time of year, I fear you would be utterly miserable in Sicily or Corsica in the summer months. Something to save for a lovely spring I think :hug:


:lol: Me and heat do not mix! Even Luton can be unbearable. But, going back to my first experience of going abroad when I was about 15 I was too young and excited to even wonder what the weather was going to be like in Switzerland and northern Italy in July. As those plane doors opened.....my God, I will never forget thinking how on earth am I going to survive this heat for a fortnight!!?? But once I got used to it and was introduced to the cool water of the closest lake to our hotel I was well away! The heat wouldn't bother me if it was somewhere I really wanted to go as long as there was water to jump into!
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 23rd, 2018, 4:16 pm

Ha I remember getting off the plane in Barbados coming from the UK in late April. It was like being hit by a wall (of heat.)

I am happy with heat as long as I am not overdressed (I can't bear wearing things with any sort of sleeve in high, sweat-inducing temperatures) , and well hydrated. Egypt was a bit much though - at least 40 degrees.
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Re: Sicily

Postby Bubbles » May 23rd, 2018, 4:31 pm

Yes that's another thing, he doesn't like heat, and increasingly neither do I! My ideal climate is one which is sunny and warm during the day but nice and cool at night. We are going to Spain on Tuesday to a villa we've been to before so we know it's cool and spacious!
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Re: Sicily

Postby KC2 » May 23rd, 2018, 5:32 pm

StokeySue wrote:Ooh, kc2, that's the sort of place that might suit me


Great! Someone I used to work with was old friends with Cristina and Rob over here and told us about their then still relatively new venture ... they seem to have gone from strength to strength!
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Re: Sicily

Postby Zosherooney » May 23rd, 2018, 6:32 pm

Me too. Looks like my kind of B&B, it's going on the list for when we have time for hollibobs.
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Re: Sicily

Postby barnsleycook » May 23rd, 2018, 6:53 pm

We went to Sicily last year and loved it. We stayed in Cefalu on the north coast. Unfortunately my husband and DD weren't keen on going anywhere other than the immediate environs. I had visions of getting the train to Palermo and exploring round there, but husband said it seems silly to go to one place and immediately go somewhere else, besides, it was too hot anyway. We wanted to climb the rock, but again it was just too hot.

The food was amazing, the place was beautiful, the people were friendly. It was very Italian, and not at all Brits abroad. We were there during the heatwave last year, and experienced temperatures between 34 and 37 degrees. We would love to go back at a cooler time of year and really explore the island, but wouldn't want to drive. As massive Inspector Montalbano fans we would love to see where it is filmed.
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Re: Sicily

Postby Ratatouille » May 23rd, 2018, 7:04 pm

I remember, vividly, getting off the plane when we arrived in the Bahamas (1966) to start our contract there. It was August, it was hot, but worse, it was humid. I thought it was the heat from the jet engines. By the time we made it to what, in those days, passed as a terminal i was almost fainting. I got to realise that, if I was going to live there I just had to adapt.

Don't do anything in a hurry, only wear natural fibres and never, ever stand out in the sun - and preferably carry a parasol. That became my signature accessory!
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Re: Sicily

Postby PatsyMFagan » May 24th, 2018, 1:58 pm

Zosherooney wrote:Me too. Looks like my kind of B&B, it's going on the list for when we have time for hollibobs.


It's on mine too .... ;)
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 24th, 2018, 2:00 pm

Yes in Barbados, I soon began to see why there was such a traffic congestion problem - people wanted to get inside their air conditioned cars.

Maybe I just block the memory out, but the only time I remember being bothered by heat was in Egypt. It's the things that often go with heat that bother me - well mosquitos primarily. Although it's annoying getting out of the shower and immediately starting to sweat.

We were in Umbria for the heatwave last year, and we did have a bit of a dance with the air con - rather too drafty and noisy to sleep with, plus a tendency for it to short the fuses if anyone switched anything else on at the same time. But the mosquitos... I still have a lump on my leg which i am guessing will never go away now. It was a bu**ger in one place in Cuba at night though. Aircon not efficient enough, and very noisy. But the mosquitoes were far worse.
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Re: Sicily

Postby earthmaiden » May 24th, 2018, 3:17 pm

Herbidacious wrote: Everyone (well at least three people at work, it turns out) seems to be going this year,

Always makes alarm bells ring ... the horror of meeting people from work when on holiday!

Sicily does sound lovely though :luv:
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Re: Sicily

Postby TeresaFoodie » May 24th, 2018, 3:58 pm

Egypt bothered me too for heat. I did spend most of the week either in the pool or in the sea or inside which took the edge off. I hated the fact that a huge amount of time was spent smothering ourselves in high factor sun lotion. I wouldn't go back. For a start the all inclusive food was dire. A five star hotel too. I didn't like being trapped on a resort. I am more of an explorer type. I got bored after three days lazing around. Unwanted male attention (my then friend would disagree!) Never again.

Another my trips abroad, Austria, the weather was perfect in August but again the food was poor, especially for me being vegan. However, I would return to Italy and Switzerland if only for the food! Even as a vegan I was in my element, so accommodating, wonderful salads! I'd have a field day there now!

A funny thing happened in southern Spain. My Welsh OH at the time had never been to a hot country so we were both excited to be invited to spend time over at my uncle's new place. It was May (I think), a scorcher was predicted. No. We turned up and there was a freak cold spell including snow. No heating installed yet. Only one pair of emergency socks each packed just in case. We did have a fantastic time and the food was amazing! But we did spend a couple of nights almost freezing to death until we found a local English bar with a roaring fire where we spent the rest of the evenings keeping warm. We got lots of reading done that week. :lol:
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Re: Sicily

Postby StokeySue » May 24th, 2018, 5:34 pm

I was fine in Egypt and the rest of the middle east as the humodity was so low
Hot humidity with monsoon rains (early, we were supposed to miss them) in Kerala though was another thing entirelywas ho
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 24th, 2018, 8:05 pm

earthmaiden wrote:
Herbidacious wrote: Everyone (well at least three people at work, it turns out) seems to be going this year,

Always makes alarm bells ring ... the horror of meeting people from work when on holiday!

Sicily does sound lovely though :luv:


Quite ;) they are all sensible going from September onwards though. So I could be the first!!! :D
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 24th, 2018, 8:06 pm

You don't have to do an all inclusive in Egypt, Tezza!

Not sure how safe I'd feel there at the moment, though.
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Re: Sicily

Postby TeresaFoodie » May 24th, 2018, 9:30 pm

I didn't feel all that safe in Egypt as all inclusive as it goes! I'd never gone on holiday where I was greeted by armed guards at the complex gates. Not a good first impression of the country for me! And it was drummed in that you were not to leave for the duration, especially not alone. I think this was in 2005 and the day after we returned home to sleepy Stansted there were terrorist bombings there in the next village. A good friend of mine who has always been interested in all things Egypt would go there at least four times a year until she developed MS and couldn't say a bad thing about the place. My holiday was unfortunately marred by my travel companion whom I found out only wanted me to go there with her so she could bed Egyptian men! Ghastly experience, so I took myself off with a snorkel in the Red Sea and let her get on with it. :sprout:
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Re: Sicily

Postby StokeySue » May 24th, 2018, 10:09 pm

There are intermediate points between all inclusive and totally diy. Notably escorted tours, which I've done a few of, including Egypt.
We saw an amazing number of sights, and although hotels, transport, and most excursions and some meals were included we were expected to go out and find our own cafes and shopping trips and little excursions. Suits me well.
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 25th, 2018, 7:16 am

i meant more the political climate, than harassment... but I don't know enough about it. It's years since we went. We were based in Luxor, and a month after we were there, the appalling massacre at Hapshetsut happened. (All massacres are appalling but the way this one panned out was pretty sadistic.) Several rounds of terrorist activity from different groups have happened in the intervening years, but I am not sure how safe it is now.

When we were there, we were B&Bing in a hotel. I'd been to a hotel on a half board basis in Morocco on a package tour a couple of years before, and the vegetarian food was awful, and got worse as the week went on - just tomato and onion salad by the end of it - so I didn't want to do that again.
I would never do a package tour again full stop, actually. But in those days, bargains could be had and we had little money.
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Re: Sicily

Postby StokeySue » May 25th, 2018, 7:43 am

You must have been there in the two weeks before me Herbi. We went to the Hatshepsut temple on a Tuesday, and two weeks later almost to the minute the massacre happened :(

I'd think twice about going to Egypt or most of the area now, we also went to Tunisia about 15 months before the Bardo massacre
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 28th, 2018, 11:45 am

We gave up on Sicily. We couldn't find just what we wanted, and as the prices are inflated for July we didn't really want to compromise.
So... Puglia here we come! We are going to be based in Polignano a Mare. It may be busy a I know it's a popular seaside place, but OH really fancied being by the sea, and we have a sea view and easy access to the (possibly packed) beach. My only worry is that it might not be quiet enough. The 'other place' which had my top vote had a hot (cold?!) tub but was further inland.
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Re: Sicily

Postby KC2 » May 28th, 2018, 2:33 pm

Sounds lovely - Puglia is, according to Claudia Roden - the greatest olive oil and wine producer of Italy! Hope you'll have space to bring some back! Also, apparently, Tomatoes are "exquisite"!
It'll be great having a sea view as you'll get lovely light sea breezes as well.

When are you going?
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 28th, 2018, 10:04 pm

Ooh I was wondering about the food side. A quick look only revealed pasta and very meaty things, but it was a very quick look. I think the town we are going to is supposed to be very good for ice cream. I imagine sea food will be good (for husband.)
Looking forward to seeing trulli. V photogenic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trullo#/m ... -43-03.jpg


We are going for the last ten days of July. Ten days! I've only had about two ten day holidays in the last seven years.

re bringing oil back I think I stupidly 'bought' too small a luggage allowance. 15kg for one of us (er husband...??!!) and 23kg. I thought the 23kg was a naughty extra and unnecessary expense until I saw my receipt which described 15kg as 'small'. To upgrade costs £8 per kg! Sleasy Jet... (BA was all booked up for those dates. They charge £30 for hold luggage too!!!)) We'll pack and see. You get overhead cabin luggage plus under the seat too.
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Re: Sicily

Postby KC2 » May 28th, 2018, 11:04 pm

Have you got CR's The Food of Italy - she writes very warmly about Apulian food, which she says "touches the heart, partly because Apulians are so incredibly warm and hospitable" ... it should be great! All amazing 10 days of it!

Re your "small" baggage allowance - I'm sure you be able to fit in some evoo :D
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 29th, 2018, 6:56 am

I am not sure if I have that...but I may have. Due for a big cookery book sort out. I shall look this evening.
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Re: Sicily

Postby earthmaiden » May 29th, 2018, 7:19 am

Herbie, I don't travel light but my case for 3 weeks in Australia was only 17kg on the way out and a couple of grams under the 23kg limit on the way back having bought loads of things. I doubt you'd take so much to Italy so you should be fine. If you're allowed a handbag, take a big one!
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 29th, 2018, 8:38 am

We can take over head locker suit cases and a handbag.

Will just weight stuff before we go and add extra if it's necessary, I think. Just annoyed with myself. It would have cost an extra £10 to have an extra 8kg if I had paid up front.
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Re: Sicily

Postby KC2 » May 29th, 2018, 10:08 am

Herbidacious wrote:We can take over head locker suit cases and a handbag.

Will just weight stuff before we go and add extra if it's necessary, I think. Just annoyed with myself. It would have cost an extra £10 to have an extra 8kg if I had paid up front.


That is annoying. Some of the budget airlines allow you to increase your luggage allowance at the original price before you get to the airport. It's a pain that sleasyjet doesn't let you do this!
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 29th, 2018, 10:30 am

All the airlines seem to be adding in extra costs. (Which? Magazine recently did an article about this.) The flights weren't too bad, but by the time I'd added hold luggage and extra leg room for husband with extra long legs (:) ) it was quite pricey. And Easyjet flight (I hate their planes) Ah well. It's done. And at least extra leg room seats mean 'Speedy boarding'. I shall focus on the destination :D
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Re: Sicily

Postby KC2 » May 29th, 2018, 11:21 am

Herbidacious wrote: I shall focus on the destination :D


Absolutely, Herbi :D
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Re: Sicily

Postby Bubbles » May 30th, 2018, 8:06 am

Hi Herbie, flew to Spain yesterday. BA but same allowance as EJ. My case is the max dimensions 56 X 46 X ?( cant remember.). Got on Amazon £30 for two! I could have got more in mine - it weighed 8kg. OHs weighed double and was heavy! Max was 23 KG. I honestly don't think you'll need to increase your allowance unless you are bringing loads of heavy books. - or shoes? :lol:
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 30th, 2018, 9:25 am

Well, knowing my husband...!

His clothes are bigger than mine, but he needs fewer :) Actually we may have a washing machine... I shall check.
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 30th, 2018, 9:28 am

Yes washing machine, but looking at the pictures, it looks a bit open plan :(
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Re: Sicily

Postby suffolk » May 31st, 2018, 7:51 am

Open plan washing machine ... kitchen sink??? ;)
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Re: Sicily

Postby PatsyMFagan » May 31st, 2018, 7:58 am

suffolk wrote:Open plan washing machine ... kitchen sink??? ;)


I had a friend who actually did that ... brought a kitchen sink back from US ! :shock: ... She spent lots of time there and thought that so much of what she could get over there was better than here (Tacky springs to mind :rolleyes: ) A few years before it was common here that some peeps heavily decorated the outside of their houses with Xmas decs, she bought all her illuminations from the US, which meant having almost an industrial size transformer under the said kitchen sink !
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Re: Sicily

Postby StokeySue » May 31st, 2018, 8:10 am

Open plan? Do you mean it's on the balcony or porch? I was astounded the first time I encountered the outdoor washing machine in California but they seem farly widespread, I think in many countries people think taking laundry into the kitchen is disgusting, and probablyvthey worry about flooding too
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » May 31st, 2018, 11:43 am

No I mean the apartment! There are no doors separating anything and only one (doorless) wall separating the L- shaped kitchen/lounge/'bedroom' and the other bedroom. The pictures weren't exactly misleading, but as they had photos of each bit separately with no clear overall view, one had to look very carefully to appreciate the layout and I didn't. I was in too much of a hurry/panic to book something. It looks like a massive space. I can imagine mosquitoes maybe an issue sans doors, insofar that it's too large a space for those plug in things to work well. It is also, as I wrote earlier, then deleted out of guilt, an issue with regard to snore-related noise, which was the raison d'etre for paying up for a place with two bedrooms :(

Yes I gather that washing machines in kitchens is not on in Germany. They put them in bathrooms or in the basement. Mind you at our last place in Tottenham not only was the washing machine in the bathroom, but it emptied its dirty water into the bath :o Yuk!
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Re: Sicily

Postby Rainbow » May 31st, 2018, 10:54 pm

Herbidacious wrote:Yes I gather that washing machines in kitchens is not on in Germany. They put them in bathrooms or in the basement. Mind you at our last place in Tottenham not only was the washing machine in the bathroom, but it emptied its dirty water into the bath Yuk!

That does indeed sound Yuk :o

Australians think doing the laundry in the kitchen is very strange (maybe not quite disgusting!!) and usually have a separate laundry room. A habit I do like :D
Some new, small houses have a 'laundry cupboard' with W.M and drier behind sliding doors, maybe in the bathroom. But never under the kitchen workbench :lol:
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Re: Sicily

Postby Herbidacious » June 1st, 2018, 2:59 pm

I guess a lot of older houses in the UK just don't have room for (anything so posh as ;) ) a laundry room. I'd love one (we have ours in a narrow covered over space between our house and the next one.) And I'd love a laundry shoot! We once looked round a house that had a shoot leading from the bathroom to a laundry room.
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Re: Sicily

Postby earthmaiden » June 1st, 2018, 3:17 pm

I hate having laundry stuff in the kitchen, not for any hygiene reason, I just prefer it elsewhere. I think it is awkward in Britain to use bathrooms due to electrical safety regulations (i.e.no naked plugs). I am really lucky as in my tiny house I have a small lobby with just enough room for a washing machine and a dryer on top. I would love a laundry room which didn't double up as anything else and where an ironing board could be left up all the time.
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Re: Sicily

Postby Zosherooney » June 1st, 2018, 5:30 pm

Herb, your olive oil will have to go in the hold. I have successfully decanted OO from glass to a plastic water bottle and brought it home, wrapped in clothes. I wrap the plastic bottle in a plastic carrier first.
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