Friday, October 20, 2017

Segesta and Erice

The archeological sight of Segesta was our first destination of the day. A shuttle bus took us from the parking lot to the base of the site.

The hillside surrounded by lush valleys provide a dramatic setting for this ancient city.

Atop of one hill is the Temple of Segesta. After exploring it we went back to the base and had a cannoli.

The rest of the city and ancient theatre was on another, very tall, steep hill. I said to John, “I hope there’s a bus.” “There is no bus.” He replied.

We started climbing, up, up, up. Halfway there I was puffing and my leg muscles screamed bloody murder.Thats when I heard the sounds of a bus coming up behind ...and past me. It took a good half hour to get to the top. I just knew my glutes would hate me in the morning.

The views were fabulous and the ruins interesting. We took the shuttle bus down.

Our next stop was to Erice. We caught the cable car and rose higher and higher. My ears popped. Finally we arrived in Erice,  a medieval town on the top of a mountain overlooking Trapani.

The streets were cobble stoned. We first checked out a church and bell tower. Two homeless dogs lay sleeping on the square in front of the church. One of them rolled over onto his back with all four paws in the air, obviously enjoying his afternoon snooze.

Speaking of dogs, there seem to be a lot of homeless dogs around Sicily. There were two dogs sleeping in the middle of the road in Segesta. You also usually hear dogs barking through the night, in the morning...actually all the time. And word of warning; watch where you step.

Erice was gorgeous, however most of it was uphill on cobblestones and I didn’t choose my shoes wisely that morning.

I love Italian ceramics and had a great time going through the many ceramics; so little luggage space.

 When coming out of a shop I found John talking to Emily and Vince who unbeknownst to us had also decided to go to Erice this day. Em and Vince were just leaving Erice and weren’t looking forward to their trip back down the mountain. Unfortunately they had decided to take the car and the drive up was pretty hair raising.

We continued touring Erice. After lunch we went up to the Castle of Venus. In ancient times it was the place of the sacred prostitutes. Hmmmm. 

It was a gorgeous location and the views....
The only thing marring the views were the numerous telecommunications towers throughout the town. 

While John was still exuberantly taking pictures, I started my descent from the castle....carefully picking every step so as not to wipe out or step on doggy refuse. That’s when I spied a man in ethnic dress with a beautiful white horse and decorated cart. I put up my phone to take a picture and he said it would cost me a kiss and pointed to his cheek. I said, “No problem” and took the photo. He said, “payment” and pointed to his cheek.

I walked over and started to give him a loud smacking kiss on his cheek when he tried to turn his head for a kiss on the lips. I laughed, wagged my finger and told him “that wasn’t the bargain.” He pointed and asked if I wanted a ride in the cart. I said “No thanks, I’m waiting for my husband.”

Fortunately, John chose that moment to come down from the castle and the guy calls out, knowing full well it was my husband, “ Here comes your father.” Cheeky guy!

John and I found the fountain with the statue of Venus and paid homage before taking the cable car back down to Trapani.

Driving out of Trapani was very stressful. Italian drivers are really aggressive, even the grandmothers. There were all kinds of bicyclists riding in the dark with no lights on.

We met up with everyone back at the villa. Some of Karen’s relatives came by and we all went to a restaurant that they recommended. The restaurant had no sign out front and was obviously a place where only the locals came to eat. The food was of the best meals of our trip. Calimari, smoked salmon, shrimps, octopus, amazing anchovy sandwiches, pizzas and more. Yum.

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