Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Western Sicily

Wednesday Les, my mom and I departed a bit before noon for the west side of Sicily. Les and I hadn't had the chance to explore that part of the island so I was really looking forward to seeing some new sights. I never ceased to be amazed at the size of this island. Three and a half hours of driving and we were only just past Palermo. About an hour later we arrived at Segesta - an archaeological park that contains a spectacular Doric temple dating back to 430 B.C.

Les & I standing in the Temple of Segesta

My favorite picture (that I took) of the Temple of Segesta

Another view of the Temple of Segesta
The temple is still remarkably intact.

As we headed down the hill from the temple I spotted a plant that I've been meaning to take a picture of. They are dotted all over Sicily and look like giant Asparagus and look like they are out of a Dr. Seuss book.

Les next to the "Giant Asparagus"

We departed Segesta late in the afternoon and made our way towards Trapani to find a hotel. We drove the busy streets for quite some time looking for something suitable. We finally found the old Baroque quarter of town, ideal for walking and exploring. By this point we were all quite tired and getting grumpy. We ended up staying at the first hotel we stopped at - the Hotel Moderno. It was a big compromise - Les & I shared a triple room with my mom (only room available), but it was that or let tempers flare out of control. We decided to take it. Our triple room was only 74 Euro. The room was sparse and frill-less, but very clean.

Once we were settled into the hotel we went in search of dinner and ended up at the Ai Lumi Tavernetta. It was an excellent choice! We tried a Trapanese specialty - a fish cooked encrusted in sea salt. It was absolutely delicious! I've never had fish so moist, and it wasn't salty like you might expect. Good food, a bottle of Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine), and a bottle of Planeta La Segreta wine later we were a much happier group.

The next morning we wandered a bit more and grabbed breakfast at a local bar.

Baroque Quarter of Trapani in the morning

We headed south from Trapani for Marsala. We passed the salt flats of Trapani with their beautiful Dutch-style windmills.

Mounds of "fresh" salt

A Dutch-style windmill on the Trapani-Marsala Salt Road

We didn't stay long in Marsala - we knew that the drive back to the other side of the island was hanging over our heads. We visited the archaeological museum and tasted some wine - I bought a couple of bottles of course! On the long drive home we stopped in a seaside village west of Palermo for lunch. We made it home in time for an easy dinner of leftovers.

Friday was my mom's lad day in Sicily and my packing day for our trip to Rome and Florence. It was a low-key day doing laundry and resting. I wish mom could have stayed with us longer. I love having her around!

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