Monday 23rd March. Woke to sunshine at last and made to leave Marsala. In some ways sad to do so as we had met some very nice martial arts people who had shared a few laughs. Before leaving town it would have been a pity to miss the archeological museum that was originally built to house a Punic warship sunk in battle 2200 years ago. Not a great lot to see of it but other relics of the period were fascinating including a Carthaginian baby’s feeding jug, a huge collection of amphora from all over the Mediterranean and some grave paintings.
Segesta beckoned so off we went and we were surprised again by the sight of a Greek temple peeping over a hill shining gold in the sunlight. This structure was never completed but is very impressive sitting as it does on the top of a high hill but surrounded by mountains. The scenery is quite beautiful with a deep ragged ravine running immediately behind the temple cut out by the river hundreds of metres below. The ancient site includes a Greek theatre built on top of the steep adjacent mountain and to save climbing the extra 1000 feet we took the mountain goat of a minibus to the peak a mile away. Once there the ruins of three or four civilisations were spread out in front of us. Some of the original Greek public buildings, the Roman improvements and the medieval castle built from the stones from the earlier buildings. Judy quite surprised herself by walking around at this great height and taking in the views even taking pictures.
We were making our way to Palermo to see the museums and palaces but having spent 45 minutes making our way in with out seeing a single empty parking space we gave up and took a truly fabulous drive through the mountains to the interior town of Piazza Armerina. As we hit the piazza Garribaldi looking for a B&B Giovanni leapt in front of us and told us all our dreams had come true or words to that effect in Sicilian Italian!!! His B&B was superb with a huge bed, good bathroom and plenty of exercise to reach the fourth floor. Giovanni then invited us back to his Orteca (wine store) to taste his and his families products. Several bottles latter we were all very good friends and we had bought 5 litres of a great 14% wine ready for Toni and Adam when they visit. Judy is narrowing the crib scores to 20 –5. And in the words of the diarist and ‘so to bed’