Our overnight ferry ride was perfect and the relatively easy boarding process was quite humorous. For something a little different all cars for this one had to reverse up the ramp and into position.
For some that didn't go well.
The expected double-bunk cabin turned into a spacious suite with all the facilities. We were ecstatic. To celebrate, we opted for the full bit and dined out with fillet steaks and mushrooms plus the necessary red vino. It was like we were on a real five star cruise liner. :-) :-)
Once berthed at Palermo we set out exploring the city centre starting with breakfast. Of all places available we decided on Maccas, our first for the year and it went down really well. Window shopping was next and of course a Desigual store seemed to pop out of nowhere. Amazing!
The morning walk-around through narrow streets and lanes needed to be terminated a little too early when cars and people arrived in droves. It was time to head out.
Our base for the northern areas of Sicily was at the small seaside village of Trappeto and our apartment was again extremely spacious. As is often the case the exterior of buildings defy the actual appearance of what is inside like cafes and bars which are usually very modern and spacious.
Our apartment building was no different.
We had read up on Sicily's ancient ruins but when we were confronted with the realities we were amazed. Places like Selinunte and Segesta Tempio compared extremely well with many in Greece and the Italian mainland. All were within a one hour drive from our base.
Being pulled over by a cop in one old town put the wind up us for a minute until he realised we were tourists and sent us on our way with a big smile. We started smiling too. :-) :-)
Trappeto had a pretty waterfront so it was natural we should spend some time there enjoying vino and cheese with fruit kebabs. Yummo ! All served on the opposite footpath to the bar. :-)
Castellammare, another gorgeous village along the coast was perfect for coffees so we were set no matter the urge or time of day.
Historical areas were high on our to-do list so Erice, San Vito and Coreleone were in our general area so we visited them one by one.
Erice was a brilliantly preserved ancient hilltop town with history dating back to the Elimi people :-o, the Greeks, Carthaginians, Arabs and Normans. It was one of the best.
The run out to San Vito lo Capo might have been a tad ordinary but the very 'Spanish' town was a great find. The usual look-around and coffees went well.
For something a little different we headed inland to visit the “Don” at Corleone, the accepted capital of the Mafia. Lucky for us he was long gone but there was a museum covering the Cosa Nostra and it's connection with the town. Evidently many of the most dangerous 'bosses' of this infamous group were borne there.
This was not one of the nicest towns and its huge cemetery made us wonder what might have gone on in 'the bad old days'. Brrr....scary ! sent a shiver down the spine.
The continuing drive for the day got scarier.
Peaceful country roads, small villages with extremely narrow lanes and …. watch out, she's head on ….phew! that was really close. Understandable though, she had to miss two red balloons bobbing on her side of the road.
We may have cursed a little.
A little later it was more sedate as a flock of sheep wandered across the road totally unattended.
Another town, another lady driver, 'what red light' ? …. Holy S….. we were glad to get to our unit for a drink.
Maybe more than one.
What was perhaps as disappointing as the lack of driver safety was the lack of tidiness with properties and public spaces. The big standout was rubbish. Bags of refuse, old furniture and white-goods just dumped along roadsides. Really gross.
On a brighter note we decided to have dinner at a nearby restaurant. A massive Sicilian meal of pasta with sardines and all sorts of stuff. Gilli was ecstatic. She had hung out for sardines since Sardinia.
A 'prawn cocktail' entree' was the size of a main. Davo was also ecstatic but couldn't get through it all. Free wine, free sweets …. it was all too much, we just couldn't take any more, we had to leave.
The time had arrived to move on, this time to the other end of the island near Syracuse.
We decided on a mix of roads for the roughly four hour drive, combining Autostradas with 'quality' B roads. The 'stradas were always brilliant and the B's generally very good. Caution signs are rare and at one time on a B we did a 'Dukes of Hazard' manoeuvre. When all four wheels were back on deck we decided to return to the 'stradas and look for a bar.
We soon settled down.
After a short visit to the old town of Enna we found our way to Plemmirio, our new base for four more nights.