May 3, 2015 – Segesta and Palermo

I think we are starting to have vacation fatigue – the ultimate 1st world problem. This past week we’ve been hassled by bad accommodations, bad traffic, and expectations unmet. Having been buoyed by the visit to the Salt Museum yesterday though, we are eager to start some new adventures.

Our first stop is at Segesta, home to a Doric Greek temple built before 430 BC with traces of the Elymians who inhabited the western part of Sicily since about 1200 B.C. The Elymians who had emigrated from Asia Minor intermarried with the Greeks. In the 400’s the Segestans allied themselves first with the Greeks and then with the Carthaginians as the winds of war changed. Ultimately Segesta became a Roman outpost and was destroyed by the Vandals.

Greek temple at Segesta
Greek temple at Segesta
Sarah at the Greek temple
Sarah at the Greek temple

John and Sarah walk up the steep hill to the temple site. I am afraid of slipping on the downhill and stay back at a table in the shade.

Now it is off to Palermo with a stop at Monreale to see their fabulous cathedral. We have trouble negotiating the narrow streets and our GPS seems flummoxed as well. Finally we make it to the parking area around 1:45, just enough time to have a quick snack before the cathedral opens at 2:30. Except it isn’t opening today. It was only open from 8:30 to 9:30 this morning. We see many people in the same boat as we. The guide books and internet sites say that it opens from 9:30 to 11:00 on Sunday mornings and 2:30 to 5:00 in the afternoon. There is nothing to be done, though, so we find a place for lunch before heading to our hotel in Palermo.


Palermo seen from Monreale
Palermo seen from Monreale

It is very hard to find the hotel. Around and around we go dodging people, bikes and other cars. Finally Sarah says TURN RIGHT! and we are at the hotel. Phew! We decide to take a little rest and reconvene at 7 in the bar to discuss plans for tomorrow.

What do you know it’s happy hour! We settle in with some wine and an immense array of happy hour snacks and figure out our agenda for the last two days of our trip.

So many happy hour snacks!!
So many happy hour snacks!!

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