Tuesday, June 28, 2005
I am determined to finish telling you about my trip to Sicily, even if I have been back home for well over a month! The memories may be fading, but I have my photographs and my journal. I haven't told you about the best parts yet, so please bear with me as I slowly plod on...
Thursday morning we slept in a little and then headed on toward Agrigento. In 581 BC the ancient Greek city of Akragas was founded here, and it is the remains of this city's temples that draw so many to Agrigento.
Temple of Concord
We arrived at our hotel mid-afternoon and ate a hurried lunch of packaged snack items from the JFK Alitalia lounge. We could see the Valle dei Templi from our hotel, but it would have been quite a hike. We decided to drive over since the park closed at 6:00 and we were running out of time.
Temple of Castor and Pollux
The ruins in the Valley of the Temples are dramatic and fascinating, but lack the beautiful setting of either Segesta or Selinunte. And unlike either of those sites, you are not permitted to climb around on any of the ruins.
Telamone (an 8 meter high supporting column in the shape of a man)
from the Temple of Zeus, which was the largest Greek temple in the world
View of the modern city of Agrigento from the Valle dei Templi
(That's a huge agave plant in the foreground!)
We didn't have time to visit the archeological museum, but had just enough time to see everything within the park. We returned to the parking lot and stopped for postcards and gelato before returning to the hotel. When we got back to the car, though, we realized the car keys were missing and had a few moments of panic. Fortunately, some kind soul had found the keys and turned them in at the ticket counter.
Back at our hotel (the Colleverde Park Hotel), we enjoyed a little quiet time in the garden before having dinner in the hotel restaurant. The food there was wonderful and the wait staff very attentive. I had a first course of lentil minestrone with croutons, followed by chicken scallopini with Pecorino and arugula. Both were delicious - the minestrone really hit the spot. I'd been craving some beans, but there just hadn't been an opportunity until that evening. The chicken was also very good. Best of all, I had my first-ever (at least that I can recall) cannoli! It was incredible.
After we had returned to our rooms and said good-night, I remembered that my room had a view of the Temple of Concord, which is lit up at night. I opened the blinds to get a peek and then went and got Bob and Chuck. We marvelled at the view for quite a while and took yet more pictures, before finally turning in. What a day.
Next time - Piazza Armerina and Caltagirone