Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday on the Road

Sunday turned out to be a looooong day.

Piazza Bellini
The Hub of Catania's Nightlife

After Saturday's two practices and some dinner, we met at Larry, Luke and Taber's place to meet up with several teammates and some people who work at the Sigonella Naval Air Station that live in Aci Trezza.  After some funny conversations, we all decided to head downtown to the Elephants' home away from home, the Fundo Bianco.

This was the scene when we arrived at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, it was not much different when we left at 3:00 a.m.

A random village somewhere in southwest Sicily.

We did not roll out of bed until VERY late Sunday morning but decided to explore southwest Sicily anyway with the goal of reaching the ancient Greek ruins at Selinunte on the Mediterranian sea coast.

Selinunte was founded in the 7th Century B.C. by Greek colonists from the Grek town of Megara Hyblaea located on Sicily's east coast about 40 miles south of Catania.

Unfortunately for us, due to our late night hours and late start on the day, the ruins were closed for the day by the time we got there.

The beach below the Greek ruins.

It was amazing to find this sign, that was first placed here by the Greeks over 2,700 years ago, still in such good shape.

Near sunset, Selinunte's well traveled beach up close.

Selinunte's Golden Brown Sand

Mediterranian Sea Foam
Two Young Lovers on a Beach Stroll

Can it get any better than this when you are in love?

Hey, that reminds me...

Laurie arrives in Catania in only FOUR DAYS!

The view the ancient Greeks shared from their temples.

Paul decided to climb the coastal cliffs for a back door assault on the ruins and it worked.  He took this great shot from the bluff where the ruins are located.

I, long ago, signed a non-aggression pact with Gravity and thus decided to honor my committment and stay back by those white buildings in the distance.


While I explored the much newer city by the beach, it hit me... I'm hungry!  This pizzeria, like most eating establishments in Sicily, is not even thinking about opening at 5:45 p.m.  The answer was to drive back towards Agrigento by which time their ristorantes should be opening.

Murphy's Ristorante - Pizzeria - Steak House?

This was the first place to eat that we stumbled upon in Agrigento.  I knew that St. Patrick's Day was only two days away but COME ON, we're in Sicily for goodness sakes.  We passed on this place.

Ristorante Trattoria dei Templi
Via Panoramica dei Templi 15, Agrigento

Another GREAT pick for dinner from Paul's "Lonely Planet Italy" guidebook.

Cavatelli alla "Valle dei Templi"

The menu described my dish in English as "tomatoes, eggplant, mozzarella, fat cheese".  I really hope that they meant feta.

I can easily say that this is the most flavorful pasta dish I've had on this stay in Sicily.  If you are coming down to see Agrigento's Valley of the Temples, be sure to eat here.

Speaking of the Agrigento's Valley of the Temples, seen in the photos below, they are very spectacular at night but should really be seen first up close in the daytime as Jason and I did last year.

The Temple of Heracles (6th Century B.C.)

The first temple built on this sight in Agrigento, it was dedicated to the hero worshipped by both the Greeks as Heracles and by the Romans as Hercules.

The Temple of Concord (5th Century B.C.)

With its 34 columns, it is considered one of the best preserved Doric temples in the world.

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