Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Honeymoon VII – The Valley of Temples

kimwithpanda

In Palermo we rented a Fiat Panda, drove east and then headed south straight across the middle of Sicily. Aggressive driving in strange place with near anarchy came natural to Kim, so I let her do all the driving.


siciliancountrywside

The countryside reminded me of Central California, like the hillsides south of Salinas. The difference is that you come across sights like this one, which aren't even listed on tourist maps.

highwaybridge

I've always heard Sicily described as a poor area, but that wasn't apparent from its highway infrastructure. Rather than just carve the highway through the countryside like we do, much of it was elevated like in the photo above. It's mind boggling to think about how much this would cost. Two small bridges over the Mad River run at least $40 million, so how much did this cost?


Kimwithsign

Kim got to visit the towns where her ancestors came from – San Cataldo and Serra Di Falco, located more or less in the middle of Sicily.

town

Here's San Cataldo.

giambra

We visited a cemetery and came across a Giambra crypt. We don't know if they're related, but they might be. After exploring the two towns, we made our way to the southern coast and visited the Valley of Temples.


valleyoftemples

This is the Temple of Juno, built in the 450 BC by the Greeks.

Templekim

Here's The Goddess in front of the Temple of Concordia.

valleyoftemplesjack

And that's me.


templepillars

This is the Temple of Hercales, one of the oldest at the site. As you can see, we practically had the park to ourselves.

zeussonback

Although this looks like the Michelin Man, it's Zeuss.

humansacrifce

Nearby we found evidence of human sacrifice.

hillsidefromvot

In the distance, we saw mysterious structures.

wallsattemples

If they'd let me, I'd grab a shovel and dig for artifacts near these old city walls.

catacombs

Here are some catacombs!

temple

Amazing.

templesunset

It was beautiful as the sun went down and the temples glowed in the orange light.

hotelnearagrigento

We drove down to the sea and got a room at an empty hotel. He had our own patio.

viewfromhotelnearagrigneto

Here's the view from our room. The sky was dramatic. That night, we had one of the best meals ever.


kimwithboat

The next morning we walked on the beach, then drove west along the coast.

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