Its Keith. Deb and I dropped Karen off at the airport this morning, sadly and she is winging her way home right now. So this my first full day in Sicily. My first impressions are pretty positive. I keep staring up at these craggy mountains surrounding the coastline as we drive by and wondering whether they could possibly be real. Although this is the dry season here, it seems pretty lush to me, with tons of full sized trees that would be houseplants in our world. It was sunny today, kind of breezy and pretty perfect climatically. I was expecting humid, killer heat like in the tropics but along the coast here it has been great so far. The food has been good – we ate take out tonight from the local market and had fresh mozzarella, the best sun dried tomatoes I have ever tasted, some ham and artichokes. Since we were headed to Palermo to drop off Karen we stopped in at Trepani, a mid sized city that the guide book said had an interesting baroque downtown – I think they were underestimating the place. There was a huge area of nearly perfectly intact buildings that ranged from the 16th to 18th c., when the area got rich off of salt, I think. We checked out the salt flats where they still collect it. Then it was off to the medieval town of Erice just up the mountain from Trepani. Deb and Karen drove up the mountain when they were here before, occasionally burning rubber along the way,s o this time Deb and I took the cable car – way cool. The town seemed deserted to us except for a bunch of knuckle heads in jump suits – they are having a big car race tomorrow using the narrow roads in the area as a course. The churches and public buildings in Erice are beautiful – the whole town seemed like it couldn’t have survived from the 11th, 12th century and later but it has. I get a sense that the area has been Disney-fied a bit, but the views off the top of this mountain out to the sea and to the surrounding countryside were breath taking. My puny new camera could not do it justice, even though I tried pretty hard. Its late and time to get some shut eye for us – Im still a wee bit jet lagged, but totally looking forward to pulling up stakes and heading for Palermo – the regional capitol tomorrow.