We left our little paradise on the water well rested, rejuvenated for the next days ahead, never too sure what to expect exactly. We have some idea where to go of course, Selinunte and then Segesta for more Greek ruins. Yet it's the little unexpected gems along the way that just give these destinations a fine tuning in a way.
We found Selinunte fairly easily. Once beyond the entrance gate, we were captivated by the temple in front of us. We arrived in the heat of mid afternoon, prepared. Sun screen, hats, water and cameras. A good distance beyond lie the ruins of additional temples, the acropolis. "I'm not walking there!" says Deb. "It's not as far as it looks", replies Karen. "Ok, if you're going, so am I" agrees Deb. Walks like that turn into little pilgrimages, adding to the perspective of the area. We finish an hour and a half of wandering and Deb says, "I'm so glad we walked those paths". The history of this place is astounding, Karen's pictures even more! (kidding).
Now a little tired, we made our way back into Selinunte town to find a B&B. We found one called Rose Garden, run by a young local couple. People here work hard and we get the sense things are certainly economically challenging here. We also found a restaurant nearby to enjoy Antipasto Siciliano e Pizza di Mare! We arrived a little after 6, but had to wait til they 'officially' opened at 7 before we could order something to eat. No problem, we shared a birra media between us, hooked up to wi-fi and loaded the next days' maps.
The meal was delicious and made us doubly tired.
Agrigento Convento con Suore Maria Gabriela ~ by Karen
On our way to Selinunte, we drove through Agrigento. I had looked for monasteries in the guide books the night before, mapping out the next day's journey and thought a little adventure into Agrigento would be fun. I found one call Santo di Spirito, a monastery with Cistercian history and a currently active cloister. It was another magical drive and discovery. We happened to drive right to the closest street, stopped at the right spot and then as we walked to the entrance of the monastery, we could hear chanting inside and the half hour bells went off as we stood there. Then, to make it all more perfect, an Italian couple arrived and entered inside the cloister. We hung around and as Sister Maria Gabriela met with the couple to give them a tour of the church, she asked if we wanted to join them, even though she had limited English and the tour was really for the couple. Of course we tagged along and were delighted to find a church filled with sculpted walls, all in alabaster. After about 20 minutes, we gave the Suore 3 euro for her kindness. In our disbelief of Sunday morning timing and luck, we rounded the corner to a cafe and savoured another cappuccino. Then, with our little Fiat parked just around the corner, we headed out of town to Selinunte.