Sicily - Day 2: Palermo to Segesta to Scopello (by car and bike)

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In the morning, we had breakfast at our hotel, then Roberta met us for our tour briefing. After orienting us to all the maps, she drove us to Segesta, where we explored the ruined temple while she put the wheels on the bikes. Then we all tried out our bikes, after which Joe, Scott, and i stuck around to look at the archaeological site some more, while the rest of the group headed to Scopello directly.

First breakfast in Sicily, featuring what we eventually decided were persimmons, croissants filled with jam, and an extremely salty cheese containing red pepper flakes and herbs

Roberta's van is loaded with our bikes and ready to go

Sarah, Tom, and Dave, ready to go

Bill, Tom, and David, ready to go

en route to Segesta, ruins on a hilltop

en route to Segesta, about to enter a tunnel

ruined temple in Segesta, visible on a hillside above a gelato and souvenir shop

ruined temple in Segesta

Tom, in front of houses on a hill near the Segesta archaeological site

hillside near Segesta

Sarah and Tom, near the ruined temple

we have our bikes and are ready to go

the ruined temple, in context

hillside; we suspect the plants in the foreground were blackened by fire

ruins of the agora

ruins of a building

the wheel! (reused as a building material)

columns and a wall in the ruins

view from the ruins

read all about about medieval church whose ruins are here

one of these buildings is the ruined church

approaching the walls of the amphitheatre

the amphitheatre

Scott in the amphitheatre

more amphitheatre

an elevated highway snaking off to the northeast

the strip of land containing the airport is visible across the water in the distance

more hillside views

interior of the ruined church

watch out for the trick step

don't drop your camera in the bottomless pit

more church ruins

information about the 12th century mosque in the ruins

ruins from above

a wall in the ruins

more building ruins

more information about the agora

looking up at the ruined church

looking down at the ruins of something round

the temple from above

we saw these guys all week, though i did not get enough information to identify them as worms or beetles

ruins of somewhere you don't want to be

After checking out the archaeological site, Joe, Scott, and i headed out for our first bike ride, a zig-zag north through the mountains to Scopello. We had a nice ride, despite the first of several encounters with wild dogs and the first of several encounters with racing the sunset to our hotel. We had dinner at a restaurant which took an hour to get us a table and served us very slowly, and provided vast quantities of food in each portion. It was a little silly, but much of the food was tasty.

Scott, ready to get underway

ruined buildings by the side of the road

everybody likes windmills! (i like windmills. you'll be seeing more of these guys)

Scott, underway

trees, mountains, clouds, hills, windmills: all the things

we take a break after an incorrect shortcut up a steep hill near Bruca

more windmills, as we climb up towards Scorace Woods

I was slightly confused by this picture, because you can see water here, and at the time i assumed it was the water to the north (the Golfo di Castellamare) towards which we were riding. But in fact it can't be, because we're still going northwest and the view is off the left side of the road. So the water in the background must be the west side of Sicily, including the islands off Marsala we'll be seeing later in the week

more of the same, windmills and water --- google corroborates that the windmills are to the south, so this view has to be southwest

map of hiking areas in Scorace Woods (irrelevant to my crazy theories about water orientation)

we stop in this park in Scorace Woods (which turns out not to be the stop recommended by our cue sheets, but rather an earlier one)

bark peeling off a tree

an amusing illustrated sign about correct mushroom-picking practices (oddly, 'avoid poisonous mushrooms' is not mentioned as a good practice)

Don't go to Fulgatore

Joe and Scott, thinking about going to Fulgatore

a glimpse of one of the lakes on the interior of Sicily

more hills and windmills

i think the mountain in the background must be one of the ones on the north coast (i'm thinking Monte Cofano), though perhaps i am confused about this too

the road winds on (there's that mountain again)

Scott, stopping or going or underway or something

shy snail hiding in the grass

not-shy snail, doing snail things

a rock that looks like a sheep. or possibly like a rock

solar panels on a tile roof

we're going to the right

switchback and mountains

beginning of sunset over the mountains (oops)

a cave

inscription above the gate of what i think is the Castello di Baida

we briefly stop to read about the Castello di Baida, but encounter a stray dog and decide to move along

panorama of sunset over the Golfo di Castellamare

we're not supposed to be out after dark, but these clouds are great

more sunset

sunset over the Golfo di Castellamare

this water is definitely the northern edge of Sicily (you can see the airport again in the fog)

Scott looking at the view

me, not looking at the view

by the time we reached the hotel, it was pretty much dark

At dinner, we encountered an island where all clams are truthtellers and all sardines are liars, or possibly vice versa

decorative clock, plus bonus gecko tail

gelatinous potato cube

a reasonably tasty amaro

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