Sicily - Day 5: Marsala to Selinunte (by bike)

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This was a long day of riding, into the worst headwind of the trip. We'd hoped to have time for both optional detours, to the Cave di Cusa from which the Greeks quarried the stone to make Selinunte, and to the archaeological site at Selinunte itself. Joe, Scott, and i instead wound up heading directly to Selinunte, where we met up with Dave and Sarah (who did make it to the cave as well). As compensation for our slow progress, we did get to try arancini (not photographed) at a bar on the way. Our lodging that night was at Casa di Latomie, the first of the agriturismos we would stay in on the trip. There we found a dart board, an extremely silly miniature pool table, and an excellent meal in the dining room.

in Marsala, Bill and i got a vast two-story hotel room with this stairwell between the floors

stone stairs in our hotel

Dave in a glass elevator in the hotel

correction: Dave trapped in a glass elevator in the hotel

baked pear at breakfast


pomegranates growing on a tree in the hotel courtyard

Castelvetrano olive tree!

Castelvetrano olives! I tried one. They were... relatively not disgusting, in the context of raw olives. This is not saying very much


the countryside, relatively flat on today's ride

olive trees in the countryside


it may have been flat, but it was incredibly windy

i took several photos of this field, probably as a transparent excuse to take a break from fighting the wind

more grapevines and fields

We stop at benches behind this roadside shrine and eat the picnic lunch of pita, meat, and cheese we bought in Marsala

the front of the roadside shrine

bricks at the corner of the road

spiky plants in the wind

a water feature

our cue sheet said to turn right by eucalyptus trees after a bridge, so we guessed these must be eucalyptus trees

the right turn took us across a field through this lane, continuing into the same punishing headwind as before

we were relieved to finally reach the end of the lane and find ourselves on larger roads

Joe looks at the stop sign

building in Campobello di Mazara

art in the main square in Campobello di Mazara

we saw a huge number of prickly pears by the side of the road on our way to Selinunte

landscape on the way to Selinunte

landscape on the way to Selinunte - see section below for photos taken at the archeological site itself

plate at the Casa di Latomie agriturismo

skewers of meat, at dinner

some manner of tools, on the wall of our room at the agriturismo

Joe, Scott, Sarah, and i spent a couple of hours walking around the archaeological site at Selinunte, which included the ruins of five temples in various stages of reconstruction, the foundation of an agora (marketplace), and the entire ruined city of Selinunte, which was sacked and abandoned by the Carthaginians around 250 BCE.

entrance to the archaeological park at Selinunte

the Temple of Hera, the best preserved (reconstructed, i think) of the temples at Selinunte

a pile of temple parts

south-side view of Temple of Hera

north-side view of Temple of Hera

STOP playing Ingress

end-view of Temple of Hera

looking inside the Temple of Hera

more temple parts

tab A goes in slot B (N.B. tab A disintegrated two millennia ago, and is not pictured)

berries growing inside a bush

big column base

big column base on top of a pile of temple parts

Sarah in front of big column base

the ruined city, from a distance

winding road in front of the ocean

looking back at the Temple of Hera as we walk towards the ruined city

'Why is there a dance venue in the middle of this archeological site?' you ask, but no one can tell you

landscape and buildings near the archaeological site

looking down the road towards ancient Selinunte

the walls of ancient Selinunte

ancient Selinunte, on its hill overlooking the sea

raspberries grow everywhere

One of many slightly scary-looking plants we found in the grass near the agora

panorama of the agora near ancient Selinunte

ruins of the agora

the ocean

another view of the temple and walls of ancient Selinunte

exterior wall of the ancient city

another view along the exterior of the ancient city

beach near the ancient city

maybe the big waves have something to do with all the wind, who can say

outlines of houses inside the city

a box and some columns

street to the temple

walls of buildings

closeup of wall

ruined rooms and buildings in front of the temple

more ruined buildings

probably a cell tower

looking down to the west from the ancient city

Scott, in ancient Selinunte

a road in the ancient city

the ants of Selinunte have constructed an amphitheatre

an exterior wall of the city

buildings towards the northern part of the city

the ruin of something round

half an arch, not obviously better than none

more straight roads

a water trough or bathtub or something

mortar and pestle, for grinding very big spices

information about the walls at the northern end of Selinunte

footbridge and large stone structures visible in the northern end of the city

view from the ancient city back towards the Temple of Hera

city walls, seem from the northern end of the city

looking inside a room at the northern end of the city

a building in the northern end of the city

a large ruin in the northern end of the city

Scott, investigating the ruins

not sure what this is - maybe excavated columns and stones laid out for inspection?

looking south towards the central square of the city

looking into the wall separating the northern part of the city

my point is simply that there is some circumstantial evidence of a prevailing wind direction in this city

more beach

we walk back towards the temple and the parking lot where we left our bikes

plant with enormous spiky needles - exercise caution

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