Trippin’ to Trapani

A beautiful morning for a long ride to Trapani, the capital of Trapani province. The road along the northern coast opens up new vistas that prove Vanessa’s claim that Sicily is beautifully verdant and mountainous. The valleys start showing off miles and miles of vineyards and olive groves. This is, after all, Sicily’s largest wine area. It’s primary grape is grillo that is used for it’s crisp acidity, used for some good dry whites and for adding richness to Marsala wines.

We pass large numbers of wind turbines, and entering the newer part of Trapani see the manufacturing facilities for those gigantic wind machines. We are at the far western point of Sicily where the city was founded by ancient Elymians who said they were descendants of the Trojans. The wealth of the area was based on the salt pans by the sea still very active today. It’s very special salt say those in the know (we buy some of course).

We entered the special old city for an incredible surprise (after parking at the sprawling, but plain port area. The pristine look of being carefully cared for gave off really clean, comfortable vibes. Only two long walking streets (in the shape of a “T”) make up the area.

Beautiful churches and municipal complexes are welcoming. There are no crowds this time of year so we have a quiet reign, merging with the locals.

A church, converted (no pun) to a museum had an wonderful exhibit related to the meanings and interpretations of the resurrection, stations of the cross and more.

At the end of the pedestrian street paralleling the beach Marsha and I continued with Vanessa to her favorite bakery to buy some lunch to eat on the beach below the town wall. Local pizzas and a scrumptious aranchine (how they spell it) filled with a meat ragu. We all met up again for our primary destination, a white knuckle switch back climb up the mountain to Erice.

Erice is 2500 feet above sea level, a medieval city paved in cobblestones with mountain top palaces and fountains…and plenty of places to shop and eat.

It’s just a bit windy on top, but we’re rewarded with treats from a renowned pastry shop. Unfortunately for Marsha most of the delectable are based in marzipan (not her favorite), but delicious none the less and braced with a bit of Marsala flavored with almonds of course.

Back to the hotel to get a quick bite, pack, and get ready for a really long travel day tomorrow, fully across the Island to Agrigento and Taormina. Rest up!

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