Italy & Tunisia 2005 >
Northwestern Sicily

After a brief stop in London, we flew to Palermo, spent a day and a half there, then an afternoon driving to Trapani. The next morning we took a ferry to Tunisia.
First we went to London to get over jet lag and to visit friends. A few pictures from London...
A main street in Palermo. More decor around Palermo...
Our day started with lunch at this popular spot. A Spleen Sandwich...
The main cathedral in Palermo. Inside the Cathedral...
There were lots of weddings the day we walked around Palermo.
Nothing seemed terribly unfamiliar or exotic.
The Piazza Pretoria.
Portrait of Dionysus as a young man. It's hard to imagine the sculptor getting any work done at these sittings.
One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from disquieting dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. The crawling figure here is evidently a ground-dwelling relative of the horripilant putti, those disembodied head-wing subassemblies straight off one of the more gruesomely riveting pages in a medical textbook of birth anomalies, who nonetheless crowd around Renaissance paintings adoring the subject matter. "Heaven's pigeons", one art critic called them; but his page is gone now. There must be a prayer for the deleted web pages.
The first night in Italy the hotel guy pointed us to a terrific little trattoria nearby, which was open late. The second night, we sought out Graziano (formerly Il Mulinazzo), a well-reviewed restaurant outside Palermo. We both had the tasting menu, which was delicious but was an immense amount of food (especially after kind of a big lunch.) The food...
We spent a few hours touring the Palazzo Reale, or Palazzo dei Normani, where the Sicilian Parliament meets. There's a church, and an extensive suite of fancy rooms where the Sicilian head of state used to live. Inside the Palace...
On the drive to Trapani, we stumbled on an ancient Greek site called Segesta, all because we wanted to get off the freeway and drive on smaller roads. Here's the Doric temple there.
On the walk up to the amphitheater, we noticed a forest of "snail trees". These snails are mostly dead.
The view from the amphitheater, including the freeway viaduct. Nothing stands in the way of a Roman engineer envisioning a bridge or a tunnel.
A ferry runs from Trapani to Tunis. The crossing takes all afternoon. Waiting for the ferry to leave, we saw this black boat which was there for the America's Cup race. i am sure that there are people who think we are just as strange for leaving town right as the America's Cup is cranking up, as we think they are strange for leaving just before an eclipse.
Domes above Trapani.
I don't know what this is. Nobody on the ferry was doing anything dramatic to take pictures of, at least not where I could see them. Sicily and Tunisia are conservative countries. Therefore, abstraction.
On to Tunisia

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