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Bus to Agrigento...

Continued from: Trapani, Segesta, Erice and Favignana...

Trapani to Agrigento by bus (journey time 3 hrs, 50 minutes)

After a warm send off of hugs and kisses from Lori, I departed Secret B&B and walked to Egatour Viaggi (travel agency across the Liberty Ferry Port) to buy my bus ticket. There were only a couple of passengers waiting when the blue ‘Lumia’ bus arrived promptly at 9:30AM.

About 30-40 minutes into the journey, once we had left the city behind, the driver asked the man sitting across from me if he had closed the hold of the bus (since he was the last one to board) The man answered, “non lo so, ma penso di si” (I don’t know but think so). Not a very reassuring answer I thought as my gaze turned to him and we both looked at each other in dismay at the prospect that we may have just lost our luggage! The driver kept driving and didn’t appear to be concerned… and he had no intention to stop.
So I sat there thinking, what if I did lose my luggage? All my clothes were in there!

I tried not to let this possible misfortune distract me from the beautiful scenery of green rolling hills, perfectly planted vineyards, and olive and orange groves.
I actually considered getting off to check for my luggage, at the next stop, but I felt like a fish swimming upstream when a multitude of passengers were attempting to board the bus, so I gave up.
What’s the point? I thought. I will just wait till we arrive to Agrigento.

[At one point along the journey we were following the caravan of the Tour d’Italia. It consisted of several shiny colorful luxury buses followed by a matching colored car loaded with racing bicycles on their roofs}

The road hugged the coast as we approached Sciacca and there were long stretches of amazing turquoise sea and beautiful beaches.

When we finally arrived to Agrigento, the traffic was very heavy and the bus stopped just past the train station. When I opened the hold, I was so delighted to see my small navy blue spinner.
You would have thought that my spinner had a mind of its own because when I placed it on the sidewalk, it began to roll down the sidewalk and it landed on the curve as it became trapped by the bus itself! I wondered what the bus driver thought, since he had to wait for me to retrieve my bag before I could shut the hold.

When I arrived to B&B Portatenea, Sandra, the owner, was waiting for me. She welcomed me, gave me a map of the town and promptly explained that I should visit the Valley of the Temples that very afternoon because the following morning would be very crowded and the buses would not be running due to the Giro d’Italia.

After a nice lunch at Zoe’s recommended restaurant “Sal8”, I walked to the train station and got tickets for the bus “2/ “ to the nearby Valley of the Temples.

I spent a couple of hours admiring the extensive ancient temple ruins that have amazingly survived so many different civilizations over the centuries.
My favorite was Temple della Concordia.

The following morning, a beautiful sunny day, I left the B&B and walked up, many stairs and narrow cobblestone streets, towards the cathedral, and visited many of the churches along the path known as the "Path of Art and Faith"; Church of San Lorenzo, Church of San Domenico, Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Greci, the cathedral (presently undergoing repairs, so only viewed part of its interior)

I also visited the Museo Diocesano (Diocesan Museum)

Continued...

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I ate a simply delicious lunch at a tiny place across the cathedral where the two young chefs make delicious panini with their freshly baked bread, and pizza. After lunch, I walked toward Chiesa San Giorgio but it was closed. I continued walking down the narrow quiet labyrinth streets with no one in sight, except for a small furry white dog that initially followed me then it lead me down the narrow streets for a short distance until it disappeared into an alley.
I love how most of the ancient stone homes have balconies. Some of which are decorated with beautiful potted flowering plants, others are plain, and many were proudly displaying their laundry gently drying in the warm sun.

Since most shops close down in the middle of the day (13:00- 16:30), I decided to go to the bus stop to try to buy my bus ticket for the following morning, and guess what?
The young man behind the ticket window said, “ritorna domani” (come back tomorrow)

On my way back to my B&B, I stopped at the Vodafone store to ask a question about my SIM card (purchased at Milano Centrale) then returned to my room to rest my weary feet.

At around 6pm, I ventured out to find ‘Gelateria Le Cuspidi’, on Piazza Cavour (Piazza Cavour, 19)
I got my favorite combination; pistachio, chocolate and strawberry, creamy and delicious.
I sat on the piazza and enjoyed watching a group of young boys playing volleyball with an invisible net. I love how children are so imaginative. There were many young mothers congregated on the benches along the piazza while their children played soccer or simply ran around freely. A young mother with a baby and a toddler sat next to me, and I was quite surprised to see that she was feeding gelato, to her 8 month-old baby boy!

I sat there enjoying the children’s joyful screams and chatter for quite a while until a ball went flying past me and just missed my head!

On the way back to the B&B, I noticed a small florist with beautiful colorful flowers, so I decided to buy a small flowering plant for Sandra who had been such a nice and kind host.

The next morning I took the bus to Piazza Armerina…

Continued here:Piazza Armerina and Villa Romana del Casale...