Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Monreale (Sicily log 6)

Fortunately, the weather was not so hot today - at times, it was even fairly cloudy and as I write these words at 9:30pm, even a few drops of rain fell. Tomorrow is supposed to be even cooler, not that it will matter as tomorrow we fly home.

Today we decided to visit the neighbouring town of Monreale, mainly to see its cathedral. We had incomplete information about how to get there; we took a regular AMAT bus from Piazza Politeama to Piazza Indipendenza then another bus to Monreale itself. Unfortunately, the last stop of this second bus was about 1.5 km from the cathedral. As it happens, riding the bus with us was a group of French tourists along with a local who both spoke French and was going to the cathedral himself. He led our small group for a short walk until we reached a spot - although it wasn't clear to me what was going to happen next. A local taxi driver had created a shuttle service for himself, taking people to the cathedral for one euro each; we jumped at the chance.

The cathedral is definitely astounding and worth visiting, whereas the rest of the town isn't particularly interesting (at least, not to me). After a cheap lunch at one of the pizzerias lining the square in front of the cathedral, we were faced with the problem of how to return to Palermo. I wasn't looking forward to the option of telephoning the taxi driver who would take us to the suburban bus stop, then riding another two buses. There was a taxi in the square who took us back to Palermo - to our hotel, in fact - for twenty five euro; the ride lasted only twenty minutes. A much better option.

After resting, we went out again in the evening for a cup of tea at Bon Toast, then wandered around the area of Teatro Massima. After dark, the building is lit by several coloured spotlights, further enhancing the beauty of the building. Several photos ensued.

So, tomorrow we head for Palermo airport at lunchtime for a connecting flight to Rome, and thence to Israel. I doubt very much that I'll write anything tomorrow.

To sum up our holiday: Sorrento, si! Sicilia, no!

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