Avi and I and Slim Jim are on a big Italy road trip. Our final stop was Sicily. We drove there from Pompeii, and took the ferry across. We spent a nice evening at a pebble beach below Mt. Etna and then drove up the mountain to stay at the lodge on Etna.
The next day we spent up on mount Etna. We took the cable car up. With Slim Jim, too! And then there was a bus that drove further up the crater. It was desolate just covered in volcanic rock, plus the crater was smoking. Sometimes the smoke would waft down the hill our direction!
Back lower on the mountain we explored some of the local tunnels and secondary craters. Avi spent a long time making a tower out of the sharp volcanic rock.
Our next stop was the Pantalica gorge, where we hoped to swim in the pools and explore some ancient necropolis sites tucked into cliff caves. Our drive there was long hot and when we arrived we discovered that Slim Jim wasn’t allowed. I was so bummed. We walked around in the creek below the area for a bit and then got in the car for another 2 hours backtracking a bit north and then westward to the town of San Leone on the coast. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the beach. It was warm and wonderful.
We spent the entire next day at the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. This former Greek colony was an amazingly large archaeological park and included some of the most famous Sicilian scenes. The temple of Concordia is especially scenic perched atop the cliff. We parked in the eastern lot and began our trip at the Temple of Juno, taking in all the sites as we wandered west. At the far western edge is the crumbled ruin of a massive Temple for Zeus. By the time we got there, we were hot. I had taken to picking up Slim Jim when we were on pavement in the sun since I figured it was too hot for little paws. Avi and I also took a bit to relax and have some water and a snack in the little olive grove.
We then returned to our guesthouse for a late afternoon nap before venturing out to town for some dinner.
Next morning we swam at the beach a bit and then began our drive north to catch a ferry home. We snagged a couple of cool geocaches on the way. One at an old Roman bridge and another at a huge cave – supposedly where the cyclops lived when Odysseus visited.