Glorious medieval churches with glittering, gilded mosaic interiors, warm sun and cloudless blue skies, and a leisurely seafood lunch right at the edge of the sea...it was another perfect day in Sicily!
Our outing today took us out of crowded-but-fascinating Palermo, and along the coast, where rugged mountains march right to the sea, their lower slopes crowded with holiday villas and hotels, interspersed with date palms, and groves of citrus and olive trees.
There are flowers everywhere--deep violet-blue morning glories climbing over fences and ruined walls, hibiscus, and a number of trees with large pink blossoms I can't identify.( Most of us wanted a nap after that huge meal, but we had one more thing to seeCollapse )
Today was a fascinating (and jam-packed) tour of Palermo's Arabo-Norman architecture, dating from the 1100s, which combines Byzantine Greek, North African Islamic and Norman French styles. In the process, we managed to see much of the Old Town part of the city, as well as take a brief detour to Palermo's ancient Phoenician past.( From there, our weary and footsore party trudged the few blocks back to the hotel, passing by the "Fountain of Shame," a huge 16th-century Renaissance extravaganza decorated with lots of nude marble sculptures imported from Florence.Collapse )
Touching down in Palermo after a long 18-hr flight was like walking through a door into summer, with soft blue skies, fluffy clouds, and warm sunshine.
The small airport is right on the beach, and the 20 minute drive from the airport to the heart of the city was amazingly scenic, with rugged peaks plunging into clear blue-green Mediterranean waters, and flat-roofed, white-plastered houses surrounded by palm trees and masses of brilliantly-blooming bougainvillea.
Those of you who read this blog, and my other blog (at Michaela-August.com) know that I travel a lot, and that usually bring my mini-laptop along and blog about my adventures while I'm on the road.
I decided to go ahead and take the plunge to apply for the Best Job Ever...a one-year contract as a blogger and "Chief World Explorer" for Jauntaroo, a travel services company. I decided to take an alternate approach to the "Please hire me" plea—I created a sample 1-minute video travel blog. Many thanks to Alex Sato for helping me out yesterday as my cameraman and production assistant!
Please visit my video application page and click Like! I'm about a month behind the other candidates so I need every vote I can get!