Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Opening Trip - Agrigento

The night before we left Palermo someone made a joke about my facial hair so I asked the only real judges, a group of girls what they thought. One of them said that it reminded them of the game Guess Who when you ask if their person has facial hair... and so now the goatee is no more.

The morning the goatee died :(

We left Palermo to go on a tour of a thousand temples, not really but it felt like a thousand. I will do my best to accurately describe them but they were quite a blur. The first place we stopped was Segesta to tour one of the longest continuously standing Classic Doric Greek temples in the world, it was built around 500 BC and has been standing ever since, it has had some restorations done to maintain its structural integrity but other than that it has had no work done. While we were there our guide discussed some of the optical corrections that the Greeks used to make the temple look perfect while mathematically correct. Amongst other things they put a slight curve in the floor so that it would look flat from far away and they tilted the outer columns inward to create the illusion that they were standing straight up, if they had put them straight up from a distance it would look as though they were falling out.

Temple at Segesta

The Wolfpack in front of the Temple

For lunch we went to the beach, the food was a little disappointing, I tried everything but it just wasn't that good. There was octopus and other seafood, the octopus was both tough and sandy, it would have it been easier to eat if it didn't look like octopus. They had some kind of pizza that was pretty good. There were cannoli at the restaurant but my table was to far down the beach and by the time I got there I was too late... no cannoli for me, yet.
For the afternoon we went to Selinunte, the site of an ancient city that was built by the Greeks around the same time as Segesta. Here there were many temples, we saw the temples dedicated to Zeus and Hera. The Temple of Hera was reconstructed and we were allowed to walk through it. the Temple of Zeus was a pile of rubble but it was a huge pile. While we were there we learned about how the Greeks developed some sort of crane system to build their temples. We also learned that there is no marble temples on Sicily, the temples were made out of sandstone or limestone and then given a whitewash.

Temple of Hera (Reconstructed)

Dinner that night was amazing. It was a salad course, a pasta course, a main course, and a dessert. The dessert was a very tart lime gelato with a strawberry syrup, it was amazing, I had two servings. More of the same for breakfast the next morning, then it was off to the temples.

We went to the Valle dei Templi with its many temples and other anchient structures. This tour was very interesting. The temples were built on the hills surrounding an anchient city. We saw the temples of Zeus, Hera, and Hurcules. The temple of Hurcules had been fully restored by a wealthy business man many years ago. The Temple for Zeus is the third largest temple ruins in the world. There was also evidence of the early Christians in the former city wall and in the surrounding stone structures.

The Christian grave sites near the city wall

Friends in the most holy section of one of the temples

Us in front of the temple

After the temple we went to the ocean for lunch, I went and purchased my own panini, it was delicious. We stayed at the beach 'til three, swimming, sunning, and having a good time. We had another delicious dinner, it was delicious again. We had swordfish and dessert was some kind of pistachio ice cream cake.


  1. Hi, Adrian! Hey, great blogging so far - this is really interesting and you write well! I'll enjoy touring Italy with you!

  2. Hi Adrian,
    How fitting that the goatee would come to an end based on something from the game Guess many times have I heard "does your person have facial hair?". I appreciate your balanced approach to temples, churches, and food.
    Love, Mom (for all)

  3. AWESOME! I'm going to live my dream vacation vicariously through you. Hope you don't mind :) love ya!

  4. this has been fun to read Adrian.... and I love to hear about all the wonderful places to eat and hang out!!

    love to you Adrian!! Praying for you...

    Aunt Linda