Saturday, May 26, 2007

Trapani and Erice, Sicily. Coastal promontories

Erice and Trapani. Two different towns, different functions, but closely tied.  Erice is the hilltop defense area.  Trapani is the exposed port.

Sicily has Odyssean connections: Homer's Odyssey, Books X, see; and XI.  Here lived the giant cannibals, known as the Laistrygonians.  When Odysseus landed during his voyage from Troy, they attacked him and his crew, and destroyed 11 of Odysseus' ships by hurling stones at them.  Only Odysseus and his crew escaped. See Archeology Odyssey September-October 2000 at p.70, article, "The Long Voyage Home".  

1.  Promontories and Identification by Shapes and Trees.

 Trapani.  As seen from Erice, the refuge town up the mountainside. Or is it?

We must be wrong here, because Images shows Trapani with its beaches going the other way - ours is an opening parenthesis; theirs is a closing parenthesis. And the promontories are a little different.  Is ours Mondello Beach near Palermo instead?  See a similar view that is Mondello Beach, near Palermo,
from www://

Trapani and its beaches, from Erice up the mountain. Fair use thumbnail from
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It is difficult to tell one from the other when the main difference is the view upwind or downwind.  Images on websites conflict, as though other tourists had the same problem.

The thumbnails with the closed parenthesis shape must be Trapani, however, seen from Erice, because this thumbnail shows the promontory actually from Erice, up the mountain.  This thumbnail fair use from ://  Or is this promontory too pointy at the top?
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This fair use thumbnail from
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2.  Erice. 

Erice is a cliff-top town on a mountaintop at the western coast. See Erice was the son of Venus and Neptune, and he is said to have founded the city 3000 years ago.  See ://   Trojans after their disastrous war landed in Sicily and founded both Erice and Segesta, says the site.  There is also a fine little map of the area, so you can find it easily. It looks like views from Erice go either up this way of the parenthesis or down that way, so maybe we are right at the top after all.

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Thumbnail of Erice - from ://

That looks like ours, but then we had second thoughts because ours looks so much larger.  Is this Enna? We put it there as well, and just are not sure

.  Choices on trips:  making exact notes and disrupting everything as you go, or sit in the evening and reconstruct where we were, and what pictures we took.  Or, as happens, do catch-up because it is just too much fun going around and snapping.

Erice is a must-see. Steep road snakes up, but buses do navigate it. Once there, see the vistas down to the coast and saltpan areas below. Tiny, cobblestone streets, patterns in the stone. See this biker on one at

Cars possible, but just barely. We should not have gone so far in to the old town.  We had no accidents, but the streets are too narrow for comfort. Be careful of the strict parking rules - check at your hotel where exactly you can park, and note the time when your car has to be moved. On a return, we would leave the car in main tourist area - drive around a little at first, then retreat and park.  Always a concern for break-ins, but so far we have been lucky.

Trapani's saltpans produce elegant salts that sell fancy for holidays here. See opportunities to buy holiday salt - example,

2.  Trapani's Religious procession. Icons.

We Found a lovely old church in the old town, with the life-size painted wooden statues and figures carried aloft in religious processions.

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Fair use thumbnail from :// The figures in the processions date from the 17th and 18th centuries. See If you tried to find this particular little church, to see its fine old wooden figures, you would get lost. We were lost, and just stopped the car to get a walk, and there it was.

See Youtube videos of  the Easter procession, I Misteri, at ://

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This is the lovesicily site, fair use thumbnail.

The second video at the site has clearer sound, and is more moving with the color, dirge-like swaying of the porters with the heavy poles on their shoulders, and statues aloft, and vistas. Here is one from 2007, not nearly so dramatic, and too short. At ://

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