Medeval Erice with its winding, hairpin bendy road approach, is a delight. The town balances on the edge of a mountain and the views are terrific. There are more churches here than you can shake a stick at. Christmas songs in English rang out along the street. The cable car drops dizzyingly down into Trapani from the 750 meter high town.
Cofano reserve is basically the large rock you see in the first picture, rescued from the devastation of the quarriers in the next valley by a preservation order. Once again the walk and the scenery is spectacular. The Grotta Mangiapane near Scurati is a prehistoric cave with a hamlet built in and around it. Quite unique.!
We arrived at San Vito on 9th December. Campsite very quiet and great facilities. The Zingaro reserve is beautiful and unspoiled with lots of well marked walking trails. Found Porcupine quills but no sign of the beast. Wild iris were amazing, fields full of them. Apparently there were dolphin but we missed them. Some lovely beaches for when the weather gets warmer again.
Today we took a trip from the mainland to the island of Mozia. This was originally a Phoenician city from the eighth century BC. The whole island is one big excavation site in progress. Most of what the world knows of these people comes from here or the Bible. The statue of a Greek youth is from the 5th century BC.
Visit to old Lilybaeum and the museum in modern day Marsala . No photos allowed in museum so cannot show the Old Punic warship from 280BC it makes the Mary Rose look a bit sad. For the outdoor visit our guide (who spoke no English) handed over to a group a local school kids. Marco could speak very good english and insisted that he give us a guide tour of the ruins and later of Marsala itself. We were ably escorted by about ten very bright, very friendly, sixteen year olds who made our visit a really special day. Really could not see that happening in the UK. Even got an invitation to join them for lunch at home, we graciously declined but the thought was wonderful.
Above the town of Sambuca these 6th century BC ruins of a town stand at around 1000meters above sea level. The city was destroyed around 250 BC and was not excavated until 1968. The road up to them is very steep and tortuous and made the scooter and me struggle a bit. Well worth it though. The ruins were closed for the afternoon but the staff invited us in anyway and no charge. Another unmissable site.
We started this walk at 1400 meters and climbed steadily to 1800 m. The scenery was amazing. We spotted a family of wild boar on the mountain side, this was a first for us. Also deer running everywhere. Lovely day but very cold at this altitude.