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Published: September 5th 2018
Today we didn't need to leave our accommodation until 10am, which meant a more relaxing start to the day. The reason for this was to avoid being at our tour destination this afternoon, in the heat of the day. So off we headed for our drive to our next destination - Agrigento. Along the way we stopped to take photos of the Turkish Steps (Scala dei Turchi). The steps are sparkling white rocks, juttimg out into the Mediterranean Sea and from where we stopped to take photos they looks like steps. It has a similar look to it like Pamakule in Turkey although the story goes that it was named the Turkish steps as it prevented the Turks from invading this area. Anyway, it is a stunning sight! It is illegal to walk along them as Sicily is trying to get this site protected as part of UNESCO World Heritage but in true Italian style, there were heaps of people walking along them.
We then drove on to San Leone, a little beachside town that seems to have an inordinate amount of restaurants! This was our lunch destination and Michele suggested we didn't all head to the same restaurant, as
this would slow down the service. Jackie, Sue, Paul and I headed off quite quickly and decided to walk a far distance before stopping at one of the restaurants. We ordered a lovely seafood pasta and some salad and shared a bottle of wine. It was all very delicious and an enjoyable time.
Then it was time for our tour for today - a visit to the Valley of Temples near Agrigento. We arrived at 3pm and it was still very hot but at least there was a nice breeze. This area was included into the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1997 and you could certainly see why. It is one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture. Each temple has been placed along the ridge that overlooks the valley, giving the whole area a sense of grandeur. We started at the highest temple, with our local guide explaining all about it, and then wandered down the slight incline to each of the four main structures. The best and most intact temple is the Temple of Concordia, which has been the most preserved. It was also fascinating along the way to see remenants of the
natural city wall as well as the many, many tombs that were evident in the wall and many places along the ground.
After exploring all the temples and the areas along the way, we then visited the Kolymbetra gardens at the end. This was a very pleasant relief from the sun and heat and we saw how they have been able to utilise this fairly arid land to grown beautiful fruit and vegetables as well as many trees and plants. Once we got to the end of the gardens, we crossed a railway line and then saw the remenants of another temple where only 2 columns was visible. We then walked our way back through the the garden and climbed up the steps on our way out.
From here we the drove to our accommodation for the next two nights in Agrigento - another Baglio called Hotel Foresteria Baglio della Luna. Time for a quick freshen before heading down to happy hour and a long overdue Aperol Spritz! We sat outside in the beautiful courtyard area and chatted prior to heading inside for our dinner. So far every dinner (and breakfast) has been included in our tour, which
has been a nice surprise.
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