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Published: April 20th 2010
This was our (Joe, Andrew, Mike and Gerry) third annual trip. Last year we went to Andalusia in Spain and in 2007 we went to Lamezia in Italy.
As much as people slag off Ryanair, you can't beat them for price and they're ideal for a 4 day long weekend to somewhere obscure but reasonably warm in the middle of winter. This year we went to Trapani in Sicily from 28th Feb - 3rd March 2009.
Joe secured a friend's 20 year old sporty Toyota to drive us to Luton airport, setting off at 3.45am! It had a very low back and it managed to give me a crick in my neck and both legs!
The flight took 2hrs 50mins to Trapani on the west coast of Sicily about an hour's drive to Palermo, the capital. The plane lands at the small Trapani airport. We picked up our hire car, a Fiat Croma, and drove to our accommodation, the Abita Apartments, up a narrow street in the old town. The apartment is in a lovely old 16th century palace and breakfast is served in a typical open courtyard not dissimilar to the one in our aparthotel in Spain
last year. We're not far from the harbour either.
In the evening we went to the local pizza restaurant which was absolutely mobbed so we decided to go for a wander and find somewhere else. We couldn't find anything suitable so we went back to the pizza place and waited in a queue for ages! Pizzas were good especially Mike's chip pizza!
On the Sunday we went to Erice, a mountain village shrouded in mist and in the summer months hoaching with tourists. It was deserted and eerie, very atmospheric. It was built on the site of the ancient (hundreds of years BC) Temple of Venus, which was revered by the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Greeks and the Romans. Legend has it that Hercules visited this city and fought Eryx and defeated him. In a little deli-type shop Joe and I bought some expensive pesto stuff, which we would later regret.
From Erice we continued down the coast to San Vito Lo Capo and the lovely Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro where we went for a walk.
The next day we drove to Segesta where there's an archaelogical site with an impressive 5th century Greek Temple and
an amphitheatre built into the hillside. From there we were within striking distance of Palermo. We drove into the capital but couldn't find anywhere to park or anything of much interest. Eventually we got parked and we wandered around some grubby old streets and were generally pretty bored. We didn't stay long as the evening was drawing in and it would be dark by the time we left the city. I was disappointed in Palermo as I fully anticipated it having lovely old buildings, character and style but we found little of that, maybe it's there somewhere but we certainly didn't come across it!
In the morning we left for the airport, on the way Mike wanted to stop off at a supermarket, where he stocked up on all sorts of things you could otherwise get back home! At the airport we went straight to the waiting lounge as we had no luggage to check in, Mike got through security no bother but both Joe and I got stopped because we had jars of pesto! I protested that this was food not liquid but the stony-faced officer was having none of it (personally I think she had taken a
fancy to the stuff and hoped we would leave it with her - but I wasn't going to give her the pleasure! Anyway it had cost me £7 to buy it!). So Joe volunteered to take both jars and put them in his bag and then check the bag in downstairs. Joe was gone a long time and we got a bit worried when we had all boarded and there was still no sign of him. I feared for my pesto! Eventually he turned up, somewhat breathless and red in the face! Turns out good old Ryanair had charged him £38 to check the bag in! So that means the one little jar of bloody paste had cost us £26 each! I swear Mike had a little smirk on his face.
Denise (my wife) didn't like the pesto and I desparately tried to enjoy it but eventually gave up and put it in the bin.
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