We saw a minor car accident ahead of the coach today. Each driver was claiming to the other that they had done nothing wrong. Bill say someone must have done something right – and that is why they had an accident 🙂
Today is another day dedicated to archeological sites and a long lunch. We arrive at Selinunte in the morning, and after lunch we continue on to Segesta.
Franco explains that survivors from the fall of Troy came to Selinunte in 1183 and mingled with the locals. He knows his history inside out, and I really should be ahead on some of this stuff – I was a member of the children’s radio club “The Argonauts”, for goodness sake! Anyway, the bottom line is that politics and power have been ever present, and between Cathargenians from Tunisia, and interference from Athens, and whoever else wanted to be involved, in the end both settlements were annihilated. What conflict did not destroy, earthquake did. What is left today are two archeological sites with the remains of temples that were built in harmony with the environment, in prominent positions on the hills so the gods would be happy.
Whether in original condition, collapsed or re-built, all the temples we have seen in Sicily have been impressive, especially when backed with a sky so clear and blue that it is indigo. Or with the cast of the setting sun flashing through its columns. Segesta has a point of difference. It has a temple that commenced construction in the 5th century. It was part of a contract between Athenians and the people of Segesta, a thank you for being their ally in an offensive. However, the battle was lost, so Segesta had nothing to be thankful for, and the temple was not completed. Yet the incomplete temple withstood the ravages of earthquakes. How ironic.
Often after our long lunches and wine, we are a little sleepy back on the bus. Franco tells us stories of mythology in a low soothing voice, making it even harder to stay awake. Franco has introduced us to a new expression, particularly when he is explaining the various liaisons between the male and female gods – it goes something like “michu-michu bow bow”. A made up expression which covers a range of goings on in a polite way. It has become a signature word on the tour.
Thursday 13th June 2013, Garrulous Gwendoline, Palermo, Sicily