Till took Friday afternoon off work and we made our way to Stansted airport for a Ryanair flight to Palermo, Sicily. Lucky we didn’t book British Airways as their systems crashed and all flights were cancelled on the long weekend. It was a complete disaster!
We arrived about 9 pm, picked up the hire car and drove about 40 minutes into the centre of Palermo. Till drove and it was a bit nerve racking for her as she hadn’t driven since Christmas and this was on the wrong side of the road at night. And … I have to tell you it was seriously hard work in Sicily … way crazier than the Italians on the mainland. They just wander everywhere and there is a distinct lack of lane lines!
Anyway I navigated us to the B&B I had booked … well the street anyway. It was seriously slumsville and I thought “owe my god what have I done!” We couldn’t even see anything that looked remotely like a B&B. So I jumped out and phoned the owner. Alessandro came straight out and said “move over I’ll drive”. So we basically just went around the block (all one way streets so difficult) and on the way he pointed out what we should do tomorrow. He parked the car in a lock up enclosed area and helped us into the B&B which was eclectic and great! Phew!!! And he was delightful!
He asked us if we were hungry and of course we were. It was 11.15 pm by now but he walked us to a restaurant around the corner that you would never find in a pink fit and introduced us to the owner. I had pizza and it was the best pizza I have ever had. I never want to have another one because it will just be a disappointment.
When we went to pay the bill the owner took care of it and gave us a discount!
Next morning we slept in then headed to breakfast just in time. The little room was hopping with other guests. Once again I had the best pastry I have ever had in my life … forget French food. This was fabulous!
The green pastry! It was pistachio! I never want to eat another pastry again either!
We also had a huge platter of freshly cut fruit, great coffee and then they tried to give me a toasted cheese sandwich!
I had a good chat to Alessandro as we still hadn’t decided where to head to next and he was very definite and said … you don’t have much time. Explore Palermo and then head to Scopello and surrounds. Decision made! I love a decision!
We had a great wander around Palermo and were lucky enough to run bang smack into a backstreet market. We would have done some shopping but good old siesta! You snooze you lose!
We kept going around corners and seeing amazing buildings that took our breath away.
We decided to head to Scopello during siesta to avoid as many of the crazy drivers as we could so we headed back to the B&B and Alessandro was waiting for us. He suggested a couple of places to stay so I booked one. Then he had our car ready, put our luggage in and said “I’ll drive you to the outskirts of town so you don’t get lost”. Really! What a sweetheart!
We said big goodbyes and had hugs. He told me he wanted to marry Matilda … I wanted to marry him!
So off we headed to our agritourismo accommodation near Scopello. It was fine but lacked a bit of character. Once thing about Palermo … it was gritty but oozing with character.
We dropped our bags off and went to a beach nearby. Unfortunately it was a tad windy so we didn’t go in. We headed into Scopello which is a lovely small village oozing with charm and great views. Population 385.
This crazy little dog kept working up the gumption to jump in the water … shivering all of the time … then he would jump in and swim around … climb out and do it all again. Nutso!
We had a look around and had dinner … both very tired by then … so headed home to bed.
Next morning we drove to the Riserva Naturale Orientata Della Zingaro and trekked in for about 15 minutes and had a swim in a beautiful cove. Probably one of the nicest swims I have had.
We continued out exploring and drove to Erice … a hilltop town will a view to the coast. Quite an interesting drive for Till with about 15 s bends!
We had lunch up there … always a challenge to find gluten free pasta … but we managed it. Then headed back to Scopello and jagged a room in a hotel we had seen the previous day with a fabulous pool and view over the ocean. Once again the people were lovely. The room was small and basic but very clean. However, the grounds were gorgeous and they had a great restaurant with lovely waiters.
Monday we headed to a beach just below Scopello where there is a disused tuna factory which is now a hotel. Once again the beach was lovely and I had three swims before we meandered around the coast towards the airport and stopped at Castellammare del Golfo which wasn’t that pretty but had fabulous ice cream!
Our three days and nights felt like a week … which was great. We did lots of exploring but also a lot of resting and reading. Till read two books.
Do I want to live in Sicily … no … but I really liked it and would love to go back and explore more! Thanks for being a great travel companion Till! Where to next?