Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sicilian Adventures

Day 1: Her side of the story

After months of planning and re-planning we finally started our vacation to Sicily. To begin with, the idea of heading to Sicily was his ;-)). At the end of our vacation, I must confess it was one of the most exotic vacations for us. There was too much to see and too little time (The same story as always). So lotsa reading on the internet and with lots of help from Trip Advisor and most importantly – Ryan air – we decided to start our sojourn in Trapani.

Trapani is one of the bigger cities in the western part of Sicily and is a convenient base for touring this region of Sicily. Trapani. It has good bus connections and ferry connections in addition to having an airport. The town isn't particularly well-known to foreign tourists, and is not one of the island's most obvious holiday destinations. But it makes a good base for exploring this part of Sicily, or a useful stopover on a touring holiday.

After all the adventures of finding our B&B, finding a place to eat we hardly had the evening left. As suggested by our B&B owner, Alessandra we decided to head to this tiny hamlet called Erice. More about Erice <> – The place definitely deserves an exclusive-post.

Trapani by night was a humdrum of activity. We headed towards the beaches and spent the evening strolling around the old town. Our first taste of Sicily was quite appetizing and we couldn’t wait to see more.

Geographically, Trapani is an unusual Sicilian city for its westward position, which affords spectacular views of some of the Mediterranean's most beautiful sunsets. The surrounding coastal plain is distinguished for its rich salt deposits. Apparently this town has the closest feel to Africa - the sea, the famously-ripping wind, the cruel, bleaching almost-African sun characterize Trapani.

Sicilian Cuisine – specifically Trapanese Cuisine - is an exotic blend of North African and Italian flavors. If one is a sea-food freak - Try the specialty couscous with fish or biscotti con fichi (moist, fig-filled cookies) – Since neither I nor my better half enjoys sea-food, we were happy and content with the pastas and pizzas – Pesto Trapanese is delicious. Pizza seemed tasty enough in almost all pizzerias.

Statutory warning – Sicilians follow Siesta like a discipline. So don’t be surprised if you don’t find any place that serves lunch. The town wakes up only in the evening and probably goes on all night long.

The place we called "home" in Trapani suited our needs. We started to book in the B&B – I Colori Del Vento. But this place was completely booked out for the dates. But the helpful Alessandra suggested “Sea House” – An apartment - and this was convenient enough if you are just looking for some decent place to spend the nights – Nothing fancy about it.

Alessandra who runs the B&B and probably owns this apartment is an extremely hospitable person. She gave us all the tips we needed for our stay including – must-see places, must-eat restaurants etc. We would recommend the B&B to anyone who is looking for a convenient place to stay with no fancy services, balconies etc. The B&B is preferable to the apartment “Sea House” mainly because it’s accessible to every place – Close to the Town Centre, Close to Ferry and Hydrofoil docks, Close to the restaurants and it faces the sea - http://www.icoloridelvento.it/



Some links and information about Trapani and what to see and do around Trapani.

Excerpts from Trip Advisor
“Trapani is a small city where Sicilians live and work, not touristy but local and real – Erice is beautiful, but more a tourist destination. If you intend to explore the sites on public transport, Trapani is a more convenient base – You would take the AST bus from Erice to Trapani to begin each day’s excursion if you were to stay in Erice. That inconvenience doesn’t matter to some because they prefer the charm of Erice “

Recommended B&Bs -
Erice - Hotel San Domenico, Il Carmine or La Pineta.
Trapani - Bed & Breakfast I Colori del Vento or Casa Trapani B&B

Excursions and Sights from Trapani –
“Erice and Segesta would be your top excursions from Trapani.”
Other places that could be visited with Trapani as a base –
Isole Egadi e la Mattanza (EGADI ISLANDS) This is a group of small mountainous islands in the Mediterranean Sea – Our experiences on the islands <>
San Vito Lo CapoA small town is located in a valley between spectacular mountains. Famous for its beautiful Caribbean beach with a mix of crystal and turquoise sea water.
Riserva dello Zingaro - Natural reserve that stretches along 7 kilometers of unspoilt coastline of the Gulf of Castellammare and its mountain chain - little bays and steep cliffs.
SelinunteGreek Archeological Site with 5 Temples - Backdrop of the Sea.
PantelleriaIsland in the Strait of Sicily - caused due to volcanic eruptions and continental drifts.
Castellammare Del GolfoA small picturesque town - Sea Fortress of the Gulf.
MothiaIsland and Archeological Site – We couldn’t reach the Island since we missed the last ferry (which is at 15:00).
Le SalineThe salt plains near Marsala.
The public transport – Trains and Bus Connections are available for most destinations (not too frequent in every season) – But renting a car and driving around to these sights is probably the most efficient and highly recommended (after all our experiences in using the public transport). Regular hydrofoils and ferries reach the islands and are quite convenient to reach the islands close to Trapani.

More details about other places will be updated soon ;-).

2 comments:

  1. neat !!! short and precise ! :)

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  2. Awesome ppl :)
    A sureshot input I'll take for my dream euro-trip !

    ReplyDelete