Glo’s Palermo Blog – 5/28/07

Palermo, Sicily

Palermo, the most conquered city in the world. First settled by the Greeks, then overtaken by the Phoenicians and overtaken again by at least 8 other civilizations before becoming part of Italy.
It’s Monday; it must be Palermo! In Barcelona, I never really felt like I was in Europe for some strange reason. In Palermo, you know you’re in a different part of the world! Most everything is old and decaying “¦and even what’s relatively new (like maybe 50 to 100 years old) still looks a bit run down.

I’m also not used to seeing laundry hanging from balconies, but with so many people crowded into buildings on very narrow streets, it actually looked sort of normal. Just to beautify things a bit, almost every balcony has some sort of flowers, plants or trailing vines. Just beautiful! “¦and I finally saw a Jacaranda tree. Actually, I think I’ve seen them before but never knew what they were. (Beautiful purple flowers!)

On a morning bus tour of the old city this morning, saw a couple of churches, had a light snack of local foods at a small restaurant and then went to Ballero Market, the oldest open air market in Sicily. The produce, meats and fish looked lovely, but minimal (in some cases none!) refrigeration for the seafood ands meats and lots of flies “¦and none of the vendors looked all that clean either Many locals were buying, of course, but I wouldn’t have eaten any of it for a $1000. Very interesting, but give me a Publix and a nice shopping mall.

The traffic in the city is awful. There are very few traffic signals, a zillion little cars and two zillion little scooters that zip in and out. It makes pedestrian travel very hazardous. And it appears that people park just about anyplace they can find a spot …on the sidewalks, double parked in the streets, behind buildings blocking in other cars. It was just unbelievably crowded.

We returned to the ship about 1 PM and headed to the buffet for a bit of lunch and now it’s time to be like a real Italian and take a nap.

It’s almost 7 PM now and we have departed Palermo.

Dinner is at 8:45 in the Palo private dining room courtesy of Beci from Mouse Fan Travel. Somehow she was able to pull some strings at get us dinner tonight and brunch on Friday. Sometimes it’s good to have friends in high places. Thank you, Beci!

Tomorrow we dock in Napoli. We’re sharing a car with one other couple and plan to visit a number of little villages along the Amalfi Coast. It should be a spectacular day. I’ll see you again when it’s all over.


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