.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Exploring Historic Segesta, Sicily

02 Segesta

When we visited Sicily a few aspects of our time there surprised me.  1)  The food was even more delicious than I expected.  2)  The landscape was far more hilly and mountainous than I thought it would be.  3) The large assortment and general good state of preservation of the country’s archaeologic sites.

Segesta (also known as Egesta) is close to the island’s most populous city, Palermo, and is even closer to its airport.  It is easily accessible by car, the Autostrada only minutes away, so a car rental is the easiest way to get there (bus connections are said to be slow and difficult).  Unlike Agrigento in southern Sicily, there is no modern city nearby — just beautiful hills, farms …

Read More

Tagged , , , , , ,
.All Trips / Europe / Italy

An Introductory Perspective of Sicily

01 Palermo

Travel guru Rick Steves likes to say (and I’m paraphrasing) that Italy either gets better or worse as you head south from Rome, depending on what you like.  If you like a quieter people, trains running almost on time, etc. head north towards Milan.  If you enjoy a lively chaotic experience, perhaps a little rough around the edges, then head to the bottom of the boot.  Sicily, the three cornered island just a few miles from the mainland is about as far south as you can go.  It’s part of Italy, but really has its own unique history and heritage.

I’d wanted to go to Sicily to meet its people, enjoy its food, and experience its antiquities and heritage.  I knew …

Read More

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
.All Trips / Europe / Northern Ireland

A Visit to Ireland: Part 10) the Antrim Coast

Antrimi Coast 005d Dunluce Castle

Rivaling the magnificent Dingle Peninsula or Ring of Kerry for scenic beauty, the Antrim Coast is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations.  We’ve previously discussed Portrush and the Giant’s Causeway on this blog, both attractions located on this stretch of Ireland’s coast; now we’ll look at some of the other places to enjoy on the Antrim Coast.

It’s fair to say that a major attraction here is the coast itself — simply driving along it to enjoy its scenic beauty, as we did.  You can travel along the Antrim Coast most of the way from Portrush to Belfast, although most would agree that the very northern part just east of …

Read More

Tagged , , , , , , ,
.All Trips / Europe / Ireland

A Visit to Ireland: Part 4) the Ring of Kerry; Exploring the Iveragh Peninsula

Ring-of-Kerry-2013-061 Staigue Fort

The Ring of Kerry is a loop drive that circles the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry.  It’s just 110 miles (176 km) long but is not a fast drive as its narrow and winding. And there’s lots of beautiful scenery and historic stops along the way, so take your time and a full day to enjoy this trip.  The Iveragh peninsula has many ancient ring forts dotting the rocky land and this road offers the opportunity to easily explore several of them.  Awe-inspiring vistas of a rugged coast, the central mountains (including the tallest mountain in Ireland), and on clear days the Beara Peninsula to the south, the Skellig Islands to the west and the Dingle peninsula on the Northern part of the drive (limited views and visibility on …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,