Monday, 1 April 2019

Salita Mura delle Cattive, 7 (Palermo – Sicily, Italy)

I woke up early again and found Barbara out on the balcony at 6:30 taking pictures of another dazzling sunrise. This one was more vivid than the day before. We stayed up until the sun came up over the horizon then we each went back to bed at around 7:00.

After another hearty breakfast we walked to where I thought we would catch a bus to Monreale. I was wrong, or at least Google didn’t have the most current information. We found a tourist office nearby that gave us new directions, via the central bus terminal, and took the bus from there. This worked out better since the bus that was recommended by Google would have taken much longer to get to Monreale.

Shortly after getting off the bus in Monreale Barbara found a gelato shop and we each had a gelato. It was a little early for our daily gelato but who cares.

We didn’t have to walk too far before we came to the Cathedral. The “front door”, for lack of a better word, was covered with a mosaic design. This was just a hint of what we would find inside. We saw at the main entrance on the side that the Cathedral would open at 2:30. This gave us time to walk into some of the shops along the street facing the Cathedral.

The main offering at each of the shops was mosaic artwork. Some had large collections of pottery and others had various mosaic pieces. One shop had do-it-yourself kits so you could make your own mosaic.

We sat for about 10 minutes after shopping and then the Cathedral was open for visitors. No cost to enter. We just walked in.

We saw mosaic designs everywhere! Barbara, who knows about different religious designs and interpretations, was fascinated at the variety of symbols that were displayed. She explained a few of them to me. This helped me better appreciate what I was seeing. She also helped me adjust the camera in my phone to better capture the stain-glassed windows.

So much to see in the Cathedral. I’ve never taken so much time in one church as I did here. Usually 15 – 30 minutes is enough for me. You’d never know from the outside of the Cathedral how beautiful it was on the inside. A number of pictures of inside of the Cathedral can be found via the link to my Instagram page below.

We had enough time to walk back to the bus stop to catch the 4:00 bus. Along the way we walked up to a viewpoint near the Cathedral. We could look down on Palermo and the sea beyond.

We were planning to return to the restaurant we were at last night but they were closed today. But they recommended another that offered more regional and traditional items. We made reservations for 7:30. There wasn’t much time for a nap.

This restaurant, Flam Osteria Contemporanea, was very nice and had a varied menu. Though when you’ve dined at a super restaurant as we did last night, it would take a lot to re-set our expectations. In any case, we very much enjoyed what we ordered.

Tomorrow we are taking the train back to Cantania. There I will take a flight to Malta and Barbara will board a flight to Istanbul, stay overnight there, then another flight back to Portland. We had just enough in the refrigerator for another breakfast before we leave this flat at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.

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