Cappell Patatina, Monreale, Cathedral

Trip Start Oct 03, 2006
Trip End Oct 18, 2006

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Our tour day started at the Cappella Palatina in Palermo. As usual on this tour, most things were shrouded in scalfolding and draped "in renovation". But what we could see was magnificent. Bible stories told in such a wonderful way. It was not difficult to imagine that this had been a mosque and now a Christian church. Amazing that centuries ago people could be so much more open minded and sophisticated to accept other cultures and religions.

From there we headed up to Monreale Cathedral. Another hike up the stairs for those of us who opted not to take a taxi to the square. Monreale has gold mosaics that are just awesome. Pictures I took will not do them any service. The courtyard was a place of contemplation and beautifully decorated to allow hours of deep thought or just a great nap! Apparently, the carvers of the column capitals had a sense of humor. The monks could contemplate some "racy" biblical items among all the very serious scenes.

As we came down there was a gentleman with his painted cartino and pony. It was worth the 2 euro to take a picture of this!

Back down the mountain into Palermo we enjoyed a little time at the Cathedral. Rebuilt and rebuilt the Cathedral has influences from its Arab through Norman up to pretty modern times. There is still a plaque outside the door reciting the Koran.

After the formal tour was over, we were on our own again. Tom finally bought some of the marionettes he wanted. We walked until we found a restaurant to have our lunch and wait out the siesta so we could go into stores, banks, and monuments. It was a nice lunch at Carlo V. We headed back to the Cathedral and shopped and saw the tombs and catacombs. Tom and I went up to get a good picture of the New Gate with the Saracen carvings. We saw a few fellow Explorers as we negotiated the busy street.

On our own for dinner we headed down to Café Royal where we'd had a nice dinner another night in Palermo. It was another wonderfully relaxed meal of spaghetti carbonera (I'm really liking this!) Then a taxi back to our hotel. Tomorrow is Segesta!
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