Night location: Palermo
Mumisode of the day: As we were being driven in a taxi from our accommodation to the port, Mum momentarily forgot that Dad was not at the wheel and shouted, "Don't kill that dog!" She then apologised profusely and covered her mouth with shame.
Today was a transit day between the Island of Lipari and Palermo. Boarding the ferry was a challenge as it was completely full and the sea was rough. Initially the crew members did not think it was necessary to haul the ramp right across onto the boat, leaving a gap between the boat and the wharf. Amber thought she was finished and was confident she would end up in the sea, but planned to take a crew member with her. After one woman fell over the step, her anxiety peaked. Fortunately by the time we could board, the crew had decided that it would be worth the effort and pulled the ramp across properly.
Our main stop for the day was the delightful fishing town of Cefalu. Fiorelli was abandoned in an open field near the sea for a small sum paid to the Marmalade (our code word for the mafioso). We then strolled alongside the ocean on a wide promenade. The town of Cefalu is dwarfed by a remarkable rock face that has old Norman walls and outposts built into it. This is definitely a town that we would like to come back to as there are multiple lane ways that deserve hours of exploration. We stopped for lunch in a restaurant called the Pirate Cave where we had local Sicilian cuisine including eggplant parmigiana and caponata.
One of the major sights is the Duomo di Cefalu that predates the beautiful Monreale by 20 or 30 years. Inside are Sicily's oldest Byzantine mosaics and legend has it that it was built by Roger II to fulfil a vow made to God after his fleet was saved during a violent storm off the coast of Cefalu. The rest of our time was spent meandering the lane ways and eating gelato! Mum indulged in a granita limone and two gelatos, one of which was a 'gusto' which is larger than an extra grande!
After dropping the car at the airport we were transferred into the mania of Palermo. In spite of a minor accident we arrived safely out the front of our apartment. This part of Palermo has been in a state of disrepair but in recent recent years, people have started to restore and renovate some of the grand palazzos. Our apartment feels like you are walking into a palace. Every space is light filled, tastefully furnished, and grandly proportioned with 8 meter ceilings. There are two spacious living areas, two dining rooms and a chefs kitchen that is to die for. This would be over double the size of our houses combined!
For dinner we returned to Osteria Ballaro which specialises in Sicilian street food. We dined in a space that had original Roman archways and an ancient ceiling. Fantastic!