Thursday, April 25, 2013


On our first full day of biking we left from our hotel and rode through the quiet countryside.
When I got near the top of the first hill this mare and her colt gave me a good reason to stop.

The scenery was lovely with green meadows filled with yellow flowers.

Stone walls lined the road, bordered with a variety of wild flowers.

These stone fences were everywhere with never a drop of mortar to hold them together, a great job of fitting the rocks together.

Off in the distance were buildings also built of the same stone which was plentiful everywhere.

But best of all, at the crest of the hill sat the VBT Van with our guides and an assortment of snacks.  Most welcome!!

Back on our bikes, much refreshed, we rode to the Donnafugata Castle, not a real medieval castle but a late 19th century noble palace belonging to a wealthy  Sicilian family.

The castle is surrounded by a large park which has more than 1500 plant species and various
"distractions" to entertain and amuse the guests.

Lunch at the castle was both light and delicious.  A welcome change from all of the big meals.

Our ride after lunch was downhill to the water and it was great to be peddling by the sea.  We met the bus there and got a ride back to our hotel to change.

In the evening we were given a ride to Ragusa Ibla, the ancient heart of Ragusa lying on top of the hill overlooking the valley.  The town is one of the best examples of Sicilian Baroque and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The town was entirely rebuilt after the terrible earthquake of 1693, which devastated the Val di Noto.  It seemed funny to see a car and motorcycle parked on the "ancient" street up the hill.

It seemed to be a time for brides as we walked up the hill with our guide to see the San Giorgio Church.  This groom was posing by a bicycle which seems quite appropriate in Sicily.

The Church was lit by lights and was a pretty sight against the darkening sky.

And returning down the hill, looking for a restaurant for supper I spotted another bride and groom.

The restaurant we chose was empty when we entered but filled up rapidly with locals.  The meal was delicious.
As we walked back towards our waiting bus we spied this cat that had found a place for itself on the church steps.
Our last view was this old church at the foot of the town where it meets the highway. A fitting end.

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