It seems like today was the first really warm Mediterranean day, not only for us but also for the inhabitants of the island of Sicily. After breakfast the buses took us on a short drive from the agricultural port of Empedocle to the extensive archaeological site of Agrigento. The present-day “Valley of Temples” used to be one of the most important Greek cities on Sicily in ancient times.
From far away we could see magnificent columns on the little green hill. The spring flowers were all around while we took a stroll from the Temple of Hera on the higher east end to the Temple of Concordia, one of the very best preserved ancient Greek temples in the world. The guides made it very easy to imagine the rich life concentrated around temples.
We finished further downhill to the west at the standing columns of the Temple of Heracles. The visit in the nearby archaeological museum helped us to understand how advanced the Agrigento civilization was, with its colorful pottery and beautifully carved marble tombstones. Even after seeing the amazingly well preserved temples we were struck with the size of a “giant” supporting the columns from the Temple of Zeus that made us realize how extremely big this temple really was.
Back onboard we enjoyed lunch in the small breeze out on the Lido Deck during casting off from Porto Empedocle. As soon as the sails were set we boarded Zodiacs for the photo safari using the opportunity of a little breeze to see our beautiful Sea Cloud in her full glory. The exceptional view from the Zodiacs accelerated our appetite for the evening’s Maritime Dinner served on Lido Deck.