Friday, August 31, 2018

Exploring Cefalu, the beach, and Climbing Rocca ~ August 18th

Saturday morning we must of been tired because we didn’t even wake up until 11 o’clock. Granted we didn’t go to sleep until two maybe but it has been a long time since we have slept in that late and we kinda woke up with a panic then realized we didn’t really need to be concerned. Our plan for the morning was to meet up with Patrick and Penny to climb La Rocca

We met them at Piazza Duomo for breakfast (basically lunch). We had espresso and pastries. We started off with a rice ball called arancini, which is basically a ball of rice either filled with meat and cheese or if it’s a veggie it has spinach and cheese and then it’s fried or baked. And a basic croissant. 

We were still hungry so then Kyle went back in to get two more things and he got a pistachio pastry and an apple strudel. The pistachio pastry was like a cream we couldn’t quite figure it out at first thinking it was a lot like peanut butter but with pistachios. I later discovered it is called pistachio di creama and it’s basically like a green version of Nutella. We figured four pastries was enough and call it good. Patrick and Penny got what is called Granada and it supposed to be like lemon ice frozen and then you put it on a brioche but they never deliver the brioche so there are Granada ended up melting but Patrick was determined so he went across the way and got a brioche at another store to bring back.

We each went to our homes to get ready to head to La Rocca we lathered up with sunscreen and met Patrick and Penny on the main street. Later Patrick shared with us that at that moment when we were walking up to him they were very intimidated and he stated it was like we were walking to them in slow motion looking buff and fit and the crowds were partying as we came through wearing a baby to meet them for the hike. Patrick felt very ill prepared for this adventure, lol. Hilarious story but we all survived just fine. 

We let Thomas get some wiggles out and walk the short way back to the apartment. 

Here we go! (You can see our clothes drying behind me from being washed the night before)

We stopped to grab water before going up to the Rock, only realizing 50 feet away from the store that we had grabbed fizzy water. Fizzy water is carbonated water which if you haven’t tried it it is not the most thirst quenching thing to drink when you’re sweating. But we made it work.

So many cacti

I know we are just at the base of the rock, but I had to get pictures from every vantage point, heehee.

We made it to the entrance of the rocca where we were stopped by a woman asking for us to pay a fee. Apparently it cost admission to climb the rock that we were unaware of but luckily she took a 20 for all four of us and then gibberish something in Italian before working through change for the kiosk for a ticket. We are still very unsure as to what our money was going towards because it was clearly not the upkeep of the trails. 

Getting views the entire way up.

The first part of the hike was fairly easy with stone steps and railings. 

Thomas was still awake.

Then we chose left at the fork which took us to some archaeological structures. 

The view is getting better.

This big hole or well was for catching water so they'd have fresh water. There were info signs along the way and luckily they were in Italian and English.

There was a temple of Diana. And this also was the area that lead over to a cross which overlooked where we were staying at Cefal├╣. This path then circled over to the real work of a rock path that was basically straight up. 

We were a sweaty mess and we were only maybe halfway up. Pretty sure Thomas is asleep by this point.

Yup he is:

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Luckily the first part was pretty shaded so we could take breaks often and drink water, reapply sun lotion, and take photos.  

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The second part wasn’t as shady so we were focused on just getting to the top. But once we made it to the top the views were amazing. We could see the main side of Cefal├╣ where the houses in the town then the beach were. And then we could also see the port side with the boats and where we docked out of the day before. There was a lot of poop at the top which we are thinking was from goats. It looked fairly fresh so they must wonder overnight in the area although we didn’t see any. We had such a nice visit with Patrick and Penny and we are really thankful that we got to climb up with them. Thomas enjoyed the hike is well, he slept for a good portion of it but was awake for the walk down and was ready to be done.

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Sweat mess, we were schedule for leg day in our workout program, I think this was a fabulous alternative!

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The castle ruins at the top.

And back down we go.

Still enjoying the view

I think this was a caper plant.

We got down and separated from Patrick to get ready to head to the beach. We wanted to get a little something to eat before we headed to the beach but since everything was closed our options were limited. We ended up getting gelato because those places don’t typically shut down in the afternoon. 

You can see Thomas was happy to be walking after being worn on the hike. And the front of him is soaked through in sweat. He is quite the sweat-er.

Love the pretty doors.

We went to our apartment got changed and walked the short walk to that at the end of our road to a very crowded beach. We hadn’t been swimming yet and wanted to get it in but it honestly wasn’t either of our priority since we do the beach thing at home. The sand was very soft and find, Thomas loved it. But he also kept face planting in the sand. It was fun to look back at the city and up at the rocker to see how high we actually were just at our so before.
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You can see HOW HIGH up we had just climbed in this one: 
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The sand was so fine and soft
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We didn’t have any towels so we had brought our blanket from the airplane to dry off with. Then we walked back to the apartment to shower and get dressed to go grab dinner. 
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Everything in this town closes in the afternoon after lunch, between 2ish to 4:30ish. Which for us is when we need to be pushing around a baby to nap in the stroller isn’t ideal, because everything is closed. But it was nice to not have such the crowds. Cefalu is a big tourist city for Italy and Europe. The good part is that a lot of the shop workers speak a little bit of English and other languages but the other part was that it was so darn crowded. It was literally like time square in New York on the main road. But they limit traffic to that part of the city so we weren’t dealing with lots of cars just the occasional scooter, tiny car, tiny garbage truck.

Thomas fell asleep on the way to dinner which was nice because then we basically have a date night just the two of us. 

The thing with the Italian waitstaff is that they are not working for tips so they could care less if you were there or not. Actually we are probably more of an inconvenience by eating there because then they actually have to work when they would be getting paid the same if we weren’t there. Italians also aren’t going to ask you what you want or service you. You have to tell them when you’re ready to order what you want and basically be forceful about ordering your food and getting a check. We ordered a carafe of red wine, and a caprese salad to start. 

I ordered a sardine pasta and Kyle got a seafood spaghetti. They didn’t get our order right and brought two seafood spaghetti's but then brought out the correct dish for me. It wasn’t as good as we were hoping for, but by this point we have very high standards from everything else we had. 

We finished up dinner and then walked around town for a little bit. We stopped in at Piazza Duomo to say hello to Patty and the gang. They were eating inside of a restaurant but had not got their food yet so we did not stay but just said hello, Ya-Ya (Alexander) had flown in earlier that day. She was very excited to see us and meet Thomas. We walked the streets a little bit and shared a cannoli. We stopped back into see Patty and said our goodnights and then had a quick second round of dessert of crema di pistaccio and a little cake thing. Then decided to go home and hit the hay. 

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