On Cold Mountain

Trapani, Sicily jutting out into the Mediterranean sea.  Looks warm and tropical.

All that blue sky and slue ocean...looks like you could sun yourself on those rocks.

The Tower of Ligny at the Western most point of Sicily,  bathed in an warm evening glow....

A place with all of this blue water and beaches....

Or with a colorful fish market....a place like this has to be tropical all year round, right?

Not exactly.

We haven't had a trip that has been a complete bust yet, and Trapani wasn't one...but it was close.  First off, it was unseasonably cold in Trapani - roughly in the 40s with a stiff wind all week.   We were hoping for warmer weather, but we can live with that...except that in Trapani cold weather isn't so common, so most of the buildings, including our apartment, didn't have any heat...I don't know how this is possible, but it was actually colder inside of the apartment that outside.   Have you ever spent three full days underdressed in 40 degree weather? It get's cold. 

We experienced a new phenomenon as parents....our kids actually asked if they could go to bed early at night to crawl under the covers and get warm.

We made the most of it. We wanted to visit the mountain top medieval town of Erice for example,  accessible by a picturesque cable car ride from the Trapani center...which naturally was out of order when we were there (seriously?)  Busses weren't running either (oh come on!).  So we paid a fortune to hire a car to drive us up all the way for  to the top for a day trip.   The car drove us to the top and dropped us off, agreeing to pick us up 4 hours later.

And the view from Erice over the coastline was great...not so bad right?

Until those menacing clouds moved in and started dropping sleet and snow all over the place.   You know what's colder that a 40 degree wind? A 30 degree wind with a pelting snow.   And by the way, on a 30 degree day with pelting snow Erice doesn't get a lot of tourists, so most places to hide inside were closed. .....so when does the cab pick us up again? In 3 hours and 45 more minutes?   
 We ducked into a restraunt. to grab some lunch.  It was way too fancy for our family, but we saw it had a fire and seated ourselves next to it.  I kid you not, that fire did not emit a single degree of heat perceptible by any of us (seriously? Now how can even fire be cold?)

Eventually the snow let up for a while  and a thick fog rolled in....
 And after the fog, rain, with a short burst of sun. Photos can capture sunlight.  They can't capture, however, a stiff freezing wind whipping through the alleys.   The only thing interesting about the sign on the wall the kids are inspecting below is that it was located in a ray of sunshine.   (Warmth!)
Sicily knew how to rescue the day though. We found a small pastry shop and ordered up a round of hot chocolate so thick the spoon floated in it and a Cannoli the size of a pipe wrench,  

Vacation saved...by the Cannoli.

And the central heating at the airport, where we arrived a full three hours early, to take full advantage.  It was really that cold.