“Not that way!” Blair took the turn too quick and we were on a 30 minute detour from our route. On top of it, the GPS thought we were ON the highway, when in fact we were alongside it…and after about 15 kilometers the road dead-ended into a mountainside. “Who designed these highways anyway?”
We were driving to Segesto (sounds to me like a pill), a Hellenic site dating from 300-400 BC. The Greeks got to Sicily a long time ago. We took the little bus up to the amphitheater, which looks out to the sea. We were carrying our paints, and on the walk down we stopped at a slightly later structure (luckily, as it started to rain once again) to paint the temple in the distance.
It is the first time I really thought about the role of slaves in society – carrying those rocks up the hill is not something anyone would choose to do. And Sicily has a big history of conquered people, who were used as instant labor – sometimes themselves, sometimes some other poor group.
This trip has also made me think about position on a map. I formerly thought Tunisia was south of Sicily, but in fact it is WEST; Greece is East, and further East is Istanbul (Constantinople). All these countries played key roles in the history of Sicily.