shadowofthecourtesan

discovering the hidden worlds of women composers

Cycling in Sicily

view from Caccamo towards sea       Five things I have learned…

almond biscuits yum  1. It is possible, but perhaps not desirable, to cycle for 30 miles (including 600m of climbing) fuelled only by half a small almond pastry. I now declare la mandorla the original and best energy food.

train leaving Roccapalumba-Alia station   2. It is not just possible, but easy and cheap (3.50), to take one’s bike on the train from the centre of Palermo into the Sicilian hills, enabling the intrepid – but somewhat plump (too many mandorle?) – cyclist to avoid a 400 metre hill climb at the start of the day.

3. Sicilian drivers are considerate of cyclists. I’m taking the honking of horns as a sign of consideration, rather than harassment. After all, it’s good to know when someone is overtaking.

view of madonie mountains  4. My goodness, the landscape is beautiful: views across miles, and miles, of undulating country to the snow-capped Madonie mountains in one direction, or towards the sea, so blue it defines the colour, in the other. Fennel growing wild on the roadside throws out a pungent aroma; sheep bells tinkle. It all helps as one walks up another hill.

5. You’re not supposed to cycle in the bus/taxi lanes in Palermo. But everyone does. It’s Palermo.

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