And so we find ourselves in the city of Agrigento, containing the Valley of the Temples, one of the main reasons we chose Sicily in the first place.
Yes, I take pictures of random things. This is the brand of television in our room.
That night, we had a reception on the terrace of the hotel. This is the view of one of the temples lit up at night.
The next morning, we take a trip to the Valley of the Temples, with our guide Claudio. As we approach, we see the Temple of Juno.
The main road leading through to the Temple of Concordia.
We start at the Temple of Juno, built around 500 BC.
Kimberly sitting on the sacrificial altar outside the temple. All of the temple openings face east to greet the sun. Plug for Insight: they played this perfectly, as we were the first group in the valley in the morning.
That's the moon above the temple, but it doesn't show that well in the picture.
A number of our group on the sacrificial altar.
Coming down the road, these are parts of the original walls around the temples.
Inside the walls are burial crypts for individuals and families. Good shot of Claudio. Another plug for Insight: we had great guides throughout. Claudio is a history professor who has written three books on the area.
The Temple of Concordia, which is the second-best preserved Greek parthenon-style temple in the world. Claudio tells us that the name is misleading, as this is the only temple that the Byzantine Christians left standing and turned into a Christian church; the rest were pulled down.
A three-year old statue added, representing a fallen Icharus. Claudio doesn't like this, as Icharus fell because his wings burned, and this statue has intact wings and other broken parts.
Around to the side, you can see the pillar configuration.
And the obligatory tourist shot.
Further down the road is the necropolis: city of the dead. These are tombs, most of which are smaller than ours, as the people were slightly smaller and they were buried in fetal position.
An old road, that was later used as an aqueduct, so the road grooves are carved down deeper.
The Temple of Hercules. This is one of the most recent reconstructions, funded in 1922 by Alexander Hardcastle.
Across the main road is the Temple of Zeus. You can't tell from this picture, because only a small percentage of the original stone remains. The rest was quarried and turned in to the foundations of the harbor (what a waste!).
Across from the entrance, this is the massive sacrificial altar, on which they were able to slaughter 450 cattle at once.
Inside the main chamber of the temple, there is a storage for the temple treasure.
There used to be two dozen titans that held up the roof. The one on the right is a reconstruction, stone-for-stone, of the best-preserved example they had. The real one was moved to the Archeological Museum.