So, I’m at the back of the hotel, leaning against a ladder waiting for Rey to join. He went back up to the room to get his camcorder. Today, we’re going on a tour of Sicily. I’m so excited. Can’t wait to see the sights. There are still moments when I still can’t believe that I’m here in this lovely city with Rey. I must send Rhia a postcard or she’ll never forgive me.
So, Rey is back and off we go when the bus pulls up. He lets me sit by the window and I look out as we leave Palermo and head to Erice, our the first of two destinations. There were about 20 people in the group. Young, old and in between. Some looked like Europeans while others were from Asia and Africa. The tour guide was a woman in her mid-thirties.
We reach Erice, a medieval town settled by the Elymians and a religious site that associated with the goddess Venus. There are two castles. The Pepoli Castle dating from Saracen times and Venus Castle dating from the Norman era but is built on ruins of the ancient Temple of Venus. The view from the castle towers is breathtaking. Rey is busy with the camcorder. We also visit the Cathedral built in the which has the picture of the famous black Virgin.
We wander through the enchanting and ancient streets of Erice, stopping for a short visit at one of the many pastry shops to sample their famous marzipan candies and other tasty treats like almond and pistachio pastries. “These are really good,” I say to Rey who smiles at me.
It’s really cool wandering the streets and being a part of such a rich culture. I feel as if we’ve traveled back in time. It’s time to get back on the bus and head to the famous Saltpans where they still practice the ancient tradition of harvesting salt from the sea. While we were on the bus, I asked the tour driver who the Elymians were and she said that their origins are unknown but according to Thucydides, an ancient Greek an ancient Greek historian and author, they were refugees from Troy.
I enjoy our little excursion at the Saltpans. Afterwards, we make our way to the olive oil farm where we will enjoy a light lunch including a tasting of local products such as cheese, cold cuts, olives, local bread and olive oil. I love Italian food. It’s my second favorite with Indian being my first. Speaking of Indian, there are two Indian women in our age group who keep looking at Rey. I’m not jealous or annoyed or anything like that. I find it amusing, really. Rey is oblivious to them when he’s not holding my hand, he has his arm around my shoulder. It’s obvious to everyone that we’re a couple. After a while, the two young women seem to get the message and they stop shooting him admiring glances.
The Temple of Segesta is magnificent. It sits on a hill overlooking the Gulf of Castellammare, just outside the ruins of the city of Segesta. The tour guide tells us that the temple may have been built around 420 BC by an architect from Athens and that it is the best surviving example of Doric architecture in Europe. She said that the temple was never finished. It was besieged by Dionysius of Syracuse in 397 BC, and it was destroyed by Agathocles in 307 BC, but recovered. After taking photos of and in front of the temple, we walk to the theater of Segesta from where the view is spectacular. Apparently, the 1992 film Antigone was filmed here. We sit in the theater and listen as our tour guide gives us a little history lesson on the temple. I try to imagine watching a concert or a show there.
Well, it’s time to head back to Palermo. I’m sorry to leave Segesta but I’m looking forward to being alone with Rey. When we are settled in our seats on the bus, I lean my head on his shoulder. His hand rests on my thigh. I must have drifted off because I felt a gentle nudge and when I opened my eyes, we were in front of our hotel. We thank the tour guide as we leave.
It feels good to be back in our hotel room. I remove my comfortable slip on shoes and wiggle my toes. Then, I walk over to my bed and plop down on it. I sit there debating whether or not to take a nap. Dinner was in about two hours. I don’t feel sleepy anymore. Maybe I’ll just stretch out on the bed or talk to Rey about the tour. He comes into the room and sits down on his bed, watching me. “I really enjoyed the tour,” I say. “How about you?”
“Yes, I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to visiting Mount Etna.”
“It should be interesting visiting a volcano.”
“Yes, it should be. Are you tired?”
“No. Why do you ask?”
“You fell asleep on the bus.”
“I guess it was all the walking and climbing.”
“I guess so.”
“I had a very interesting dream, though.”
“What was it about?”
“I dreamt that you and I were in some place. I don’t know where it was. Shiny onyx pebbles lined the path.
“Where was the path leading to?”
“I don’t know. We didn’t go anywhere. We just stood there at the path. Around us there was a splash of whimsy and touch of color and mushrooms.”
“Yes and azaleas. The mushrooms began to dance and the azaleas wept as they were plucked from their beds.”
“As I’ve said before, you have the strangest dreams.”
“There was more?” he sounds incredulous.
“Yes. Whispering on the wind, I heard her voice.”
“I don’t know.”
“What did this mysterious voice say?”
“She said, a new day had come in the midst of despair.”
“What does that mean?”
“I have no idea. You’re right. I do have the weirdest dreams.”
He gets up from his bed and comes over to me. Taking me by my hands, he draws me to my feet. My heart is pounding. Our eyes meet and the expression on his face makes my knees go weak. He lowers his head and kisses me. I put my arms around his waist and kiss him back. Then, I feel him pick me up and lay me down on my bed. We continue kissing and then, he draws back to unbutton his shirt.
We’re going to make love, I realize, ecstatic. I sit up and haul my top over my head and undo the front fastening of my comfort bra, anxious to be rid of both of them and the rest of my clothes. After he removes his shirt, he pushes me gently back so that I’m lying on the bed again. He kisses me on the mouth and then, he kisses me on the neck, my bosom which is heaving like crazy and then my nipple is inside his mouth. I close my eyes and my fingers grip his hair. Desire rages inside me. I’ve longed for this moment for such a long time and now, it’s finally here.
My eyes open when I suddenly feel a draft on my bare bosom. I watch as he stands up and removes the rest of his clothes. Heat surge through me like a fire when I see his naked body. He’s gorgeous. I’m about to scramble off the bed to strip when, he shakes his head. “No, let me do it.”
I lay back down and let him take off my skirt and underwear. I’m buck naked now too. He stretches out on top of me and lowering his head, he kisses me. I put my arms around his neck and kiss him back wildly because I want him so much. I can feel how much he wants me too.
He raises his head and after nudging my legs apart, he positions himself so that he can enter me. I gasp when he does because of the pain which fortunately, doesn’t last long. I close my eyes and grip his arms as he moves his hips. As I relished the feel of him inside me, I think about my dream. Was this what the voice meant? Was this the new day after the disappointment or despair I felt last night when I thought Rey and I were going to make love and we didn’t? I smile.
Sources: Musement; Italy Vacations; Atlas Obscura; Wonders of Sicily; Need Undies