Whatever happened to those 11 p.m. flights to Europe? The ones that let you pretend you’d gotten at least part of a night’s sleep.
We departed for Sicily on March 30 at 6 p.m. and who can get some shut-eye when it’s really just time for the early-bird special?
We arrived ragged and bleary-eyed in the Rome airport at what was 1 a.m. body-clock time and rushed to make the connecting flight to Palermo. Then picked up our rental car and, through a complicated set of instructions made earlier over the internet, met the woman who was to give us the key and take us to the apartment we had rented in the small town of Scopello, about 1 1/2 hours southwest of Palermo.
As we approached the apartment, we passed a crew of men working on the road facing the sea. I had a strong sinking feeling. The wild flowers were everywhere, and the noise was astonishing. The apartment turned out to be dark and dank, true in looks to the pictures we’d seen on http://www.vrbo.org, but smell is not conveyed in pictures, and it was not the kind of place one could comfortably rest one’s head. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that while The Sweetie took a nap (he can sleep like a cat just about anywhere), I took my disappointment and exhaustion around the corner. After a 5-minute walk up hill, I could no longer hear the jack-hammers. I looked around me and remembered why I’d made the pilgrimage back to Sicily. Here’s what I saw: