Saturday, April 2, 2011

More temples in the sun

We’re lucky to have beautiful weather at the moment. It’s sunny, but not too hot, and because we’re close to the sea we get a constant, but gentle sea-breeze.

Since the coming months will likely make being outside at midday a hot and potentially unpleasant experience (and not the best place for mini) we decided to explore another archaeological site now, before it gets too scorching.

The guide book said that the temples at Salinunte are amongst the most striking archaeological finds in the Mediterranean, and they certainly are. The site is not only perfectly placed on the edge of a hill overlooking the sea, but the whole area had an untouched beauty. Wild flowers and high grass as far as the eye could see, with only a few trees braking up the line-of-sight towards the sea.

We were alone among the huge remains of the temples, giving us a sensation of being the first explorers on the site. Unlike in the valley of the temples, we had the possibility to wander inside some of the six temples and their ruins.

The enormity of the once 30m-tall columns was impressive and although the archaeologists are not completely sure for whom all temples were built, it is clear that immense amounts of hard work and dedication were put into creating those places of worship. Around the temples an ancient city was discovered, complete with an agora, official buildings and residential houses.

We spent an hour-and-a-half walking up and down the sandy roads around the temples, talking lots of photographs and gazing with amazement at these impressive structures built more than two-and-a-half millennia ago. We talked about coming back, perhaps when we have guests staying with us, though next time we should definitely be equipped with water, sun protection and maybe even a picnic bag.

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