Monday, 9 May 2016

Wheeeeeeeee in Scicily 13

Been off the road for a time cruising around the Mediterranean.  One of the stops we did was at Trapani in Scicily and the opportunity came up to have a ride from the ship.  A small group left the ship and rode to a cable car which took us up to the top of Mount Erice. After a walk around the town taking in some stunning views, it was then a 10 mile descent back to the ship.

Before the off

Jonty, in the red, was the tour organiser and gave a briefing to the group on the quayside before we set off through the town of Trapani a busy fishing port on the west coast of Sicily.  We were heading for the cable car that runs up to the top of Mount Erice which overlooks the city  from a height of about 2,500 feet. Good start, the weather could not have been better.

To the cable car. 

Pete, from the West Midlands, just in front of me going through the main thoroughfare of the city. This stretch wasn't too bad but some of the side streets and crossroads had to be treated with caution, the overiding impression was that the local drivers do not take prisoners.

At the cable car.

A little bit of lifting had to be done at the start. I got away with it because Jonty carried my bike up whilst I was taking the shot.

 In the cable car

Reverse the bikes in and they fitted nicely into a slot between the seats.  Very clever. When we first arrived at the entrance there was a large group from a coach going up, but with 6/8 to a car that soon cleared.  Ben, another lad from the West Midlands, raring to go.

Room with a view 

Not a bad view over the harbour from near the top.

At the top

All got off safely, the ride itself is about 2 miles long and rises from just above sea level to nearly 2,500 feet. We were all anticipating a nice ride down!


A lot of history surrounds this hill top town. We spent an hour exploring its narrow streets and soaking up the atmosphere. Excellent views from the top.  This is the group going through on of the main gates in the town wall after all 12 bikes were chained together.

Preparing for the descent.

All set to go after a safety talk about descending 10 miles down a mountain road. No eyeballs out stuff, just a sensible ride, single file, no overtaking and maintaining 2/3 bike lengths distance between each other.

And we are off

Perfect conditions for this trip, nice and warm and sunny, good road surface and very minimal traffic. Looking forward to this.

Stunning views

Bike riding does not get much better than this. Every corner turned opened up a new vista. Brilliant.


One of several stops to take in the scenery. Not really a rest break when you have used 4 calories per mile!


These were two of the singers/dancers from the ship's company who had come along for the ride. (Pun intended)  They could not resist a bit of showmanship when having their picture taken by Jonty. The drop on the other side of the wall by the way was not very steep.

Group photo

Jonty took this one, he insisted I be in it. Thats me in the Old Guys Rule tea shirt on the right.

Nearly there

Just a few hundred yards to go now,  all nicely spaced out following instructions.

The Thomson Spirit

And back to the quayside with our ship.

That was an excellent ride in perfect weather. 7 miles downhill and 3 each way to the ship. Needed that after all the good food on board!