Friday, April 17, 2009

Old Friends, Ancient Traditions

On Good Friday a very, very old friend came to visit. After some catching up over lunch we jumped on the train to see La Processione dei Misteri in Trapani. The famous Easter procession begins on this day every year and it is the longest in Italy - 24 hours. Huge wooden sculptures representing different moments in the Passion of Christ are slowly walked throughout the town by groups of men called "i portari". The men huddle together and hold each other and their statue up while walking slowly and swaying side to side. Each statue is accompanied by a group of local musicians. One statue was being followed by a group of singing children. I think Cathy and Scott would agree with me when I say that it was say the least. It's pretty difficult to describe, so click on the above link to watch a video of it.

On Saturday we visited Palermo, the craziness of the markets, the cheap street food, the grafitti and trash... it never gets old and I love it even more every time I go back. Dinner that night was at the new Venezuelan/Sicilian restaurant in town. Yes, you read that correctly. Arepas, 2 pizzas, salad and a liter of wine - not bad for €10 each. After dinner Cathy and I ducked into midnight mass to check it out - a huge turnout and the whole town really seemed alive that night. A raucous night of drinking more wine and discussing deep subjects such as circumnavigation, honey and faith followed. Don't ask.

On Easter Sunday we took a nice long walk on the beach, caught up on the newest episode of Lost and made a fantastic dinner: risotto and steamed artichokes. It was a great weekend and it seemed only fitting that I spent it with a friend I've had for nearly 20 years. It felt as close to home as we could get.

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