From Palermo, a 2.5 hour train trip on a near empty and quite decent train took us to Trapani. From Trapani train station we WALKED, carrying 21.5kg on my back and probably about 7kg on my front, about 1km to the port to catch the ferry to Favignana. My poor spine, legs, hips, everything. It was a struggle and made me realise that I really have to get rid of some stuff…. Zorba of course offered to carry it, but I was proving a point and being a hero and insisted that I do it.
Favignana is very small and in many ways reminds of Rottnest Island in Perth – push bikes, azure blue water – one difference was that there are heaps of good restaurants to choose from in Favignana – more than one pub and one rip off seafood place! And accommodation was cheap (in June). Our new two bedroom apartment was 40 euro per night! Fully stocked kitchen, too much Ikea furniture (way to much storage, but all nice and new), and about 500 metres from the centre of town. June is a good time to come to this island, before it gets packed in July and August (and more expensive).
We did a stack hand washing (urgh) because there is no laundrette on the island. No where you can take your washing to get it done. I was astounded – this island caters for thousands of tourists every season… I asked the nice overweight but unhelpful apartment administrator what do all the other tourists did when needed to wash their clothes and I was promptly told that they hand wash. There’s a gap in the market people – open a laundrette in Favignana, team it with an internet cafe – because there isn’t one there either, and you will have a lovely summer business.
We watched Italia draw with Paraguay in Favignan’s trendist bar called Carmello Brillo which played really loud ‘world music’ before and after the game as well as during half time. We had apertivi there – drinks with free food / snacks that consisted of cous cous, dips (two yum, one disgusting), bread, and mini brushetta with tuna.
The next day we hired push bikes for two days and explored this little island. The water is azure blue and crystal clear – the colour is amazing, beautiful. Zorba went for a swim at Cala Azzurre, the bluest of the waters. I went in to my knees, but it was freezing – really icy freezing – and not worth the pain. We rode off the beaten track, riding on dirt paths, until deciding to settle at a beach called Lido Borsilla where we hired 2 lettinos and an umbrella for 15 euro. It was lovely for 45 min until the weather changed and a dark cloud came over bringing with it a strong wind.
Oh well, we told the beach attendant we’d been there for under an hour and wanted to use our lettini again tomorrow – not possible, but we would get a discount. I made him write that on the back of my scontrino (docket).
For lunch we ate at cheap little Trattoria called U’ Spiticchiu on via Roma, 19. Zorba had a really delicious spaghetti con sarde (sardines), and I had spaghetti with bottarga di tonno (dried tuna roe). Both were delicious and the tuna and caper salad we started with was fresh and crunchy. Yum! Il conto (bill) came to 25 euro. Reasonable.
We went back to that restaurant for dinner the next day, after paying 65 euro for dinner at Due Colone (two columns) restaurant the night before, which in my mind was delicious (particularly the caponata, my favourite Sicilian sweet and sour eggplant dish with pine nuts and sultanas), but Zorba thought it was over priced. U’ Spiticchiu was full and we were told that there would be a table ready in about 20 minutes. Urgh. Here we were once again waiting for food… In hindsight, we should have just gone somewhere else, but we waited, and waited, and waited. 40 minutes later we were seated and starving and over ordered, as you do. We both had spaghetti con sarde (sardines) and then I had tuna argodolce – sweet and sour which I gave the thumbs up, and Zorbs had tuna steak which was dry and over cooked. He was not happy. The caponata was not fantastic either, so I didn’t eat it, which meant Zorba did. He can’t leave food and will eat to the point of bursting rather than leave food. I don’t understand it, but it is the way he is…
Favignana is tuna country – they have a tuna killing ritual each year that apparently tourists can go and watch called Mattanza. It sounds gruesome however guide books say that killing tuna with spears the traditional way was a very sustainable way of fishing. Now days, modern techniques have seen the tuna numbers dwindle in the area. One fish monger had a fresh tuna hanging by his shop front – it was HUGE – I had no idea blue fin tuna were bigger than a man. This guy had a party trick too – he cut some fresh tuna, stand on the street holding it in his hand and a big seagull the size of an eagle would swoop down and take it out of his hand! I’ve never seen a seagull being hand fed before. It was cool! I got the best photo of it too!
Our last day in Favignana was picture perfect beach weather. We got two lettini and umbrella at the beach for 8 euro and parked ourselves there for the day. Aaaahhhh. Sun, sea, snoozing – delightful!
Next, we have a hire car for a week that we are picking up in Trapani – no idea where we will end up! Adventure awaits!