This morning I rode out of the lovely tourist town of Cefalù — which unlike yesterday evening, was now gorgeous and sunny — and headed west along the coast, towards the city of Términi Imerese. And all I can say is that — despite lovely weather — it was an evil morning, and I'll remember Términi as an evil city. It ended up being twice the distance that I thought it was, from Cefalù (I guess the map wasn't 100% accurate), and the journey took twice as long as I thought it would (over 2 hours, instead of 1 hour). When I got there, I had to make use of the local post office — and as I expected, dealing with the Italian postal service was hardly a fun experience. I went into several cafes and asked for a hot chocolate — but all anyone had was cappuccino, so I had to subsist on that. The city's roads were the worst I've encountered so far on my trip: they're steep; they wind uphill; they're narrow and cobbled; they're poorly signposted; they're largely one-way; and they're utterly traffic-jammed. Plus, I had great difficulty finding my way out of the damn place: the road south, into the mountains and towards the town of Caccamo, proved most elusive indeed. Thus it is that I dub Términi Imerese a place of great woes — not a place about which I hold any fond memories.
I wasn't looking forward to visiting the post office this morning — however, I had several administrative documents that I needed to send home fairly urgently; so I couldn't avoid making the excursion. Poste Italiane was everything I feared it would be: long queues (I waited in line for an hour — well, arguably you could call it a "line"); arguing with the attendant at the counter in broken Italian; and the place was utter chaos, with pushing and shoving and screaming, left right and centre. It's one sure way to waste half your morning. Anyway, I sent what I needed to send, and I managed to get out of there without going completely mad.
Términi is a bustling city on the coast between Cefalù and Palermo. The main highway that goes through the town is the SS113 coast route; and the signs east to Cefalù, and west to Palermo, are clear enough. However, there's another road that goes south out of the town, and that heads inland and into the mountains — it was this road that I sought this morning. And this road is very difficult to find! There are almost no signs indicating how to reach it; I basically stumbled upon it by touch-and-feel, and I didn't see any proper signage for it until I was already on the route, and headed out of the place. It was a lovely view of the town and the coast, as I headed up into the mountains and towards Caccamo; but personally, I was happy to turn my back on it all, and to forget I was ever there.
Términi: looking back on the city and the coast.