Friday, February 10, 2012

San Calogero: 8 Febbraio 2012

Most of the fishing fleet was out on this beautiful morning so we decided to take advantage of the sun and venture up to the mountain of San Calogero.

Since the ancient Greeks, the mountain (they called it Mount Kronio) has been visited by people seeking the warmth and healing nature of its natural hot steam caverns.

So with help again from friendly Italians and a German we found the right bus (numero 5) and went up San Calagero.

This mountain commands amazing views of the city, port and the surrounding countryside. On the summit is the church of Saint Calogero and a convent as well as an enormous building housing the spa. "...Inside St. Calogero caves, the atmosphere, full of water vapour, reaches the temperature of 40 degrees..."

Joey asked at the front desk, "Guardiamo?" (Can we see?)
"Si", said the man and off we went!   He brought us through a maze of hallways and doors in a sterile like environment.  We ended up in front of a door that looked like it would open into a giant freezer.  Just the opposite was true.  Behind the door was an all natural rock cavern and it was steamy and hot!  There were bench like seats cut into the rock.  He told us that people stay in there only 20 minutes and we read that people do this in conjunction with mud bath treatments (before or after, not sure).  Cures all kinds of ills.  There is another big spa like this down in the town feeding off the same underground phenomenon.  Sciacca is quite famous for this and people have sworn by these treatments since ancient greek times.  (the people who helped us with the bus were from Germany and Milan and were visiting here for the spa).   

We brought a small picnic of olives, bread, cheese and vino and sat on the pedestal steps of a cross at cliffside overlooking the countryside and the sea.  (Note: Tomorrow we will be down there in among the olive groves walking the road on our way to the Sovareto beach.)  What a view from up here on top of Mount Calogero!

With the very changeable weather we have been having here we watched the time and the sky.  We packed up and made the return bus just as the rain began.


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