About two thousand years ago, Agrigento, Sicily, was the pinnacle of civilization. A bustling harbor traded with the world. Gold adorned temples honored Greek gods. Then entered the Carthaginians. They swept in from the Libyan coast, burned the city, looted the temples, and killed everyone in it. All that remains today is the rubble of a mighty civilization.
We pulled up to the ruins after a two hour car ride from Catania. I was ecstatic. We were going to see a millennium old city, right before our eyes! We found the parking situation, or lack thereof, quite troubling. We had no choice but to park on the side of the highway, SS40. Not that I cared.
“We’re here!” my Mom said. No kidding.
“Look! A temple!” said my brother. He was right. Up on a hill was the gleaming Temple of Juno, ionic columns and all.
“Wow!” I remarked, shellshocked by its sheer grandeur. That is amazing, I thought, I need to see it now.
“I’m gonna go take a closer look.” I said. Before anyone could answer, I swung open the door and got out.
The air was dry and hot. It smelled like olive oil. I stood on one side of a 4-lane highway. On the other loomed the glorious ruins. I felt like I was playing Crossy Road.
Okay on the left, except for a pint-sized Fiat, but that’s half-a-mile away. Okay on the right, I guess. Our large S.U.V. obscured my right side view. Plus, I just couldn’t stop staring at those ruins. I began to jog across. Then in from the right, 100 feet away and advancing was a tourist bus.
I’m going to die I thought. My life flashed before my eyes. I stopped, frozen directly in front of the bus (still advancing) like a deer in headlights. I screamed at the top of my lungs.