Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Ferry Rides and 1st day in Italy

We had two ferry rides totalling 19 hours with a 5 hour layover in Patra. The layover was enjoyable due to all the activity in the port. We watched two giant super fast ferries come in and unload a ton of trucks and reload with a ton of trucks.

The port authorities have a problem with illegal immigrants in Greece attempting to get into the rest of the E.U. via a boat from Greece. We watched a half dozen young men climb over the fence and barb wire into the port, attempt to get near a boat or truck, and get chased back over the fence by the port authorities. All cargos were inspected and all papers are checked before anyone can board a ferry. It was a really interesting scene.

We failed to sleep much last night and were definitely "ferry lagged" when we rode into the walled town, Brindisi.

However, we found a small cafe open, had cappuccinos, and ham and cheese stuffed pastries, changed into cycling gear and started to ride out of town. There was a local Sunday ride occurring and a lot of bikes were on the road.

After a frustrating hour spent searching for the quiet road out of town, we hailed another cyclist and were told we were in the right spot. The road was on the coast and soon we were directed onto a percorso cicloturistico, which was a bicycle route in the direction we were headed, but on roads so small they weren't on our map.

It was delightful riding and the occasional local motorist would wave or give a positive beep of their horn. We saw these unusual stone structures alongside the road. They were stone houses developed in this area of Italy and are known as trullo.

The roofline eventually became quite stylized and the most famous of these structures are in Alberobello, 43 km away.

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Rolf and Monika said...

Hi Dave and Belinda

we got home today healthy and without any major problems. After meeting you South of Kalamata we cycled to Areopolis, where we had to stay for one day because of the strong wind. We continued to Githeon and Kosmas (at 1200m in clouds), Nafplio with Tiryns and Mikines, and onward to Epidauros and the island of Poros. There we took a ferry boat to Athens, visited the Akropolis and the Archeological Museum and cycled to Korinthos and Patras. On the way back to Germany by ferry boat and train via Italy we stayed for one day in Bologna - well worth a visit! (We stayed in the Hotel Bologna for 75€ per room and night). We cycled in total 1150 km in 15 days - and next week its going back to work.
If you come to Germany, remember, there is always a hot shower at our place!

Have a safe trip!

Rolf and Monika

Dave and Belinda said...

Hi Rolf and Monika, you really packed a lot into 15 days. We had high winds in Areopolis as well. Thanks for the tip about Bologna. We will be visiting there on our way through Italia also. Thanks also for your kind offer of a warm shower.. Someday we will get there!