For some unknown reason the ferry is not going to Catania but back to Pozzallo and then coaches, initial worry is would I miss the train? Need not have worried as got to Catania in plenty of time, although the walk from the port to the train station is not quite salubrious in part.
Nothing open in the station but outside is a mobile ice cream shop did not take picture as did not feel 100% safe (silly really) but bought water and ice cream and it was really good at 2230.
Present passport and phone to board train (paperless) and shown sleeper to Naples
The train goes directly onto the ferry at Messina before making the crossing the straits of Sicily. Next morning I am awake at Salerno and having my coffee bought by the lady attendant. The train is ongoing to Rome but it’s my stop next and then the bus.
Remember smoking Etna?
Well this is her sister Vesuvius! Next stop Bari and no more volcanoes.
The bus journey to Bari was comfortable and arrived in Bari 5 minutes late. Only problem no sight nor sound of a taxi. 10 minutes later it’s hot and getting hotter. When I am hailed by a gangster looking guy in a private car asking if I want a taxi at this stage I will take a donkey. Not allowed to sit in the back only in the front. Phone comes in handy especially with the address, google translate and google maps.I didn’t think we would make it. He shows me some sort of price list and I think he is offering his cousins hotel. Torre A Mare is not on it. Actually he gets me to the hotel drops me at the gate will not drive up to reception, pay him €40 and offers to pick me up at 1500 tomorrow and will give cheaper rate. Gives me a piece of paper with his name and mobile number. Thank you Salvatore.
Arrive in Torre A Mare (Bari) in time for lunch, squid and green bean salad, with a glass of rather good red wine.
Stairs to my room 415.
Pleasantly pleased and ready for a swim.
Like the slide at the end? This is home for the next two days.
Dinner starter of local meats and cheeses. I couldn’t finish it.
Calamari and prawn with another glass of wine. Italy really does make some good wine but reminded by the waiter that this is Puglia not Italy. As I was reminded in Sicily that this is Sicily not Italy and we thought it was only Yorkshireman.
Lunch time and this time it’s red tuna tartare with a local which is slightly salty but not Parmesan.
Octopus with tender stem broccoli and turnip greens (please note none of this fattening) delicious.
Swim, pack and check out at 1700 when taxi arrives. Taxi only costs €35 (give him €40) but after entering terminal find out wrong one and mine is 1km away, in no rush and a walk through a major ferry port is always pleasant. At least it’s only 28c.
Gets to check in 5 positions open and see younger guy checking in and think that’s the shortest queue. So stand behind him. He is a teacher and is taking a junior basketball team from Bari to Athens for a competition, the next minute it’s like the whole of Bari is at the check in counter and even the lady checking them in has her phone out and is taking photo’s!
My cabin. Note the crew member who showed me to my cabin opened the curtain to show me the view, which is towards the bow ( the front end for the non nautical).
Arrivderci (Puglia) Italy.
It’s 2200 and I am feeling a bit peckish. So it’s off to the self service cafeteria on board. Turns out it’s more Cypriot than Greek. See below.
Veal hock with fries and gravy. Did not make breakfast.
Now remember the view from my cabin. Well it’s 2345 and I am getting my tablets all sorted next thing knocking on my door. Crew member with message from the bridge (that’s the bit that steers the ship) can I close my curtains please as the light is affecting the Captains night sight. Luckily I am not the only one as I can hear knocking on other doors.
OK people that’s one part of the trip completed. Greece next up. Let me know if you like the blog and if you would like more bits and pieces added.