Eight hour ferry ride from Igoumenitsa to Brindisi starting at midnight
To: Torre Santa Sabina
After sitting in the Ferry terminal most of the evening, we finally boarded the ferry a little after 10:30 PM. As we were going up to security we saw people were putting their bags through the scanner and walking through the metal detector, so we assumed we would as well. When we showed the security screener our tickets and US passports she just waved us around the security screening systems. It was nice not to have to open up our backpacks and go through everything with the security people.
It took a few minutes to actually board while we waited on the last trucks to pull off the ferry that were arriving from Brindisi. There wasn’t a lot of direction on what to do, but when we entered the ferry there was a reception desk. When we showed the guys at the reception desk our ticket they were excited to take us to the Vasco De Gama suite. It was a great suite with a living room, bedroom and bathroom with a shower. After walking that day we were very happy to have the nice room, but there was only one double bed although there was a large couch. I told John the couch was perfectly fine for me. I slept on plenty of beds or cots in my time in the Air Force much smaller than that and the couch probably has more room that I do most nights with our labrador Maggie sleeping in the bed between Lisa and I. The receptionist brought extra sheets and blankets and it was nice and comfortable.
The ferry trip was mostly smooth and we both slept fairly well. We arrived in Brindisi a little past eight but it was probably closer to 9 am when we disembarked. Again, there was not a lot of direction of what to do so John and I just walked off toward what appeared to be a terminal building. When we got to the terminal building there were some uniformed customs agents/police, but they just waved us right through and we were in Italy!
It was raining lightly as we made our way downtown. I had my first fall of the trip, slipping on an old poster that was lying on the sidewalk. Other than embarrassing myself and scraping up my hand a little bit I was fine. It won’t be my last fall in over 2300 miles I’m sure.
Our morning in Brindisi was a very fruitful. We stopped at a Vodafone store and got new Italian Sim cards for our phones. We hoped to use our Greek Sim cards but it was just too much trouble. We also stopped by the bank and post office to exchange currency and restock our euros. We dropped by a pharmacy as well and got some Band-Aids for the scrapes on my hand and for any future blisters we may get.
On the way out of town we were starving as we hadn’t eaten since the night before and we stopped at a small Italian café. The food was really good. We both had a baked pasta dish.
The downside of getting things done downtown meant that we didn’t get started walking out of Brindisi until almost noon and we had over 5 hours to walk. Luckily the walking was easy with almost no hills. When we arrived in our town for the night I was a bit concerned it was going to be another one of those ghost towns along the beach. I was pleasantly surprised when we got to the hotel and walked in and it was open. The rooms are very nice as well as the receptionist. I believe he may actually be the owner. John asked him if there’s a place to do laundry and instead his mom is going to do it for us tonight and have it ready for us in the morning. You can’t ask for more hospitality and it’s exactly what we needed. For dinner I think we found the only place open in town, but again the food was great. It was a wonderful first day in Italy and we can’t wait for the ones ahead.