Vacation lookback: Italy (Part I)
We got to Italy by way of ship. We left Patra with Grimaldi Lines, and headed for Brindisi. This was my first (long duration) boat ride since 1992 when I had gone to Amorgos with my father. The boat ride wasn't bad, it was a 16 hour voyage. We were hugging the Greek cost for most of the afternoon, and into the evening, so I had intermittent internet on my Nexus with my Greek SIM. We bough some Pullman style seats, opting to not get a room so we can save some money. For most of the trip (up to Igoumenitsa) we were the only ones in the Pullman seat section, which was pretty nice. In Igoumetsa more passengers came on-board and joined up. I doubt that they had purchased Pullman seats, but whatever. My only real big complaint about the boat ride was the upkeep of the bathrooms. They were good when we arrived, but by the end they were pretty disgusting.
When we arrived at Brindisi we were taken (by free shuttle) from the port to the center of town (or somewhere anyway where there was tourist information office. It would have been nice to have this office near the train-station (our destination) so that the free shuttle dropped us off there, but I guess that would make too much sense ;-) We spent the first night in Casserta. This was a pretty interesting city, but we didn't really have a ton of time to explore it. One thing we did discover is, that unlike Greece and the Netherlands, there is a gap between the hours of operation of restaurants, and most stop serving at 15:00 and don't start again until 19:30. For two people who were quite hungry, this was quite a bad surprise :) The hotel we stayed in Casserta was pretty nice, and we definitely need to go back there again!
The next blog post will be about the Campania Region where we stayed for a few days...