Tuesday 30 May, 2011
Arrived in Bari by train from Brindisi yesterday. After only half a day here I can already say I like it. Bari sometimes suffers from desparaging comments (as with Naples) about dirt and crime, but to me it’s great. I have enjoyed the more relaxed vibe of smaller Puglian towns, but there is something to be said for the excitement and energy of a bigger city. It has a great position on the promontory jutting out into the Adriatic Sea and the Old Town alleys are just as maze-like as I have read about. There are good, cheap take-away food shops, a great gelateria (I tried the blackberry and the passionfruit), and a nice untrendy bar near the castle where I had my traditioal evening Campari before setting out on my passagiata. The birds have followed me. They are not “swifts” as I have been calling them. They are swallows! (rondine in Italian). Well, my ornithological knowledge is obviously deficient, but it made sense to me – they are very streamlined, and well, “swift”. I have posted a pic previously of one that had sadly fallen to earth.
Here are some pics. Streets, lanes, piazzas, churches and one castle. And one of the Column of Justice where bankrupts used to be tied up and lashed. Ah, Alan Bond – why were you born too late?
The guy I met at the Castello Bar near the castle. His name is Fabrizzio and he runs a sail boat around the Ionian islands off Greece, based in Corfu. He offers massage, reiki and meditation as part of the package. In all honesty, I think I am almost too relaxed already to benefit much, but I have one or two friends and relatives who probably could 😉 If you are interested I can pass on the details…
The bar where I had the (on tap) La Trappe Belgian beer is called Il Faros (as in the Greek lighthouse Pharos). It was down near the waterside Lungomare promenade. The owner is Leo who runs it with his brother Antonio. In the past Leo also lived on Corfu, running a cafe there. I am going to Dubrovnik, Croatia by boat overnight, but I could just as easily be going to Corfu, greece or to Albania or Monte Negro. Ferries run to all those places. If I can get an internet connection the next post will be from the Balkans side of the Adriatic. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Italy but I am looking forward to the next part of the journey, maybe ending up in Greece. First day of summer here and first day of winter back home in Australia. I might envy you back home in deliciously frigid weather while I am sweltering in the Balkans. But probably not 🙂