Bari (Or: The Randomest Place On Earth)
Trip Start Mar 08, 2008
51Trip End Sep 06, 2008
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Where I stayed
We got to Bari with 10 Euros in our pocket, no map, no tour book, and no idea what we were doing. Unfortunately, the tourist office was closed, so was the money exchange place, and no ATMS in site. So we headed off in a random direction with our packs on our backs
We found a tourist office that was open this time and the nice Italian woman handed us a map and instructions to get to our hotel. She told us it was a bit of a walk and she wasn't kidding. We ended up trekking about 3-4 miles with our 20+ pound backpacks on. Our place was number 320 on the street, so I thought we were almost there when I saw a building on the other side of the street with the number 291. But then I realized the even numbers on our side of the street didn't necessarily coincide with the odd numbers on the other side. Our side was only at 202. So we walked for what felt was forever before we got to the 300's on our side of the street. I figured that since each building was the next even number, we'd be at our hotel within the next 10 buildings
The hotel itself was also the most random hotel we'd ever been to. It looked like a school dormitory, complete with a mess hall on the second floor and a small chapel. There were display cases on the reception wall with different minerals labeled, like they had in my 8th grade earth science class room. And then crucifixes at the end of the hall. When we asked if there was an internet cafe, the receptionist took us to the main office where they kicked this teenage girl and her dog off the laptop she was on and let us borrow it
What can I saw about the port town of Bari? It's random. We walked around the touristy areas, which took just a few hours. There were very few tourists around. We entered this one fortress where the four people in the entrance area literally jumped up and gave us free entrance tickets, as if we were doing them a favor by visiting their fortress.
Foodwise, Bari actually lived up to our expectations for what we'd expect from Italy. Our first day we went to the supermarket to grab some food for lunch and I couldn't have been happier with the deli section. Why can't you go to your local Vons and buy a wedge of buffalo mozzarella for $3? And fresh baked focaccia with olives and artichokes for $1? On our second day, we treated ourselves to a very nice lunch at a chic restaurant. We shared a bottle of white wine, had some great pasta for the first course, and grilled fish with vegetables for the second course. Even at our very random hotel, we got a complimentary breakfast with the most amazing chocolate
croissants ever. So for all of Bari's randomness, I'm happy to report that we ate very well there.
Getting warmer, but still looking for that steamy, hot beach weather. Off to Greece to find the islands...