A stop-over in Puglia's hectic metropolis
Trip Start Apr 08, 2007
129Trip End Oct 01, 2007
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Actually, it's not that bad of a place. Sure, the main thoroughfares are overflowing with belching cars, buses and trucks
Oddly enough, Bari is home to the relics of St. Nicholas. Yes, that St. Nicholas - the one the Santa Claus mythology comes from. It was a little bizarre stumbling upon the church playing host to them. It was even more bizarre being there with a bunch of Russian tourists (eh?), but apparently there's some Russian arts fair going on in town. Adding to the puzzle was the question of why the completely untouristed castle by the water was asking a €12 admission fee. It's perhaps understandable in light of admission fees we've encountered elsewhere, but seriously - supply and demand?
The whole labyrinthine historic quarter made for a pleasant surprise for me. For a city with such a rough-and-tumble reputation, it was pleasure to explore. The old stone facades and Romanesque churches were distinctly reminiscent of Split, Croatia for me. Perhaps it's only logical given that it's just across the Adriatic. Anyhow, sometimes it pays to put away preconceptions about a place and just have a look.
Now we're waiting for the onward ferry to Patras with a huge group of Americans and an equally large number of British soccer fans. I think it's going to be an interesting night. . .