Travel Journal

Ciao Bella!

(Sunday 29 March 2015) by Mariken
Mariken on warpath
Mariken on warpath
I know I have plenty of prejudices about Italian efficiency (or the lack thereof), but unfortunately many of those are justified. We took the ferry from Igoumenitsa (where the Greek port authorities have taken efficiency to a whole new level; I went inside to check-in, with the intention of giving Jacco his ticket afterwards so that he could do his own check-in. Instead I was asked to check Jacco's name on his ticket and confirm whether it was correct. It was, after which I was asked the ultimate security question: 'Is he a good man?' Of course he is! I must have sounded really sincere, or maybe it were my beautiful blue eyes, but whatever the case, Jacco was checked-in, solely on my reputation! Why do people fly?! Take ferries instead!) to Ancona where we arrived one hour late. That wasn't really surprising as we had left Igoumenitsa one hour late as well. We were sent to our cars and then it took us two hours to disembark. Yes, you read that correctly, two hours. In the first hour, we did nothing, we just sat in the car. Then, a few cars started moving, following instructions issued by a least ten port officials. Result: one big traffic jam. Another 30 minute wait. Then, slowly, slowly, we started moving again. Ten metres of driving, ten minutes of waiting, ten metres of driving, ten minutes of waiting etcetera. It turned out that the lorries were disembarking at the same moment as the cars and they followed instructions from ten other port officials, who clearly did not communicate with 'our' caretakers. Finally, when it was already way past 4.30 pm (the supposed departure time of the ferry back to Igoumenitsa; we were supposed to arrive at 1.30 pm) we were waved through by the Italian customs officers, who randomly checked cars, coming from a ferry that sailed between two Schengen countries. :-? So much for Italian efficiency.

Fortunately, my other 'prejudice' (if you can call it that), namely that Italy has the world's most beautiful cities, is true as well. Today we visited Assisi and it was Italy at its finest. Nice, sunny weather, a gorgeous town in a beautiful landscape, magnificent churches with stunning frescoes, Assisi was definitely worth the detour. And of course the pizzas are delicious and the cappuccinos are unbeatable. B-)

I have a love-hate relationship with Italy. The country is beautiful and the food is delicious, but it is dreadfully expensive, the national driving skills are horrible, efficiency is non-existent and hardly anyone speaks English. Still, I am sad to leave, even though three days is probably the longest I can manage without succumbing to my prejudices. So tomorrow we will head to Civitavecchia to embark on yet another ferry, which will take us - hopefully - to Barcelona.

Arrivederci (toeteballen, de blote konten, tot morgen*)!

* This is only for insiders. ;-)

  • goede reis by Aafke
  • Verrassende doorsteek by Jac
    • Rechte lijn by Mariken
  • Jacht by Aafke

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