Published: July 27th 2011June 25th 2011
I have heard in English people say that I am an idiot but I have never been looked at or commented on, that I am an idiot in one place as I did walking around San Marino.
I waited at the bus stop in Rimini, Italy to head to the tiny mountain top country of San Marino, Europe’s smallest nation in the European Council. I was chatting to a red hot Russian red head whilst I was waiting. She was pretty cute and it was then that I realised I forgot to have a shave. My Milan Makeover was not complete. Actually the shop was closed in Milan on Monday’s so I had no choice. It was a shame but I screwed myself even more by having her see the final evidence of the San Marino story.
With the extra baggage from my Milan Makeover I arrived in the new country tired from even walking a minute distance. The bus climbed up Mount Titano to a surreal experience considering it is a country.
It is more a packaged tour day trip feel than a country that has been around since the year 301. The shuttle bus service was
¾ full of Russians. Most people base themselves in Rimini; a coastal town on the Adriatic but my intention for a night was to stay at the hostel in San Marino. I walked up the last part not knowing where this hostel is. I ask a traffic cop dressed in a dark yellow shirt, dark blue pants and a sky blue hat.
I am informed that it is 2 km down the mountain I just paid 8-euro (return trip) for to go up. I start to think what I am going to do, walk down with all this crap on my back than walk all the way up, than all the way down and up again at night. Stuff that!
I went on the Internet and noticed that Rimini is a bit of a party place and maybe I might see the red hot Russian red head again. So I decided I’d walk the country with the maximum amount of weight I have carried this journey.
Europe backpacking is too easy in comparison to Africa so why walk around with nothing on your back. Carry everything you have! Lets make this travel hard!! It was a roll
with the punches moment. I just sat back, cooled down and set off knowing that my brand new clothes were going to be soaked with sweat very shortly.
I had no idea what I was looking at or going to see but the country is well signposted. There are 3 Torre (towers), which are points on the mountain that give prime views of the land below. The points drop dramatically down on a craggy cliff face. Green mountainside surround the capital which petter off to the coastal towns. The houses below have bright red tiles so the view is pretty impressive.
The main tourist area is not the only part of the country but it is pretty close - The country covers only 61sqkms. I am sure there is more than what I saw but it would be what this part of my travels are about. I will be missing some things because I should be in Africa now. It will be about word of mouth and finding out places I have never heard of a few days earlier. Like the coastal town of Rimini.
With each Torre, I had to climb further and the reactions increased
by the other tourist.
Spanish – “¿Qué diablos es este idiota haciendo”
Korean - 대체하고이 바보
Why not the Swahilians as well – “Jahannamu ni nini hii idiot kufanya”
The locals too Italian – “che diavolo è questo idiota fa”
But most importantly I heard it in Russian “что, черт возьми, этот идиот делает” “What the hell is this idiot doing?”
My shirt was saturated as well as a beard and with the 4 year old faded out red backpack - I must have looked like a bum. As I took the return bus with the red head Russian I was too exhausted to talk to her and fell asleep, mouth open and catching flies. By the time I woke up I was one of the last people to leave the bus and I headed to a hostel in Rimini.
The next day I went to set up a haircut and a shave. Despite numerous hairdressers having no customers they were either booked out or I had to make an appointment for 8 hours later at 8pm. Across the road from the hairdressers I booked with was an old overweight guy which seemed to be a shaving specialist.
I inform I wanted a shave but no haircut and he told me abruptly where to go and didn’t want my business. Basically offended because I thought he would give me a crap haircut. True - It was not worth the risk so it was off to the supermarket to buy some shaving gear. My shaving cream broke in Africa months ago.
At about 8:15pm I stopped my haircut when it appeared if we were to continue I may be in possession of a mullet so it was good enough as is. Back at the hostel I was informed by some other travelers I should get a shave now I’ve had the beard off.
With the beard gone and maybe never back again I headed out to the bars and in typical Italian fashion it was Italian guys surrounding silently every girl in their sleazy way. So off to another bar and actually I got a bit too drunk. Lesson was not learned from previous trips. Still it was my 2nd night out drinking in 3 months. Italy was not where I’d find my Rochelle. I have time till Minsk.
There are more photos below