It's a long way down
Well here she is - another new country and Suzy is settled in for a few days. Her boots are taking root here. We hadnt expected to stay but the weather is fair and we are a few days in hand. So it gives us the opportunity to clean, tidy up, watch Moto GP on German TV. We had thought to go to Urbino today but its Sunday and we would struggle with buses and parking. It didnt take much to persuade us to stay put.
The campsite is a lovely one just on the outskirts of the city. Reception were very friendly and didnt seem to mind at this time of the year if we stayed one day, two or however many we wanted. The plot is rather hilly but has well defined plots of a really good size. It's an ACSi site at 16 euro a night. If there is a downside it is that only a few of the toilets are open as the bulk of them are ungoing refurbishment. The same goes for the lovely swimming pool which in season would be most welcome but today is full of workmen concreting, cleaning and generally doing something
Washing be done easily at a cost of 3 euro 50 cents. The wash room is locked but the key was easily obtained from reception. Gates lock the site and you are given a key to get in if you want to move. There is a small shop on site with basics open in the morning and later in the afternoon. The restuarant is superb with a good cholice on the menu and has the advantage of a take away. We sampled the restaurant the first night choosing a mixed grill with grilled vegetables and oven roasted potatoes followed by a Creme Anglaise (not sure what that was but it was tasty) and an ice cream with espresso coffee drenching it. 50 euros 50 it was a bit of a treat.
Last night we tried the take away pizza. A good selection at 5 euro 50 cents.
The site is a quiet one and that is why we are staying. We have Dutch neighbours to one side in their caravan and we met Benny as he came to be called. This was because when we asked him where he had been to in Spain and
what could he recommend he suggested Benicassim, Benicarlo and Benidorm. All of which are beloved of Brits who overwinter looking for sun, sea, English fish and chips and beer.
San Marino the city our destination for the day can be seen from our campsite. Tickets for the bus can be bought at REception at a cost of 2 euro a single trip. The bus runs from right outside the campsite roughly every two hours . The first just before 8 and the last at 5. We caught the 9.18. We almost stood at the wrong bus stop again as it was marked as being outside the restuarant in the map the reception staff had given us. After standing for 5 mins they came out and told us it had moved just round the corner by the bins. The bus turned up on time and we boarded to be taken on a tour of the hospital and then up the hill around switchback after switchback towards the city.
San Marino is also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino and is situated near to the Appenine Mountains in Europe. It is a small country with a population
The view from the top
of just over 30 thousand people and is 24 square miles in size. I have been before around 14 years ago but cannot remember much other than the shops smelled of leather and were full of bags and wallets and there were many gun shops. It claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state and that is a miracle in itself that it survived when the rest of Italy unified just over 150 years ago.
The bus set us off at the top of the hill and we made our way into the city. A guard/policewoman guided the traffic and the pedestrians into the old part of the city. She smiled as she did her days work. Our first stop was a cup of coffee served in a nice cafe in the square. Shame about the staff thought. I think the waiter must have got out of bed the wrong side as when I asked for a cake I was told there were none. I pointed to the cakes on display and got another curt and rude - NO CAKE . No cake - no tip then!!!
We sat and watched the guard dressed in green, red
and gold who talked to each other. It all seemed rather laid back compared with the guards we are used to seeing in London.
After our drink we walked up to the castles which dominated the site. We decided not to go in any as they did not look particularly interesting. Sometimes you get museumed out and I think this was one of those days. There was a museum of torture which looked busy. The views from the top were spectacular over the countryside far below to the Adriatic and the seaside resorts of Rimini. It was worth the climb, the shopkeepers still sold the same goods, the leather bags and wallets, magnets by the dozen, tourist tat and guns and knives.
We caught our bus back just down the road and were treated to the ride back through the hospital arriving at our campsite in no time at all. The rest of the afternoon was spent at the Bricolage just down the road buying batteries which we forgot to change before we left home. The Bricolage was the Italian version of B & Q. What a way to spend an afternoon in a DIY shop!!!
Tot: 1.163s; Tpl: 0.076s; cc: 9; qc: 40; dbt: 0.0244s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb