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Adventures of a short vet

Bagging Bari

ITALY | Saturday, 23 April 2011 | Views [634]

Not a bad looking beach...but don't trust the water this close to the port with all those massive ferries just off theo coast

Not a bad looking beach...but don't trust the water this close to the port with all those massive ferries just off theo coast

I spent the morning at the Archeological Museum in Naples and discovered where most of the Pompeii murals, paintings & pottery were now situated. This included the “secret room” of old-age porn from the brothels, which you had to be over 16 to enter. Hilarious – especially the multipenis charms complete with bells and wings, which are supposed to be good luck.

The bus turned out to be quite easy to find and I was glad I’d arrived early as we ended up leaving 10 minutes ahead of schedule – so much for the laid-back late Italian way! The trip was fine, only marred by my first real epic fail of my adventure – leaving my jacket on the bus in the rush to leave and figure out where the hell I was when dropped seemingly in the middle of nowhere in the town of Bari. Turned out the bus station was around the corner and through a tunnel. Way to confuse the tourists! After a 30 minute walk to Santa Claus Hostel I had to then follow the dodgy Indian guy almost all the way BACK to the train station to a dingy 2 star hotel where I was to share a room with another couple of girls as they had overbooked the hostel, and the guy made it seem like a big favour that I was getting to stay in a HOTEL for no extra charge, despite the fact that I had to tramp all over the city, had to return to the hostel at 11am the following day to check in a second time (good thing I had no plans) and didn’t get the supposedly included breakfast! The 10am to 5pm “lockout” where they were “cleaning the hostel” (it wasn’t that clean) was also not mentioned on the website. He also tried to overcharge me but backed down pretty quickly when I showed him my remaining bill from my online booking and asked to speak to his boss. Unfortunately this was the only hostel in town so beggars can’t be choosers…but it was getting a very low rating from me on hostelworld.

After checking in at the hotel I then walked all the way BACK to the port to start the confusing process of buying a ferry ticket to Croatia. You have to catch the shuttlebus from the main ferry building (in which all the kiosks for ticket sales are empty) 3km away to kiosks on another port, where you buy your ticket and where you have to then return on the day of travel to check in, before heading BACK to the original port to catch the ferry! This is about as far from German efficiency as you can get. Luckily I met another Kiwi when she recognized my accent as I said “ten” and ended up joining her and a couple of American girls for some very good Italian pizza.

The following day I walked back to the hostel to check in for a second time, after reading their long list of rules – why is it the crappiest hostel has the longest list of rules? I spent the day walking along the waterfront to the wind-swept beach and visiting a couple of churches, including the one containing the crypt of Saint Nicholas, the original Santa Claus. That evening Heather arrived from Canada so we had a movie night, watching movies on my laptop. She was just so happy it was in English!

With another day to kill I wasted some time using the wifi at MacDonalds (of course there’s no internet at the hole of a hostel) and then met Heather at the beach for an appertivo lunch. We stayed there as long as we could until the weather packed in, then headed back to MacDonalds and later the church, just wasting time until we could go back to the hostel. There really isn’t that much to do in Bari. That evening we met an Aussie girl, Bec, who was just so happy to hear we spoke English after her drama trying to check into the hostel since the doorkeeper was being difficult. We headed out for pizza and watched another movie that evening, later being asked to “keep quiet now” at about 10:30pm despite being the only people in the hostel! What a joke.

Tags: bari, bus, naples museum, pizza, saint nicholas, santa claus

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