Guns and Frocks

Loving Delta and the Bannermen since 1987

Last leg

Friday 14 March 2008

The train was late, and I did get lost on the way to the port. But I’m writing this post on board the ferry, about four hours out from Pátra.

The train was only ten minutes late into Bari, and I was sure I knew which direction to go to get to the sea. Things were looking good: the street continued straight ahead, there was a breeze, I could see a pavilion of some kind up ahead. Suspiciously, though, there were no signs saying This way to port. Not to worry, I thought,  Bari is probably embarrassed about simply being a ferry port on the way to Greece, and it bolsters its self-esteem by having lots of signs directing you to its lovely church and prestigious university, and no signs telling you how to leave.

That was when I got lost. The pavilion was a false alarm, and I found myself in a maze of twisty little cobbled streets, all alike. Perservering, I passed the church and the university, and came out on a wide street by the ocean. I immediately noticed something about half a kilometre to my left that looked like a port, and after a few moments, I noticed another port-like thing about a kilometre to my right.

I approched a sausage-seller in a van with (literallly) all the Italian at my command: Dov’è il porto? He said it was the port-like thing on my left.

So I got to the ferry with enough time to check in and eat dinner before it was time to depart. My Eurail pass entitled me to (nearly) free passage and a reclining aeroplane-style seat, which was easily comfortable enough to sleep in. It’s quite nice here, nicer than a train: there’s a bar and a restaurant and a duty free shop. There’s (slow and unreliable) wi-fi and televisions showing BBC World, Greek News and Italian sitcoms.

One more train trip and I’ll be in Athens. My guidebook tells me they have wi-fi there too.