It took about 6 hours on the train to get from Rome to Brindisi. We got there about 7 in the evening, found a cheap hotel and then wandered down to the water and had another delicious Italian ice-cream. It was May 1st, a holiday, and it seemed that all of Brindisi was out for an evening stroll. Brindisi was a really pleasant town; less industrial and built up than I expected.
The next morning we took the boat to Greece. The TV was blaring the whole way over, with Greek sitcoms. I was trying to learn the Greek alphabet, so it was quite useful to hear the words, but it was all a bit screechy, and melodramatic.
Igoumenitsa was a bit like Brindisi for me. I thought it would be more built up and industrial, but actually it was a very pleasant small town. The sunset was gorgeous arriving in Greece and the landscape very hilly. Lots of islands dotted about too.
Once we got to Ioanina the next day (it’s about 2 hours from Igoumenitsa) we spent most of the day sitting by a lovely big lake in the town. It was hot and we didn’t do much.
I’ve noticed that I get a bit nervous about moving on to another destination. I get comfortable in a place after a day and then feel a little reluctant to move on. I get excited about visiting a new place too though so it’s a bit mixed up. Once I’m on the train, boat or bus I relax but then I feel nervous about getting off it again when we’ve reached the destination. When we do arrive, we just get on with finding a place to sleep and we explore the place a bit. People are mainly friendly and of course we’re not the first non-locals to visit the town. It always works out well. So then I really start to like the place and it’s time to move on and I’m excited and nervous all over again…
Sometimes I really enjoy a nice long trip. The other day we spent 8 long boring hours on a ferry from Italy to Greece. And I loved it.
There’s nothing particularly that you need to do – except get yourself on to (in this case) the boat in the first place. And then it’s like you go into some kind of limbo. Time slows down. You just sit there and let the world move on past the window. You feel like you’re doing something but actually you’re doing absolutely nothing at all. It’s brilliant! Sure, the bits at either side can be a bit stressful but the long boring bit in the middle makes it all worthwhile.
About half way through the ferry journey I wound my watch forward an hour. That’s the second time I’ve done that since leaving Leeds. I’m enjoying changing time zones one hour at a time.
This is the first part of our trip so far where we really have no idea what we’re doing. We don’t have any guidebooks for Greece and we’re really just relying on people telling us what to do. It’s worked out really well so far… We’ve only spent a night in each of Brindisi, Igoumenitsa and Ioanina but they’ve been real nice. There’s not been a lot going on but it’s been nice to just sit back and relax.