Monday, 14 September 2015

San Marino - trains, rain and rather random things

A very sad day today. First we said goodbye to Libby. She trained to southern Italy to commence her self guided walk which looks fabulous. A little train ticket drama but safely on her way in a first class carriage complete with wifi - she emailed this one from the train. 

Then we returned to the station with Dan and Ali who have headed off to Rome before Paris and London legs of their journey. They have lots of luggage. 

I am also sad because this is probably my last day with Don :-(

San Marino. The rain returned with a vengeance today. The wind rivalled Wellington in a good northerly too. We of course didn't look at the forecast and found ourselves in the walled city with no coats or sweaters watching this most amazing weather system. 

The drive from Riccione was lovely. The republic is bigger than we thought. Thank you Vodafone for texting Steve to tell him when we crossed the border. 

After circling the car park at the bottom of the short gondola ride we opted to park down the hill with the camper vans, a steep walk up - I have new muscles now - but free. It also meant we discovered the series of disused train tunnels that are now a walking / cycling track - I didn't read the sign but the train line was the international one between countries but was bombed soon after commissioning. 

The gondola was ok. So short you don't see much. The weather had started to come in by the time we got to the top and rain commenced soon after. 

We had lunch in an over populated under staffed tourist trap all orders were wrong but we got food. Then the random things started to occur. The rain and that awesome weather system to start. 
Plus, it seems San Marino is where Italians go to buy their guns - I struggled to get good photos but there are gun (and perfume next door) shops everywhere. 

Then the changing of the guard was completely lame. Two guards posed with tourists, then two others walked out and took their places. The palace is quite awesome. 

Finally, emergency response. We have decided if you want to have an accident San Marino is the place to be. We were walking and heard sirens winding up the road (yes there is a road you don't have to take the expensive short gondola ride) by the time we got to the source a police car and ambulance with 3 staff on board were taking a girl away - school trip! Poor parents and teachers. 
Half an hour later sitting in a bar so I could write postcards out of the rain (and post them from a new country of course) a kid fell (Don witnessed this) and hit his face by his eye on the metal seat in the bar, there was some concern about glass involved. Kid screaming, blood everywhere, Italians helping which was awesome and less than 2 mins later we heard the siren on its was. Ambulance there within 5 mins. Family all bundled in eventually and they left. 
Random afternoon rainy day events. 

Because I didn't take many San Marino pics - guy stuff. 

Now for Sam - OMG we found the best gelato place tonight. Look at my senza glutane cone!!!!!

Back to the day. We returned from San Marino and went to the fabulous spread our hotel put on every night with Sangria. 

Feeling tired and full we headed out for a walk. Dan, Ali and Libby. If you turn left at the Grand Hotel then walk through the mall that Dan found there is a "strip" - for want of a better word - that goes for miles and miles and miles. We walked about 2km before turning back. Completely lined with shops and restaurants and bars. 
We stopped at the English pub for chips $3 Aperol spritz and Guinness. 
A total of 12.66kms walked today and 32 stories of elevation. Wonder how I will keep this up once we are back home. 

Preparing for a sad day tomorrow as we head to Rome and leave Don to go elsewhere. 

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