Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bari, Taranto, Return to Naples

Back to the train station. . .

"Come on you guys! Let's go!"

Once again we screwed up with our trains.  The guy at the little train station in Alberobello sold us tickets to Bari to catch the next bike-friendly train to Naples, but when we got to Bari, the guy at that counter said they didn't have a bike-friendly train leaving for Naples until the next day and if we took it, we had to switch trains in Foggia, which meant getting to Naples late (it didn't make sense to us either).  We kept bugging him to find us a quicker route to Naples, but he had no luck.  The best he could do was a train to Taranto, where we could catch a bike-friendly train directly to Naples the next morning.  ARGH!  Whatever path we took back to Naples, it seems we lost our extra day which really bummed us out.

At one point, we even tried biking into Bari in search of a bus station, but that was a complete fail.  Buses in Italy can be very confusing.  There's lots of private bus companies.  Some take bikes no problem, some take them if they are boxed, some don't take them at all.  Even finding a bus station can be an adventure.  They often share space with the train station or sell tickets in a tobacco shop.

So, after talking to a few bus drivers and calling a few bus lines, we gave up on the bus. Still, in a funny twist of fate, while looking for a bus station in Bari, we instead found a very cool bike shop (not that we needed one at this point!)  The guys at the shop were very nice and welcoming.  The mechanic not only fixed Leaf's brake for free, but also removed the metal thread from Mark's tire.   So we were practically done with the trip, and our bikes were performing better than ever.

Bike shop in Bari

Onto Taranto

In the end we got tickets to Taranto and decided to spend the night there.  We don't have many pictures here, but Monet found a very cool B-n-B near the water,  the downtown mall, and the train station. We got some ciabatta to go, scored some gelato, and then walked around the mall before heading to bed.  While walking on the mall we heard this weird music. . .  It sounded like Peruvian flute music, but in the background was some baseline from an old Western TV show. . . and on top of that was a Simon & Garfunkel melody.  When we arrived at the source of the music, we saw a street musician dressed as an Indian Chief.  He was actually quite talented and we watched him for many minutes.  We had no idea what his music meant, but for us, it was a calling to come home. . .

street musician

Note from street poet. . . we need help translating!

Leaf, not wanting to get up

So, finally, we were heading back to Naples. . . 

Monet's Mileage Count

  • Train Alberobello to Bari - 35.7 miles
  • Biking in Bari -  5 miles
  • Train Bari to Taranto 60 miles
  • Biking from train station to hotel 4 miles (return AM 4 miles)

Travel Tip:

To find the bike-friendly car on a bike-friendly train, look for the bicycle sign  The car is usually at the beginning or end of the train.  It cost us a little more to get the bikes on (3.50 euro each), but having a nice place to put the bikes without having to get all the panniers off was huge.

Next: Naples Part 2

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