Thursday, 21 March 2019

Hilton Garden Inn (Lecce, Italy)

After my Hilton breakfast I got ready for my day trip to Gallipoli. I keep intending to walk to the station, but took a taxi instead. Just as I bought my ticket for Gallipoli I saw Alan and Ginny and we continued visiting as we rode to Gallipoli.

I almost forgot to look out the window at the countryside as we traveled. A side benefit of traveling is that you occasionally meet people who are kind, interesting and have a wealth of experience to share. Ginny shared about a book she read regarding a young woman who grew up in Idaho, home schooled, Mormon, and worked in the family junk yard. Then went to on receive her Ph.D at Cambridge! Wow! Alan told me about an book regarding Jefferson Davis’ wife. Fascinating! Among other topics. Great discussions!

When we arrived in Gallipoli we walked to the older part of the city located on an island, but more like an extension of the city. At that point I was ready for lunch (was past 12:30) and since they brought a lunch they would find a place to enjoy their lunch. There were a couple of trains in the afternoon but none of use were sure how long we were going to tour today. And we each went our separate directions.

I first headed toward what I thought were restaurants next to the fishing harbor, but it turned out to be a fish market which was closing for the day. Ginny pointed out a restaurant during our walk to the old part of the city so I went back there.

I couldn’t believe that I ordered more mussels, but I did. I also ordered, or thought I did, an order of scallops with a lemon sauce. What I was actually served was some sort of meat (veal?) with the lemon sauce. Rather than mention this to the server, I just ate it.

After lunch I enjoyed walking around the small island that contained the castle, the old city of narrow streets, and a few churches. I really enjoyed just walking for about 5 – 10 minutes then stopping to enjoy the view. I came upon a young man who dumped something on the harbor walls. The seagulls went nuts. I think the young man had just cleaned fish.

As you looked over the harbor wall you could clearly see the sea floor. I took a couple of pictures. Less windy than yesterday. Really a perfect day for a slow and casual walk. Gallipoli was the place to be today.

Just as I thought it would be nice to have a treat, I saw a vendor’s cart. He was selling gelato and he featured lemon gelato, my favorite. I continued to walk and enjoy the gelato. Then sat down and finished it while I watched the mid-afternoon activities.

I was thinking that I should probably find a restroom soon. I saw a cafe on the city side of the harbor and walked over there. I ordered a espresso and used their restroom, then went outside and sat in the sun. It was just a perfect afternoon.

It was getting close to 4:00 and thought I’d better walk towards the station. It was an easy walk back and took less time than I expected. I found myself with an hour wait before the train was to arrive. I posted pictures to Instagram to pass the time. I’m really enjoying using Instagram. Amazing number of random people who “like” my pictures and some start to follow me. Very different from Facebook where I know everyone.

As it got closer to 5:30 I realized that Alan and Ginny probably took the earlier train. The journey back seemed longer with no one to talk with. As the train approached Lecce it was dark and after visiting a store and restroom I went outside the station to find a taxi. To my surprise, the woman from the night before was the next in line to be my driver. She knew exactly where I was headed. What a character!

I had bought a sandwich and a beer at the station. I definitely wasn’t going to order room service or go down to the hotel restaurant. The sandwich was fine. After eating I decided to start watching a movie, The Social Network. It had been on my mind to watch it again. I thought Jesse Eisenberg did a great job at portraying Mark Zuckerberg. Which reminds me that I’d like to visit Boston and Cambridge again when I return to the states.

Tomorrow I leave for Bari to stay at a hotel near the airport. I didn’t want to risk missing the flight to Rome. I’ve been enjoying the pictures Barbara has posted on her Facebook page of her visit to Egypt. I’m looking forward to hearing about her experiences when I see her on Saturday as we meet up in Malta.

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