Day 1: Bari
Bari Travel Blog› entry 5 of 13 › view all entries
October 19th, 2009 – by: missandrea81
After our first breakfast buffet experience (you're lucky if you find a table and still have warm eggs on your plate) we got ready for our first shore excursion. We're cheapskates so we didn't book anything through the cruise line... yet. After getting of the ship, we were on the lookout for a city map. We had one that the cruise line provided, which was a sorry excuse of a copied map on pink paper. *rolls eyes* We got a little folding one at the tourist info right by the harbor gates.
Oh great! There's more churches here! Step mommy got excited. The weather was okay. It wasn't cold and it wasn't raining, but there was no sun either. Oh well. Let's go!
So before we even left the harbor there were many, many tourist traps lined along the road. "City tours!", "Taxi tours!", "Blah, blah, tours!" Great! Day 1 and I'm already tired of the locals. ;) Noooo, I'm just kidding. We politely said "No, grazie" and started walking. We saw that the old city part was surrounded by a fortress wall, so we had to find a way in. Wasn't hard.
First impression of Bari. Hmmm. Well, nothing touristy about it really. I think the main reason why the Italian cruise ship made port here was for more Italian passengers to embark. The city itself, don't get me wrong, was nice enough. It was laundry day and it smelled like Downy and other detergents in the narrow streets, where the laundry was hanging - everywhere.
We navigate around half of the city in about one hour. We stopped by the Basilica San Nicola , yup, dedicated to the one Nikolaus that brings candy to German kids on December 6th. The church itself had a very impressive ceiling. Painted with a ton of gold-leaf. Very pretty. The rest of the church was mainly built out of ordinary grey granite. The crypt houses some of the remains of Saint Nicholas and many other relics.
We kept on strolling through Bari's streets and alleys, sticking to the old part of town. We got another cup of cappuccino at a cafe, where we had a very one sided conversation with a little Italian girl.
Our last stop before heading back to the ship was the Castello Svevo di Bari. We paid 2 Euros to get in. There were a lot of restorations going on everywhere. The outside is mainly closed to the public. On the second floor (or the first floor for us Europeans) was an art exhibit. On the ground floor we found some excavation sites. It did look like they dug up some old coffins since the holes reminded of a usual burial hole. All the signs here were in Italian though so there was no way of knowing for sure.
Well, that was it for Bari. Back to the ship and tomorrows adventure in/on Corfu.
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