0522 The Coolest Mini-country in the World (San Marino 001â€”new)
San Marino Travel Blog› entry 147 of 201 › view all entries
Backtrack a dayâ€¦
On my second day in
As we approach the border, I suddenly realize why
So during the previous centuries while one by one Senigalia, Fano, Roviano,
We cross into the nation.
The first town doesnâ€™t look all that interesting-- just a very modern commercial stripâ€¦ some sort of Duty Free Zone. But soon we start winding up the hillside, that gets steeper and steeper and then turns into sheer cliffs as we approach the capital. We pass up a lot of cyclist who seem to enjoy the challenge of biking all the way to the top
Iâ€™m half tempted to get off the bus and hike from the border to the mountaintop, but figure itâ€™ll make more sense to start at the capital and work my way down.
No only a couple of streets here and no traffic lights. There is a pedestrian crossing with a full time policemen there in a bright yellow uniform telling you when to cross with grand sweeping gestures.
Might seem a bit unnecessary, but then again with a population of only 25,000, youâ€™ve gotta take special care of your pedestrians!
I continue up through the gateway to where I reach the top of a wall with a stunning view of the valley far far belowâ€¦
And then on to
The town does have a bit of a tourist trappy feel-- but Iâ€™m not going to let that bother meâ€¦ I can blame people for wanting come visit this placeâ€¦ A lot of little shops catering to â€śforeignersâ€ť, for example, you see a lot of air gun, knife and weapon shops-- I donâ€™t know if these are illegal in Italy or something, but it seems like San Marino is the place to go if you want to by a sword or an air gunâ€¦
Finally I reach the top, to the first of the three old castles built on solid rock, at the very top of the cliff. I pause for a bit, fantasizing of what it must have been like centuries ago to defend this fortress, with armies trying in vain to scale the cliff conquer your proud homelandâ€¦
Here I take one of my favourite photos and videoclips to date-- me with the guitar, with cliffs and castle in the background and a panoramic view of the valley far, far belowâ€¦
I continue on to the second castle, and along the narrow ridge to the third-- which is little more than a towerâ€¦ Then I head on backâ€¦
It looks like thereâ€™s a footpath down the cliff so I go to check it out.
I wander around