Cooks' Tour 2007: Glen & Marg's Excellent Adventure travel blog

The tug at the bow of the ship pulled it out from...

It only took 5 or 10 minutes to get the ship pointed...

May 10 & 11- Thursday & Friday

Thursday and Friday were travelling days. We reluctantly left Sicily, but only said 'arrivederci' not good-bye.

Before we left our hotel in Milazzo, we watched two big tugboats move a large ship from its berth in the harbour and set it on its way from Milazzo.

The ferry ride from Messina to the mainland was quick and easy, and we got up onto the autostrade to make time toward the heel of Italy. The terrain is mountainous in the far south, but as we reached the eastern, Adriatic coast, we entered a broad flat plain between the mountains and the sea. Our overnight stop was near Megapontum (the old Greek name), and we stayed at a 'truck stop' hotel just north of the town. There is a huge museum there, and an enormous set of campgrounds on the sea east of the town, but no hotels in Megaponto itself. So we will have to return to the museum another time.

Friday we drove for over two hundred kilometers on flat, straight roads! Quite exceptional, in our Italian experience. The plain seems to be a delta of many rivers that descend from the interior mountains to the Adriatic. The fields are large, planted with vines and fruit trees, and seems quite thinly populated but quite prosperous. By late afternoon, we were back in mountainous terrain, with tunnels through the mountain ranges that cross east-west to the sea with valleys between. The hills are greener than in the far south, and towns and villages are much more closely spaced.

We stopped for a few nights at Balleria, a seaside resort just north of Rimini. Our hotel had just opened for the season on the day we arrived. The seaside resort is very sparsely populated just now, with only a few of the beach chairs occupied. But the weather is beautiful, sunny and not too hot. We have vegged-out for a day or two to do our laundry and see a little of the many castles and medieval towns around Rimini.

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