Got up after 0540, getting the shower out of the way before Molasses Man aka Lou headed in. Got some computer time in prior to o700 brekkie. It is going to be a good day with just a half day tour and a free afternoon. First official new WHS today to boot!
The brekkie was a cut below that in Rome. Still waiting for my first great cup of java. Went for a short walk prior to our 0900 rendezvous for the tour with Sara. The city of San Marion is atop Mount Triton, red clay tile roofs and green farm lands below.
The Sergeant Major aka Bitch did little to endear herself today. First, she is late for departure. Second, having forgotten her passport [for stamping], she goes back up and gets it. I had also forgotten same but my attitude was not to hold up the group and I could do it on my own in the afternoon.
The tour of the city of San Marino, the capital of the oldest republic in the world, San Marino was fine. The city and republic are named after Saint Marino, a visitor in the second century AD. The Italian hero Girabaldi passed through the area. We stopped at the former quarry area for the 1884 castle, today used for medieval archery events.
The Public Palace was visited next. It is all of stone. On the second floor is the present council room, overseen by the two captains-regent of San Marino, reminiscent of the two consuls who ruled Rome during the Republic. The Basilica del Santo was not too noteworthy save for the large seats for the kings off to the left of the altar area.
We spent most of the time heading uphill. Big Bess gave up at this stage. Lose some weight!
There are three towers in San Marino. The country's last war was 1463. I climbed up the first [La Rocca] and second [La Ceste] towers for a minor athletic achievement, yet alone the benefactor of cool breezes.
The tour ended before the second tower. Seven of the eleven remaining headed onward. The second tower is at 756 meters, the highest point in the realm. You had to walk along the Witches' Path to reach it.
As the third tower is incomplete, Lou and I decided to bag it. He found a tobacco store and a Christmas shop to buy some items. Between his shopping endeavours we grabbed a piece of pizza to tide us over. I outlined my general concerns with A-B re a premium for solo clients, the administrative charge for credit card use and the lack of pick up on arrival day if you don't put airfare through A-B.
With all shopping done, it was time for a Spritz for me and beer for Lou. Lots of nibblies a pleasant surprise [potato chips, salted peanuts and cajun-spiced popped kernels]. We each had a beer for round two, chatting about how the Donald is doing.
Back to the room for a much needed shower, camera downloading, wifi time and blog updating. Still time for a short meander before 1800. The map was rather useless but at least the weather was much cooler. Scoped out the restaurant for tonight [something like 23rd so slumming it on the Liberty Plaza].
Back to the room to change and shoot the breeze with Lou. Usual 1900 rendezvous for dinner. Taverna Restaurant was just alright. My Forst beer was a bit lacking for my taste buds. The home made pasta [called passatelli] was fine but the portion for a main was too small. My deconstructed [or whatever] cappuccino was nothing to write home about. Every meal can't be a home run.
Big Bess just yaps away at prior trips with Peter, very annoying as she is apparently too stupid to realize you have such conversations one on one, not at a group dinner. The Raccoon is always pitching in with her irrelevant two cents on a topic, needed or not. I am thinking the average A-B crowd is way too inward and boring.
Lou mentioned an interesting issue. He is one time zone away from having traveled in every time zone in the world. Only Vanaatu is missing in his 24 hour clock repertoire. I have told him some things about a trip to Namibia and maybe doubling it up with Zambia.
Went for a short walk to see some of San Marino at night. Back to vent at the A-B dorks. Lou was implying I needed to criticize Yappy Stan more, the former really annoyed when the latter said at dinner Lou was missing an umbrella for his Campari and soda. I suggested either ignoring him or not getting mad but even.
Not too much involved in packing for tomorrow. Got the blog done and bed by 2230.
"San Marino Historic Centre and Mount Titano
San Marino Historic Centre and Mount Titano covers 55 ha, including Mount Titano and the historic. centre of the city which dates back to the foundation of the republic as a city-state in the 13th century. San Marino is inscribed as a testimony to the continuity of a free republic since the Middle Ages. The inscribed city centre includes fortification towers, walls, gates and bastions, as well as a neo-classical basilica of the 19th century, 14th and 16th century convents, and the Palazzo Publico of the 19th century, as well as the 18th century Titano Theatre. The property represents an historical centre still inhabited and preserving all its institutional functions. Thanks to its position on top of Mount Titano, it was not affected by the urban transformations that have occurred from the advent of the industrial era to today."