Thursday, September 15, 2016

Bari, Italy

I woke up late - at 8am this morning. Nikki had been up for a while!  She's asleep already tonight while I finish this blog, so she'll have to wake me in the morning. We headed out with the plan to walk the old city, then find an ATM to get some cash, go to the Castle, then find the cathedrals and the sea. Have lunch back at the apartment, and a siesta at some stage, then do the shops later.  Well - we did all that!  We started out the apartment door (below) to find that it was Bari's washing day. A pair of knickers was at the front door.  I pegged it to the sheet above, to be told No and pointed to next door. I put it on the vespa instead and got the nod of approval from the woman above hanging out her washing!  I like to please people!  

After finding the ATM we headed to the castle. This is just over the road from our apartment. Built in the 10th century. We watched a movie in the theatre all about the castle. It was in Italian, but what I got from it was that, the castle was built in the 10th century, by some king who seemed happy, and at some stage it burnt down, twice. It was attacked several times by invading armies, and eventually fell to wrack and ruin, used as a prison and military base at some stage as well, and is now being restored. Not bad understanding from someone that doesn't speak Italian.  My deafness stood me in good stead again, and I got in free. Must be because I couldn't hear the movie!

 There was an exhibition of statues (copies made from plaster by some artist at the beginning of last century). They were pretty detailed - and this was my favourite..

After the castle we went back into the old town to find the cathedrals. Lots of locals making pasta outside. A real family affair.

They are dried on the tables...

Then to the Bari Cathedral. Massive, built in the 500s. There's an underground part which I didn't see, but I did get to the crypt which was beautiful - all green and gold.
There were so many tourists about as well, but then we found that a couple of cruise ships were in, hence all the masses about. They were gone by two, so I did a second visit to the cathedral later to get some photos without all the people!

In the Crypt, in true Roman Catholic Ghoulishness, was the Saint Columba di Sens. She's meant to be from the year 273, and was a witch. She was meant to have talked to Jesus, and when she found she couldn't go to heaven because she was a witch, she converted.  However she was beheaded anyway. Miraculously she is shown here in 16th century clothing with beach sandals on, and her head has been found to be attached afterall.  A mircale!

Local Farmers market in the street. The dried tomatoes looked great!

Nikki wanted to see the Basilica san Nicola. I asked her why - it was because of her name.  Just like I had to buy the wine yesterday because it was CARTA my name. Both were absolutely divine.  Just like the names! On the way to the Basilica, I came across a bride and groom on the way to the cathedral in the distance...

 The Basilica is also very ancient, around the same age as the Cathedral. Impressive because it has pure gold roof the whole length of the church.

It also had a crypt, but no creepy dead people showing. One was enough for the day!

A woman was devoutly praying to a saint though.

Then ont the coast to see the ocean finally. Lots of people about, and a few people fishing.  It was very hot.

We saw others posing for photos, so I made sure Nikki got one too!

The only way down to the rocks below was a couple of rickety ladders. I decided with my balance it was better not to risk it, although the temptation was there!

Back into the old town, we found some old roman portals...

Vespas seem to be he transport of choice...

Then back to our apartment for a siesta.  Lots of scooters parked outside.

After our siesta we headed to the main town to look at the shops. Way to expensive for me, and all the big brands such as Hermes. Louis Vuitton etc...  Nikki got a couple of things, and I did find some Italian shoes I would have loved to have purchased, but they would have broken the bank.

We then headed down this 'garden' and went into dinner at one of the restaurants there.  I had  Artichoke Pizza and Nikki the salmon. 

Back to the apartment through the tunnel in the old town..

On the way to our apartment...

Pasta still drying outside...

And lots of families and friends just sitting out in the alleyways, all talking with each other. Always nodding at us and super friendly.  

Bari is a great place.  I love the friendliness of the people. When we were looking for the supermarket earlier, instead of just pointing, they lead us there. Our neighbours always try and talk with us, despite the language barrier and we always have a laugh with them.  Fully recommend Bari as a place to visit.

Tomorrow - off to Lecce.

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