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Across the Adriatic to Italy

October 30, 2018

Budva turned out to be a charming little town nestled at the base of towering mountains. It changed rapidly from a tourist destination to a quiet village as the weather cooled and the merchants prepared for 8 months of drought. Sandie flew back to the States for two weeks while Brian caught up on the varnishing.

When Sandie returned we took a road trip to the village of Kotor set deep within a fjord and backed by steep cliffs. We continued inland up dozens of switchbacks to the Lovcen National Park passing through woodlands painted in autumn colors. We visited the Mousoleum of Petar II Petrovic perched on a mountain ridge at 1660 m. It felt like the dead of winter as icy winds whipped about and we were happy to get back to the car and its heater.

On 23 October we motored 15 miles to Bar where we had arranged to check out of Montenegro and fill up with duty-free diesel. It was cold and windy with gusts in the mid-40’s and it didn’t feel like the kind of day to head across the Adriatic. But a large storm was headed our way and we felt it best to get to Italy to wait it out. We left Bar at 15:00 for what turned out to be an uncomfortable trip across the southern Adriatic Sea, arriving in Brindisi, Italy, the next morning.

We checked into Italy and then took a Med-tie at the Brindisi Marina where we felt the boat would be safe during the storm. We were comfortable leaving the boat there and decided to take the time to drive across Italy to the Naples area rather than sit on the boat listening to the wind blow. Our first stop was Salerno where our hotel looked out on the bustling harbor. The next morning, we drove along the stunning Amalfi Coast with its narrow road (barely big enough for two cars to pass, let alone a tour bus) and towns clinging to the sides of steep cliffs. It was a beautiful, if not scary, drive that we highly recommend.

We visited the ruins of Pompeii in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius and walked the cobblestone streets of a city that had been buried under ash for nearly 2000 years. We enjoyed visiting the ancient laundry and fast-food stalls that gave a glimpse of what life was like just before the volcano eruption.

In Naples we visited the National Archeological Museum that displays many of the artifacts recovered from Pompeii and other parts of Italy. While touring the museum we received a phone call from the marina that urged us to return to our boat because of the storm. We reminded them that we were in Naples at which time they said that there was no problem and not to worry. RIGHT! We decided to cut our trip short and drive 370 km back to Brindisi during the height of the storm. We arrived in a torrential down poor and gale force winds and were happy to find that Persephone was safe.

The storm has passed and we are preparing to leave early tomorrow morning for the “heel of Italy” where we will spend a couple of days before crossing the Gulf of Taranto on our way to Sicily.

 

Montenegro

 

Brindisi and the Amalfi Coast

 

Ruins of Pompeii

 

National Archeological Museum in Naples

From → Travel

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