Italy Part 4 – Tropea/Calabria

I still didn’t find out why all historical Italian cities are built on the very top of the highest mountain around – but it sure looks charming! (Castellabate seen from the hotel pool)

Next stop on Woodpecker family’s 2012 Italy travels:

The beautiful city of Tropea in Calabria.

Actually the drive was quite strenuous. On a map this in only 150 km (93 miles) as the eagle flies. But it turned out to be a 7 hrs drive (without breaks), quite a lot if you have two bored little kids in the backseats. Total driving distance was 300 km (185miles) with an average of less than 50 km (30 mph).

Tell you the reason why:

The pics below are from that road, which is supposed to be THE major connector road in the region!

Lovely views all the way, but sure no stress from speeding 😉

Impression from the road at the Thyrrenean sea

Another impression.

A major road and the only one around getting one-way?! Yes, thats possible!

Approaching Tropea in the evening light…

Next day started with a boat trip. We decided for some action after the long drive that put the boy into a home-sick mood.

And it was a great success! The boat was a tuned old fisher boat with a totally oversized machine in it that would surely not have been allowed in Germany. The “captain” (he didn’t speak a word of English or German) proudly showed me the engine that took half of the space in the boat, and being a sailor with affection to boats in general, I have to say I was impressed. However, that thing outraced a couple of surprised speed boats and sent your hairs flying at full speed.

I was a bit skeptic when the “captain” pulled out 2 big liter-bottles of cheap wine for himself and his 4 adult guests at maybe 10:30 in the morning and drank most of that himself under a lot of cheering and entertaining talks nobody undestood :).

Then he started to charm the two best-ager ladies on board with us (not entirely without success I have to admit…). I already inspected the steering and the anchor system, getting ready to drive home the boat on my own, but the “captain” obviously was quite used to a morning drink and took us home intact but not without letting the ladies steer one or two soaking circles at full speed… We all got soaked but the boy and even the baby loved it!

Later I found out that every boat in town was driven by a maniac. Another of this tuned fisher-boats with massive loudspeakers cruised by the beach and started to play “Oh sole mio” in impressive loudness – actually many Italians stood up from their towels and started singing as well.

The leg of our crazy boat-driver. He insisted on “captain”. Käpt’n Blaubär maybe…

Tropea from the sea side. Obviously there was no higher cliff around, otherwise it would have been built there…

Nice beaches in nice suroundings collection. Behind you is the cliff withTropea on top, so don’t expect private sun-bathing…

Santa Maria de Tropea.

Another example for having fun at low costs was the local blues festival that took place at that time in Tropea. Quite reasonable music was played for free on all major plazas for 4 days…

Several bands were playing for free at the major plazas of the town.

Next ride was straight to Sicily. A long drive again, this time tunnel, bridge, tunnel, bridge, tunnel, tunnel, bridge, bridge, most of them under constructions and speed limits. It seems that there literally is no patch of flat land in the whole of Italy…

Now it’s time to save some money on accommodation, so we are on a great camp site near Cefalú. Probably one of the best views I ever had from my tent…

Sunrise seen from our tent. 6:45 a.m., but sometimes early awaking kids do their good…

Cheers,

Woodpecker

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