Across Italy completed – Jesi to Ancona (39/12,785ks)

(written by Dave)

To Ancona – we’ve made it across Italy.  For a long time, Ancona was merely a dot on the map, a place to catch the ferry and begin our escape from the Schengen region.  Now it’s a real city with a port, ancient roman ruins and plenty to see.  Too bad we don’t have more time here to look around.  In fact, while planning the Italy leg, I often thought of Italy as “transition country” and a place to merely get across.  Well now that Italy is complete I have to admit that it was much more.  We thoroughly enjoy our time here.  The food has been great, the coffee outstanding and the people very friendly.  The riding was probably better than we expected.  Traffic was busy but polite.  The scenery was quite stunning.  We are supposed to be ticking off bucket list items on this trip but now we’ve probably added “send more time in Italy” and the list has only grown.  When we return next time, we will for sure not spend the two preceding months eating too many French croissants either.

We had a very short day but we had a few stops to make.  Nancy has been having trouble with her seat (only purchased 8,000k ago mid-trip in Australia).  I had tried tightening it but was not successful.  So today I mapped out 4 bike shops to stop at in route to try sourcing a new seat.  Bike shop number one was actually not on my list – and not open – strike one.  Bike shop number two sold just local, low-end bikes – very helpful owner but nothing that would work – he tried to tighten the seat and failed as well – strike two.  Bike shop number three – success.  They had a new seat and the owner put it on for us.  Nancy rode it around the block and the owner and I fiddled with the old seat.  It turns out that there was a hidden screw on the seat and tightening it fixed the problem.  Nancy returned from her test ride and the helpful owner swapped the seats back – no charge and a working seat – hard to beat that.  Full points to Cicli Rossini and their helpful owner.

While at the shop three riders rolled up after their Thursday morning ride.  They spoke a little English and were quite entertaining.  One of them had toured in Turkey and all three were planning a tour in the Balkans when we are there later in the year.  All three were dressed in “colorful” outfits.  Even though the shops were off route a bit, the bike seat turned into a real fun way to meet and interact with the locals.

The rest of the ride in was uneventful.  When we reached the shore, somehow I convinced Nancy to take the bikes under the railroad handicapped ramp to get a look at the sea.  The road is right on the water, except you can’t see it as the train fencing blocks the view.  It seemed right to me that we should have a photo of the sea after crossing the full country.  Nancy was less convinced.  The photo turned out great, but it took a couple takes to get one with “everyone” smiling.

We eventually made our way to the hotel and as Nancy suspected, they really didn’t have a room for us.  We had an email exchange that was a little vague.  I chose to ignore the vagueness and just play dumb.  Unlike in Malaysia where this netted no room and lots of frustration, here it netted us an upgraded room for the lower price.  Sometimes standing there and looking pitiful at the check-in counter works out.

After cleaning up we managed a wander about old town and a bit of playing tourist.  There’s a church around the corner that has a first story that was build in the 5th century.  I know that we’ll see older in Greece and Turkey but this building was still in use.  Quite impressive –  if the walls could only talk.  We also spent some time shopping for soda crackers and anything else that might make tomorrow’s 24 hour ferry ride to Greece more comfortable.  I was pleased to see that ferry departing today had a Greek flag.  That means that we’ll probably not have one of those showoff Italian captains – and no island sail-bys we hope!

We had a celebration dinner at a hole-in-wall restaurant just around the corner from the hotel.  I don’t think that we ordered correctly with fish for Nancy (no pasta) as the waitress was quite insistent that we needed more food.  We had plenty.  We had tiramisu for desert – very good.

Next update from Greece – depending on the state in which we arrive and access to the internet…  Hope for smooth sailing.

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7 responses to “Across Italy completed – Jesi to Ancona (39/12,785ks)

  1. Why can’t Nancy fly and meet you at the ferry? Me and my ideas….

  2. That ferry looks great! It is larger than any of the ferries in Asia seemed to be. Here’s wishing for a smooth crossing. I always try to keep my eyes on the horizon if I’m feeling a bit queasy, but sleeping might do the trick too. Any boat that you are on for 24 hours is probably big enough to feel pretty stable. Buon vela!!!

  3. My recommendation is take 2 Dramamine an hour before you get on the boat! I’d rather be sleepy than sick any day. That and ginger ale and you’ll be fine. (but this is one of the few times I am glad it’s you and not me!)

  4. Your reports on Italy have convinced me I want to go! Thank you for the wonderful stories and terrific pictures! Good luck on the Ferry, and I can’t wait for Greece!

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