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Wojciech's Travel log

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...

Log entries 1 - 10 of 2385 Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Nov 24, 2020 12:00 AM I should be in the Antarctic today!

I should be in the Antarctic today! Bad luck! Bloody COV!D! Since years I was dreaming about returning to Antarctica. I booked the expedition, I paid the hardly saved money...
Today I should be on this ship... But the expedition was cancelled. They rebooked me for next November. Lets's hope!

Oct 13, 2020 12:00 AM Flying home...

Flying home... Surprisingly it was not raining in the morning when I was walking to the bus no.16 linking Bari central station with the airport. Buses are rare in the morning there is one departing at 7.05, the next is at 8.00. You have to buy the ticket in advance in the kiosk - it cost 1 euro.
The distance is not big, but the bus is sneaking to different small quarters and finally it takes 40 minutes to reach the airport. The procedures are standard, the waiting hall i Karol Wojtyla airport is very nice. But keep in mind that some gates are in the lower level. Wizz flight departed almost full with 15 min delay...
There were significant turbulences on the way and everybudy was happy when after 2 hours in the air we landed in Warsaw. Now I have to take a city bus 175 to the central station. I was waiting 10 minutes, 20, 30... Shame on you Warsaw transport! With the other traveller we decided to share the taxi (40 zlotys per cab) to go to the station. I was afaid that I will my train to Gdansk. OK... 3 hours on the train, 20 min on city bus and I reached my home. Home, sweet home! There is so much to do after 30 days of absence! Reflexion: It seems that if you are determined, you can travel to the interesting destinations even during the COVID era! :)

Oct 12, 2020 12:00 AM Rain - hard to believe!

Rain - hard to believe! It was hard to believe after all those sunny days but it was raining when in the early morning I was walking from my B&B to Reggio Centrale station. Just in front of the station there is little square with the monument of Giuseppe Garibaldi - top Italian hero (see him on the yesterday's picture) -Bye-bye Mr Garibaldi, this will be my last day in Italy! I was surprised that my expensive, intercity train (avoid them, if you are budget traveller! ) consists only of two carriages and locomotion... We daparted on time heading to Taranto along the coast of Italian "boot". The landscape without the sun and blue sky was depressing.... Taranto is a huge harbour, almost empty now. I noticed three big MSC cruise ships parking there. The station is far from the city so I can say nothing about Taranto city. My second, regional train to Bari was delayed by 10 minutes, no ticket control... It was 4 pm when I was walking in the light rain to the well-known Cristal Hotel (no cristals or included breakfast here, but very reasonable price (26 €) for the room with bath, and Carrefour market is just round the corner! The receptionist was so nice to print my boarding pass for tomorrow. A toast of red Italian wine for such a successful voyage - do you remember? - I started from here one month ago!

Oct 11, 2020 12:00 AM Back to Calabria...

Back to Calabria... I was not happy today leaving beautiful Eolian Islands. It was only 8 am when I was walking with my backpack down to Rinella village, to board the hydrofoil. Rinella, with the black-sand beach is also worth a stay (see the picture). Boat trip to Milazzo cost me hefty 17 euro - but I did not have a choice - the slow ferry do not oparate on Sunday.
At Milazzo station I bought the ticket to Reggio di Calabria. Italian State Railways operates also ferries going across Messina Straits. Once on the Messina Centrale station you should go to the end of your platform to get to Messima Marittima station. The big floating trams are waiting there on the other side of the street and this ride is included in your rail ticket.
Reggio di Calabria has nice and long pedestrian street Corso Garibaldi leading you to the cathedral and nice theatre. I experienced unpleasant surprise. The lady renting the rooms refused to check me in, even that it was paid in advance. Due to the covid - she said through the phone... Miserable! I found another accommodation, much more expensive...

Oct 10, 2020 12:00 AM View from Monte Fossa...

View from Monte Fossa... There are two peaks on Salina Island, divided by ths pass where you will fing Santuario della Madonna de Terzito. The church is nice and empty. Here I started my hike. The path to the summit is not well marked - it is worth to have smartphone with GPS to made good decision on the forks. Gravel, forrestal road is encompassing the peak also going up, so it could be the alternative if you do not have strong hiking shoes... The re are 3 rain shelters on the way. The final 150 m is quiet steep. And... the summit is disappointing... no views because the trees around! Stop before the summit for nice pic of Alicudu and Filicudi Islands. From the summit it is worth to follow to the tittle naked ridge with rwo excellent viewpoints: you will see Lipari, Volcano, Panarea and with the sharp angle also Stromboli! Great views! It took me 3 hours to the summit and 1,5 down to Leni. Great day, worth the effort!

Oct 09, 2020 12:00 AM Santa Marina, not Santa Maria...

Santa Marina, not Santa Maria... Lovely, sunny day! I am moving to the other island of the archipelago - Salina. There are different ferry options, but I made a choice of the slow ferry which belong to the Siremar company. "Filippo Lippi" is worth to recommend! Why? Because it has open decks in the aft... I hate to travel on the locked ships, watching the world through the dirty window glass! The ticket Stromboli to Salina cost me 10,60 euro. And this was really dream sailing... Imagine only 3 passengers on the deck (plus few trucks down there) light breeze, sun... I took great pictures of Stromboli from the sea. Then we sailed to Panarea surrounded by little, rocky islets. Then we approached little port of Santa Marina on Salina Island. I visited many Santa Maria's in the past, but never been to Santa Marina. It is little, cozy port with two churches and many flowers around. From Santa Marina there is a local minibus going to the village Leni on the other side of the island. It is a nice route - for just 2,70 euro you climb to the pass between two summits and then down - with a great view of other Eolian Islands. I booked accommodation in Leni. It was not easy to find - no markers with street names and houses do not have numbers :)
I found it anyway. My apartament has a a great view from the balcony - I will eat my late lunch looking at Etna on the horizon!

Oct 08, 2020 12:00 AM Hiking Stromboli

Hiking Stromboli Strong sun and blue sky! At 9.30 am I was already on the trail! Last year there was an eruption of Stromboli and now the authorities do not allow to climb to the rim of the smoky crater (to 900 m!) You ca hike to 300 m alone or to 400 with a guide (paying 20 euro pp). No other hiking opportunities so everybody climbs to the Sciara del Fuoco - "The trail of Fire" - to see the steep slope where lava goes down to the sea. Commercialized locals are not happy to show you the way - they rather want to be your paid guides... So let you know: there are two paths to Sciara: upper and lower. To find the trailhead of the upper (more demanding) take the street along left wall of the San Vincenzo Church (near pharnacy). To find the lower path follow the main "street" all over the way along the coast until the fork before Observatorio restaurant. Once on the fork take left path and climb the zigzags up... The lower trail is easier - it is cobbled almost till the end - on 300 m there is a primitive balcony with the great view of the "Sciara" slope and up there - the smokes from the crater. I was descending by the upper trail - it was worth for the extra views of the Stromboli Village. Great day!

Oct 07, 2020 12:00 AM Under the shade of Stromboli...

Under the shade of Stromboli... I was learning about active Stromboli volcano when I was a boy... Only now I have a chance to check, how does it look like...
Lipari, where I spent last night is like a sea transport hub for the rest of the archipelago. Slow ferries to the little islands are cheaper but they do not operate every day. I was forced to travel by the fast ferry=hydrofoil paying hefty 16.80 euro for 2- hours journey. But this was not a direct connection: the hydrofoil was calling on the way SM Salina, Panarea and Ginostra. This mode gives you a kind of sightseeing, if the ship windows are clear :)
The cone-like shape of Stromboli was visible from the distance. The sea was rough on approach. First we left few passengers in the little, remote Ginostra on the western side of the island. Then we were sailing to the Stromboli village, looking at the smoke on the top of the vulcano.
Stromboli Island is not big. It is already off-season period here. The settlement is empty, but narrow streets are still full of bougainvillea and hibiscus flowers. Nice church of St Vincent is overlooking the town. Aha, I met in front of the church two ladies from Poland: Hania & Agnieszka (first Poles I met since I left my country) - it was very pleasant meeting! I took a walk along black-sand beach. It was warm but cloudy today, I suppose that there is a chance for the sun tomorrow - I need it to hike up and to take good pictures!

Oct 06, 2020 12:00 AM Volcano on Volcano Island

Volcano on Volcano Island Only 1 km away from Lipari Island (20 minutes by ferry - 5,50 euro each way) you will find high Volcano Island. The volcano, once very active now is sleeping, giving the opportunity to climb to the rim of former crater. That's what I did today. The weather in the morning was sunny. They checked my temperature when I was boarding the ferry. Half an hour later in Porto Levante on the other side of the strait I started my hike. Smoke on the top of the mountain was visible already from the port and I felt there also the smell of sulphur. There is only one way up and it is well marked so you do not need a guide. On the outskirts of the village you leave the asphalt turning left to the slope. Gravel path leads you in many zigzags to the lowest point on the crater rim (1 hour walk from the port). There is not only nice view of the carater (some 100 m deep) but also the panoramic view of the sea with the other Eolian Islands. You will see in the distance the conic shape of Stromboli, closer is Panarea, on the left is Salina with its two mountains and Lipari is right in front of you. Unfortunately it was already cloudy when I reached this point - I wish you to have the sun so the see around will be blue... :) OK, once of the rim you canhike onit to the highest point, having different angles for your pictures. I reached the summit 1,5 hours after departure from the ferry. I checked the altitude - it is 388 m above the sea. Then you have two options: to come back the same way or to continue anticlockwise on the rim passing the sulphur fumaroles. Smell, gas, yollow colour of the stones.... You will be coughing, crossing the hot ground, but it is an interesting experience...
First drops of the rain dropped down when I was taking pictures... Hurry! I started to hike down... No single shelter on the slope... I reached the port completely wet. But what the experience!

Oct 05, 2020 12:00 AM Eolian Islands

Eolian Islands From Milazzo there are two kinds of ferries sailing to Lipari (Eolian) Islands. The ride on the fast one to Lipari will cost you around 17 euro while the ticket for the slow one - only 12. I decided to take the slow one because I expected that it has an open deck to enjoy fresh breeze and take the pictures. Mistake! The big boat was completely closed!
Imagine that there were only 2 tourists aboard plus few locals....
After an hour at sea I saw the first island - Volcano, closest to Sicily. We left there few people and a car, sailing soon to Lipari, visible few kilometres away.
Lipari is the capital of the archipelago and the transport hub for six other islands. I landed in a small port located at the bottom of the huge castle. I found my accommodation in the labyrinth of the narrow streets, sometimes only 1 meter wide... Then I was climbing to the castle with 3 churches inside the walls. Cathedral of St Barth is the most imposing. Most of the buildings of the castle are occupied now by the museum. On the western side below the c castle is the old port of Marina Corta - very atmospheric place with a groups of local old men sitting and chatting hours and hours...
Lipari Islands are volcanic islands so tomorrow I plan to go and see some volcamic activity on the nearby Volcano Island. Unfortunately it was cloudy in the afternoon - I pray for the better weather tomorrow.

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