With Mario working a full time internship this summer, we didn't have a lot of time for far away adventuring. We made the best of a public holiday this Friday, however, and headed down south to the sunshine and beaches of Italy and San Marino.
Our alarms went off just before 3 AM on Friday and we were on the road by 3:40. We don't mess around when it comes to extreme vacationing and with nearly 700 kilometers (435 miles) to cover on Friday, we wanted to make the most of the day.
Our first stop of the day was Rimini, Italy, where we got our first look at the beach and had a nice walk in the sand, despite how crowded the beach area was. We walked along the promenade a bit as well as towards the old town to get a bit more of an impression of Rimini.
|Someone's happy to be at the beach!|
|Lighthouse near the harbor|
Having already crossed the Austrian and Italian borders that day, we still had one more border crossing left for the day - San Marino!!! San Marino was Mario's 50th country and my 32nd. As usual, lots of pictures at the border were necessary.
|Our first view of the San Marino border!|
|Standing between two countries|
|A pic of our camping spot from the second night there. Complete with the watermelon rind which Mario mounted on top of that stick|
After setting up camp we inquired about the route to the city center and, having been told that it was only about 5 kilometers away, we headed out by bike. Little did we know, however, that these 5 kilometers were ENTIRELY up hill. And I don't mean just a little incline. I mean intensely steep monstrosities with not a single flat break to be seen. Needless to say, by the time we got to the cable which would take us the rest of the way to the top, my mood was a little sour. The ride back down should have been fun, in principle, although I am also rather afraid of extreme downhill paths.
When you consider that the entire city center is a fortress built atop a giant hill, those steep roads leading to and from it are completely necessary and totally worth it for the views up top. We were rendered speechless by the beauty of this tiny republic.
|View from the top!|
|Typical small street with shops|
|Central square of the fortress|
|Note the cool pizza oven in the background|
After dinner we walked around a bit more to see the city at night and fell asleep almost immediately upon returning to the campground.