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Rome - Olbia

The breakfast next morning is quite nice. Since we still have some time until our train to the harbour leaves we inspect the roof terrace – veeery nice 🙂 Unfortunately we didn't see earlier. We checkout and walk back to the station. It is already quite warm. At the station we buy the ticket – a little boy talks to us on Italian language – trying to tell us that we have to stamp the ticket (actually he is right). Then he directs us to the train... of course he wants some money for his service :).... The train arrives on time in Chivitaveccia. We walk to the harbour and try to find our ferry - not so easy since there are many ferries. Finally, we find the right ferry – we are directed to the ticket office beside the ferry to get our “real” ticket. It is located in a big building where many people are waiting. We think they are all waiting to get on board on our ferry and start a small second breakfast outside. After some time we realize that there are other people already on their way on board. So boarding is already possible and all the people waiting inside are probably waiting for another ferry....

We pass through the security gate (actually first time we see that there is a security gate in front of a ferry^^ - but not so piggy as when going on an air plane) and then go on board 🙂

The Moby ferry is a quite big one. The ride to Olbia on Sardinia is going to last 4:30 hours (actually it took ~5:30?). The weather is nice and we have a great view over the sea. We enjoy the time on the ferry very much. Arriving in Olbia we get off the ferry and start searching for our hotel. We booked a 4 star hotel which is not so far from the harbour. After 15 minutes we are already there – it is already about 10pm and we are really hungry. We are afraid that we are not able to find a restaurant any more but we are lucky (actually we found the best one for the whole trip – the perfect one :)). The room is quite nice (despite people at the reception looking at us a little strange). We leave the hotel heading for something to eat. We find a very nice Italian restaurant in a side road. We are sitting outside – it is already after 10pm – and it is still quite warm and nice outside. We can see the stars above our heads. While waiting for the red wine and the Pizza our trip just starts to feel like real holiday 🙂 The Pizza is awesome! And the wine too! We are sitting there for about an hour... then heading for the train station to buy the ticket for the next morning. Haha... the train station is already closed – and there is no way to get a ticket. We will try again the next morning – at least we already know where the station is located, now. We go back to the hotel and again – fall to a deep comatose sleep.

Olbia – Capo Caccia

We are getting up early to catch the first train to Sassari. Otherwise we won't get the connecting train to Alghero (at least as far as we can see from the plans). The 4 star hotel seems to be happy that we are leaving (I can understand since we are at least not looking like 4 star tourists :D). We walk to the station – it is only 10 minutes away. Buying a ticket is quite simple – even the ticket machine only speaks Italian ;). The train ride from Olbia to Sassari gives us some insight into Sardinia. We are surprised that this island is so green and even has some mountains. In Ozieri-Chilivani (google street view) we change the train to Sassari. We arrive in Sassarri on time. The next challenge is to get to Alghero - somehow. We read on the internet that there is a “private” train from Sassari to Alghero (wikipedia). It took some time until we found the ticket office... “just follow the signs ^^” :D. After waiting for 1 hour or so the train arrives. It is a quite old and small one – but it brings us to Alghero. From the Alghero station we walk to a camping site where we rent two bikes (we asked by email before – actually we cannot recommend this camping site since the bikes where quite old, much too small and even partly damaged and the staff there isn't very nice – hence we don't provide a link here). With those bikes and our bags on our back we cycle to the Capo Caccia hotel (link) - approx. 25 kilometres away. After cycling an hour or so we finally arrive at the entrance of the hotel. There is almost nobody around. Maybe off-season? We can park our bikes inside the hotel. Our hotel room is veeery nice. We have a balcony from where we can see the Capo Caccia and watch all over the sea. For the next hours we did exactly nothing. Instead we are just lying around on the beach – until we become hungry. Looking for a supermarket we found exactly one – opening times in the afternoon: 4pm to 5pm 🙂 It is 3:55pm – great! So we are waiting for the super market to open.... and waiting … and waiting... hungry... again....

As German as we are we are looking on our clock already getting nervous three minutes after 4pm – and the supermarket is still not open... When we almost lost hope (after maybe 10 more minutes :D) an older Italian guy comes around the corner – very relaxed :D.... walking to the supermarket unlocking the door. We are the only customers this afternoon – but we are good customers 😀 – never go shopping if you are hungry..... We buy a kind of bread we never had before. It is very thin and tastes a little salty – but not too much. We later found out that this bread is somehow special to Sardinia (link). In the afternoon we again take the bikes and cycle to the Capo Caccia. Unfortunately the last part of the road is closed by the Italian military.

We actually think about making the fixed rope route at the Capo Caccia (link) the next morning. So we lock our bikes and climb up the small path to where the fixed rope route is supposed to start. The path is not marked and at least for us it is not so easy to stay on track. When it gets steeper and the path gets smaller we are getting a little nervous. According to the description there should be a cave right in front of the beginning of the fixed rope route. And there is some kind of a cave in front of us but still we are not sure if this is the right direction. So we finally decide not to do the fixed rope route. The evening is approaching and we see a very nice sunset at Capo Caccia. We cycle back to the hotel. There we are getting hungry again. Directly beside the only supermarket we saw an Italian restaurant – actually the only one. So the decision is quite simple. We go there and order a salad and two pizzas. The pizza is more like frozen food – and we are almost the only guests... feels a little strange...

Still I want to try some Italian words when the waitress finally brings the bill. When she is asking if it was good I say “Benissimo!” - “Greeeat!”... It seems she knows that this just was a frozen pizza and is a little surprised about this compliment... anyway....

Rest of the evening we are sitting on our balcony looking at the sea and at the stars. The Sardinian bread tastes wonderful and perfectly fits to the glass of red wine. The light pollution is much less than at home and so we are able to see much more stars and constellations. It is a wonderful evening.

Capo Caccia – Ferry to Genua

The next morning we are being woken up by the sun. Beside the coffee the breakfast was as good as Italian breakfast can be 😉 The hall where we are sitting for our breakfast is almost empty – feels a little like in horror movie Shining :O After another walk at the beach we eliminate the chaos in our room, pack our bags and checkout. We cycle back to the camping site where we rent our bikes. On our way back we make a short stop at the beach. There we realize that the pedal of one of the bikes has only been fixed with tape... and it almost bears away. Luckily we make it back to the camping site. Back there we return the bikes. We don't wanna be too German and so we don't beef around. It was funny to see that the guy who rent us the bikes just went away, came back with a tool kit, took the tape and fixed the pedal again 😀 Still on the camping site we take some minutes to repack our bags. Unfortunately we are directly asked to leave the camping site since we only rent the bikes and we are not camping there... that wasn't very nice (despite the fact that the bike rental is located on the camping site).... anyway...

We head back to the station. On our way we stop by at a supermarket. We buy some water and some bread... for approx. 7 Euro... At the cash box we want to pay with a 50 Euro note. The cashier refuses to take the money telling us that she is not going to change. She is having much more than enough money in her cashier box... maybe she is afraid of bad money ^^ ? We start feeling a little strange here... seems people don't like tourists at all (at least not people like us)... back at the station we just buy a ticket and wait for another hour. We take the train back to Sassari. From there should be a train to Porto Torres from where the ferry goes to Genua. In Sassari we buy tickets for a few Euro and then have few hours left until the train approaches to Porto Torres. So we decide to explore the city center of Sassari. It is quite hot and we have our bags with us... so we cannot really enjoy walking around... we find a nice cool place in a park. Here are quite some people... Funny thing is... they do not seem to be used to tourists at all. Many people are staring at us (not just looking... starring!). Actually be both would like to have a real Italian coffee right now. So we begin to look for an Italian coffee bar... and find one not so far away from the park. Not sure if that was such a good idea... we still sit down. There are not so many people there at the moment maybe two or three... but all of them are starring at us as if we were aliens. We order two Caffe Latte (in Italian of course :)). Some more people are joining the coffee bar... In the tourist guide we read that coffee bars are “social” meeting points. So this maybe explains why everybody is looking at us. We simply do not fit into the usual image... we are strangers. Suddenly, right behind me I hear a very strange voice... an older man with a voice like E.T. is shouting something in Italian language – pointing in my direction. I don't understand what he is saying... of course... I am confused... but then realize that he probably is talking to someone else in the coffee bar. He is joining some other coffee bar guests ordering something we don't understand. Still people are starring at us. We ask for the bill (in Italian of course – anything else nobody would understand) and finally leave this strange place. Rest of the time we spend at the station in the sun – probably the best place for tourists like us :)5 minutes before the train approaches the track changes – of course there is no announcement. For a moment we are not sure what is the right train. For hours there was no single train and now there are two trains at once – and one of the trains is on the original track where our train was supposed to leave. Luckily we realize that I is the wrong train. In the right train we see that there are two train stations – Porto Torres and Porto Torres Marit. We are no longer sure where we should go off the train. We guess that it has to be Porto Torres Marit. However, to make sure we ask – in English... “Ferry? Boat? Ship? Harbour? Genua?”. The ticket collector only gives us a shrug. We try again: “There are two stations – Porto Torres and Porto Torres Marit.”. Before we can finish our sentence he says “Si.” turns around and goes away. Strange... So we decide to get of the train at Porto Torres Marit. - that was the right choice. Now we have 1.5 hours left to reach the ferry. The harbour appears to be smaller than the one in Chivitavecia – at least we do not see so many ferries around. We are happy to see “our” ferry no so far away. We walk for 15-20 minutes (actually the distances are much longer than they seem since the ships are so big). We come to a gate where a guard is checking the tickets. We still have 50 minutes left until the ferry is going to leave the harbour. So we are good in time – until now!

The guard checks our ticket, shakes his head and shouts something in Italian – what we don't understand. We cannot proceed. Something is wrong with the ticket. Great. He points to the other side of the road... we should go over there... we should wait. So we are waiting... and waiting... really wondering what is going on. A bus is approaching. The guard stops the bus and talks to the bus driver. After a conversation of a minute (feels like 10) the bus driver indicates that we should come on board. We feel quite uneasy at the moment. We don't understand. Why should we just go on board of a bus while we are right in front of our ferry – which is supposed to leave in 49 minutes? The bus driver persists and so we still go on board. The bus drivers for 5 minutes – but not into the direction where we came from but into the other direction right in the middle of the harbour area. Then the bus stops and the bus driver indicates us to go off the bus – pointing at a small hut which shows the name of our ferry company. “Biglietteria” he says. Now we are wondering how we should make it back all the way to the ferry on time. It seems the bus driver can read our mind... he comes all the way with us to the ticket office. There we hand in our current ticket. We have to show our ids and then we get a “final” ticket. The bus driver then drives us back all the way to the ferry. We are really happy, now! Actually we wonder how we should have ever found this small ticket office in the middle of the harbour area. There were no signs and there was no text on the ticket which indicated that we have to go THERE. Anyway... finally we are able to go on board 🙂 Still 30 minutes until the ferry leaves Porto Torres.

We go up the stairs until we reach the sun deck. There we sit down and enjoy the sunset. Suddenly we see someone with a pizza! And minutes later another one with another 5 pizzas! There has to be a place on the ferry where we can buy pizza! So we start to look for this place. Finally we find a “bar” - but the guy behind the desk only tells us - “Pizza finito”.... I think we were too slow 🙁 Anyway... the evening passes fast. It is getting dark and we can see many stars under the clear sky. Since we didn't book any cabin or sleeping seat (who the hell is able to sleep in such a sleeping seat??) we have to find another place where we can spend the night. In the bar there are some sofas but they are already engaged... again we were to slow... So we decide to sleep outside right on the sun deck. We are the only people sleeping outside. Anyway... we choose a place where there is almost no wind. It is quite cosy. And so we sleep until 1am in the morning. We both wake up at the same time. It is quite cold and the sun deck is partly wet. Strange thing... We decide to move our sleeping place inside. No problem. Due to the monotonous noise of the engine we are sleeping again after 3 minutes. The next morning we woken up by a funny “wake up” music. An Italian announcement tells us that we will arrive in 60 minutes, already. We will look for a breakfast in Genua then...

Genua - Stuttgart

It is nice to see the ferry approaching into Genua harbour. We get off the ship and walk to the station (actually not so easy to find for us since there are multiple stations...). We are happy that we made it this far (especially after our yesterdays experience). We go to the ticket office to buy a ticket back to Stuttgart. Luckily the people here also speak English. All seems to go well. The railway official types everything into her computer. After some time it seems we are done. Then he says: “Sorry. The train is full.” What? “And you know what? The other (later) train is also full. You should go to the information to see if there is another connection.”. What? WTF? The next customer already starts to talk... we not even have a chance to ask a question. Great. So we go to the “information” - a different counter. After waiting some minutes there it is our turn. Luckily they also speak English. Unfortunately they cannot really help us. They tell us we should take the later train... (the one which is also supposed to be full). The railway official also starts to write down the connection. We interrupt here and tell her that this connection is also full – according to the other railway official at the other counter. She says: “Hm. I cannot see in my computer program if this is the case. You have to ask at the ticket counter. We cannot tell you this here at the information desk.” At this moment we wonder in which century we are actually living.... “I can't see if this train is already full. I don't think so. Next one please.” Great. Again. We go back to the ticket counter – again waiting some minutes. Then it is our turn – behind the counter another railway officer is sitting, now. We again tell the whole story. Actually our train we wanted to take home is going to leave in about 20 minutes. It is getting close... The new railway officer already wants to send us back to the information again when Lisa hat the idea that there may be another train connection over Verona instead over Zurich. She still wants to send us back to the information but after saying “Pleeease” three times she finally started to look for this connection. Corruption live 🙂 After 10 more minutes we finally have a ticket home to Stuttgart. Instead being home at about 7pm we will now arrive about 11:30pm. Anyway... we have a ticket... The strange thing is that this ticket is as expensive as our ticket for the night train. The train leaves on time (again! The trains in Italy always seem to be on time). After some hours we arrive in Verona. There we have about an our. We leave the station and stand right on a huge bus station – at least there are 20-30 buses – and 20 of them just start their engines... it almost seems they were waiting for us ^^. In a fast food restaurant we buy two big pieces of pizza and later a cappuccino and a caffe latte in a coffee bar. It is funny to see how Italians just go to the counter to buy an espresso. They not even sit down... they just go there, buy the espresso – just inhale it and go away :D. And another mistake we did – we ordered a cappuccino – but a real Italian never orders a Cappuccino after 12am :D. The train to Munich leaves on time – again. After many hours we arrive in Munich – the first time we are late since we left Germany. That was clear 😉 Still we get the train back to Stuttgart and finally arrive at home again. It was a quite exhausting but very nice journey. We saw many different things and got lots of impressions. We would do it again 🙂

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