Another cloudless sky today with temperature in the early 30’s according the the thermometer on a shop wall, so no complaints here.
Josh was up quite late this morning so it was just after 11:00 when we set off in the car in the direction of Piombino for a day out. Piombino is about 20 minutes drive down the coast.
The first obstacle was turning left out of the campsite and into the busy road. Not easy so I decided to push my way out, a gap opened up so as I moved forward and noticed a family attempting to cross the zebra crossing so I stopped to let them cross. Next i had an irate Italian man in his latter years moaning through my drivers window. He was on a scooter, so I’d either not seem him zipping down the road or he didn’t agree with the Englishman letting people cross! I smiled, waved nicely and said sorry which didn’t help as I got more of his Italian voice snapping at me before he scooted off into the distance! That’s twice now we’ve nearly crashed the other day coming away from Lucca I nearly rear ended the car in front again trying to turn left! Note to self – have more patience when turning across traffic to go left.
We finally made it to Piombino and parked up on a side street, I checked with a local if it was pay and display as most of the street parking appears to be in the blue bays. Yellow bays seem to be for residents only parking. This time it was €3 for 5 hours. Again cheap enough.
We seemed to have parked in Piombino”s old town that was about the size of the old town in Ibiza if you’ve been there? The streets seemed to be narrow and access was by foot only. Good job I’d parked where I did we didn’t want another escapade like we had in Lucca! Wandering through we found the old harbour which seemed only big enough to take about 15 small dinghy’s. There were a couple of couples laid sunbathing on the harbour wall. Just past the harbour was a paved outcrop with a small lighthouse. The views from this point out to sea were the large island of Elba was not too far away and if you looked into the distance you could see the faint outline of the island of Capri. There seemed to be a steady flow of shipping traffic between Piombino and the island of Elba with some largish ferries traveling between the two ports.
As we mooched about we cane across the old castle but there seemed to be no access to the inner parts of it. I did read a sign that said that the castle was used as a prison up to the mid 1990’s but it’s now a tourist attraction. But to be a tourist attraction they have to let you in, don’t they?
Josh then asked when lunch was, and as always with Joshua if he asks for food you feed him. We found a small bar serving Panini’s so stopped to eat. Both Michele and Josh elected to have toasted sandwiches (I think this was because they saw a picture of one on the menu!), I ordered a panini with a filling. We also ordered fanta, water and café (espresso). Or at least I think we did as the waitress didn’t understand too much English. The espresso seemed to come from another café a couple of doors up the road – odd! Then a man appeared on the table behind us and started to feed the pigeons on the table, to the annoyance of the Italian family next to us who moaned at him. So he threw the bread on the floor between the tables and brought more pigeons down. He was moaned at again by the other Italian man and then seemed to stop. But now we had quite a gathering of pigeons on the floor pecking at the bread. The food arrived and looked OK. Josh had a sulk as his toasted sandwich had cheese on as well as ham. There was me thinking that a toasted sandwich had both cheese and ham as standard! My panini had all sorts on, I think there was cheese, ham, tomato’s, anchovies as well as some form of mayonnaise sauce. Nice all the same. The espresso was hot and strong. Lunch only cost €11.50.
Now back to the pounding of the streets. Again we tried to find the access point into the castle and couldn’t all gates were locked. Josh was in is need of his daily fix of Wi-Fi and remembered seeing a sign advertising Wi-Fi zone near the lighthouse so off we went. But no good he couldn’t get connected – So we had another sad face 🙁 a quick stop for ice cream seemed to cheer him up he had black cherry flavour, Michele had yogurt flavour and I had cream flavour
The drive out of Piombino was busier than the drive in which I think coincided with a ferry arriving from Elba.
Back at Park Albatross I think it was change over day as there seemed to be a lot of activity around the ‘welcome tents’, it also seems we’ve got new neighbours – more Germans according to Joshua. There don’t seem to be many English on the site and if there are they’re not near us – Warren and Dawn won’t have to complete with Donald and Jacqueline for our attention when they arrive after all.
Tonight’s evening meal will be another Italian favourite of spaghetti Bolagnaise (without onions and mushrooms for Joshua of course!).
Update on my ear. It kept me awake several times last night gurgling and crackling away to itself as the drops help to break the obstruction down. More drops today, more gurgling and an ear that can’t hear. Still a benefit to have Michele sit on my left side ?