Week 1 Day 2
Sun, 26. Feb 2023

Day 1 - from Brindisi to Grottaglie

A little disclaimer. I only count the days cycling. It's actually already day 4 if you count the total trip. The first few days I mainly spent on trains. From Fulda to Bologna, from Bologna to Bari, and from Bari to Brindisi. These days went super smooth, with maybe two key learnings. One: It's good to have food on you, especially if your hotel is off-center and your arrival is late. Two: Arriving at night in a city can be a bit disorienting (I only saw the next morning that there was a nice bike lane).

Day 1 of cycling. Generally, it went really well. Just 55km, but that was according to plan. The road I followed was as well at most parts really good. There was one exception though and I ramble about that and the results in my first newsletter post.

EuroVelo 5 - Fish restaurant in Brindisi
EuroVelo 5 - Stairs in Brindisi
EuroVelo 5 - staircase of my Bed and Breakfast in Brindisi
EuroVelo 5 - view on the Brindisi harbour
Bike transport to Bari in a train
EuroVelo 5 - Brindisi monumento

Generally, I planned the first days or actually weeks to be not too hard. Between 50 and 80 kilometers. I'm not super trained at the moment and had actually quite a bad cold before leaving. The starting point was the very south beginning of the Eurovelo 5, in Brindisi. The goal was to get to Grottaglie where I had a room booked. I planned to have two stops. One in Mesagne and one in Oria. To get some coffee and some food.

I was a bit worried about the quality of the bike routes and the roads that I would use. Overall, they were pretty good. There was never any moment where I was worried about traffic or where I had to push my bike on foot. There were even some signs for the Via Appia. I did not need them though specifically as I had everything mapped out via Komoot and was using their app on my Garmin. Orientation was super simple.

Oria was a really cute little town. Super clean and picturesque, on a little hill. In the city, I did actually get lost and had to push the bike a bit around, but it was worthwhile.

EuroVelo 5 - confetti!
EuroVelo 5 - Oria in Apulia
IMG 0184
IMG 0192 2
IMG 0191 1
IMG 0193 1

I need to work on my picture quality. The little gate was actually a nice frame to see the landscape below. Unfortunately it doesn't show here. In all southern towns were confetti leftovers. One could argue that it's pollution, but I always enjoy it.

Second part was from Oria to Grottaglie. Good ride as well, one part was a bit muddy, but nothing wild. And some hills, which I really enjoyed.

I was so lucky with the weather. There was not a drop of rain. Only after I arrived it started raining.

Grottaglie was my favourite town so far in Southern Italy. An amazing inner city with lots of clean white houses which often times had little pineapples, called Pumi, at their balconies. I could totally imagine to live in a small city like that.

If you ever find yourself in Grottaglie, I do have the perfect spot for you to stay: Le Maioliche. I have hardly ever seen a really affordable Bed and Breakfast that put so much effort into all the little details. Really just everything. And the hosts were amazing, as was the location. Really enjoyed it. Ok, sounds like the perfect day. It was not. But I believe that's more my fault than of the area. Or maybe not. In the links below you find more information.

Mood: happy :)