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Steps of San Marino

The Sunflower City Hostel is very much designed for late-night people, but not so much for people who want to get going in the morning. I got up, dressed, packed, and was ready to use the internet until the front desk and breakfast opened, but they close their computer/entertainment room area as well when they close for the night. Stuff doesn't reopen until 8am (which I knew about breakfast and the front desk, but not about the other stuff). Oh well.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">Breakfast was toast with toppings and cereal with milk, which I ate quickly, so I could check out of the hotel and check out Rimini before I caught the bus to San Marino.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">Rimini very much has the feel of a beach town, but it doesn't smell salty, which is odd to me.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;"> I wandered about and stumbled across some Roman ruins- mosaic floors and such, but could only see them through glass windows as the site wasn't open yet.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">I found some temple that is old-looking and probably a tourist site when it is open.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">Just walking the streets was interesting as there were some very old buildings mixed in with the new.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">I also stumbled across the market! Yay! It made me wish I had a kitchen here to store the food and cook it. The fresh produce included zucchini with the flower still on, perfectly-ridged heirloom tomatoes, purple-tinged artichokes, beautiful fennel with the top still on, and other wonderful delights. The seafood section was a bit disconcerting as a lot of the stands had creatures that were still wriggling and crawling about. I suppose you can't get fresher than "still alive." They also had quite the selection of meats, cheeses, breads, and fresh pastas that made my mouth water.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">From there, it was time to head to the bus to San Marino, which picks up from by the main train station.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">I was surprised that we couldn't see San Marino for quite a significant part of the ride. I expected to be able to see a mountain from afar. When we did see it- wow. It's this huge cliff that just juts out.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;"> The bus wound up the road and dropped us at the bottom of the city of San Marino. While I had regretted carrying my sweatshirt around Rimini this morning, I was so glad I brought it to fend off the San Marino winds. I smartly took the elevator to the main street instead of the stairs- I soon got more stairs than I needed.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">I had decided to hike to the top and the towers first, while I had energy, and then walk downhill the rest of the day.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">I usually love counting steps, but I think at about a million I lost track. I climbed the steps at the city wall to get to the tower area, climbed to get to the tower entrance, and climbed in the tower. San Marino is not for those who can't do heights, slopes, or steps.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">I paid for entrance to the first tower (4 euro) and would say it's only worth it because I'm here and its something to do. Also, as I started here, I had the whole place to myself for a while. The first tower has a 3-room "museum" with signage in Italian and English. It tells how the tower is about 800 years old and has been the backbone of San Marino since. Other than that, it's just basically a place to climb around and get good views. The views, especially from the top are pretty far though.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">I can see that between the cliffside and the tower, it's pretty impossible to attack. Any archers at the top would have hours to pick off any soldiers that tried scaling it. The soldiers would have a very difficult time climbing and not falling, and by the time they got to the top, they'd be so tired they would just roll over and beg for mercy. From this view, it's obvious why San Marino has been able to maintain independence.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">When I finished the first tower, I headed to the second tower. This tower is actually on the highest point of Mt. Titano, so uphill I went again. After, I headed to the third tower, which you can't really go inside, but still has quite a view.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">I have now been to the three towers on the flag of San Marino.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">It looked like there were hiking trails on Mt. Titano from the towers, which would be cool to check out if I had a hiking buddy. Without one, risking twisting my ankles on some steep mountainside wasn't worth it, especially since I already had a close call on some of the rocks.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">In order to return to the main city without getting lost, I had to go back up to get down. I'm not crazy out of shape, but San Marino is steep, and I was feeling it, so I was glad to sit down for lunch.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">I got homemade gnocchi at this little restaurant, il beccafico, with a great view of the surrounding hills. The food was cheap and ok, but the view was what made lunch great.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">After lunch, I went walking around the main part of town. There are a lot of shops selling jewelry, weapons, and handbags as well as souvenirs and other stuff. Apparently, for stamp and coin collectors, items from San Marino are a hot commodity, so those were displayed prominently all over the place. I also saw a bunch of statues, some of which were quite interesting. Why anybody needs a large metal wasp orgy is beyond me, but ok. Then, there was a series of robot-looking statues with names like "Skank Angel." One of the robots was quite obviously intended to be a female with quite a bit of junk in her trunk.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">The old town is quite cute, although still quite hilly and with a lot of stairs. At some point, the amount of stairs just became a joke and I'd go up stairs that led nowhere just because they were there.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">At some point, I'd seen enough shops, and since I wasn't going to pay more than twice what I paid for the tower to go into the irrelevant Vampire museum, I headed over to the funicular.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">It's at the edge of town, has (smelly) free restrooms, and for a couple euro, will quickly take you down to Borgo Maggiore, another town in the country of San Marino. Because there's more to San Marino than just San Marino.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">Borgo Maggiore looks like the suburbs where real people with non-tourism jobs live and work. There was a church that looked touristy, but there was also a gas station, supermarket, and other stores that didn't necessarily cater to tourists.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">Also, I met somebody who was probably not in the tourist industry.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">Up some stairs from where the funicular drops you, there is a bus stop on the Rimini-San Marino line. But, it is headed towards San Marino. I wanted a bus back to Rimini, and didn't see a stop right across the road. So, I asked the nice guy in my best Spanish where the bus to Rimini was. After much pointing at the sign and English and more Spanish, I finally gave up and asked some other guys, who were able to direct me down the road a minute to a circle where I saw the sign for a bus stop. <br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">I caught the bus back to Rimini and had enough time to check out the beach. After all, Rimini is a beach town.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">First stop was a gelateria. The lady at the counter said her favorite flavors were nutella and Alabama, so that's what I got. Apparently "Alabama" is the world's best cookies and cream. (It even put the Cookie Monster by Lansdale to shame, and I love that stuff.)<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">I enjoyed my nutella/Alabama cone up their version of boardwalk and up the sand. I could tell it's almost beach season- all of the beach bars and entertainment centers were repairing doors, painting, fixing paving stones or otherwise fixing up. They even had big bulldozers out, moving the sand back to where it belongs.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">There were only a few groups of people actually out on the beach, and only one group I saw that was in the water at all. When I stuck my feet in, I felt why- the water was VERY cold.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">Even though I was in the water a bit, saw a ton of seashells, and had sandy feet, it just didn't feel like beach to me. Maybe I'm a spoiled beach snob, having grown up with Ocean City nearby and having lived in Cape May and St. Kitts, but it just doesn't feel like beach to me without salt air. That's like a fundamental requirement to me. Without that, it's just "the lake" or something.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">After the beach, I grabbed my bag from the hotel and headed to the grocery store. My roomies from last night had warned me that Venice was crazy expensive, and that I should definitely buy food before I go and bring it there.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">Since I wasn't hungry, it was a great time to grocery shop and not overbuy. I got a big ball of mozzarella, some foccacia, some olives, and immediately wanted to eat it all, which would defeat the purpose.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">So, I went in search of dinner, even though it was a bit early for that. The first place I saw with pictures of good-looking pasta in the window took me right back to the Caribbean. Despite the fact that there were over 20 pasta dishes on the menu, he informed me that he only had 5 of them. When I asked for one without meat, he offered the salmon, so I said thanks and left.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8000001907349px; line-height: normal;">Funny enough, the next place I saw happened to be a vegan place. I think I've eaten enough cheese in the past couple of days that it would be a good apology to the cows to go vegan for a meal. I asked the lady at the counter what her favorite thing was, expecting something Italian. After the mushroom burger, it was the regular vegan cheeseburger. I was a bit hesitant to get a veggie burger instead of the other exciting items, but she didn't steer me wrong. The mayo was amazing, the cheese tasted like the milk cheese you get in Israel (which isn't a particularly good compliment, but it did taste like some real cheese somewhere), and the burger had some interesting spices in it. I enjoyed it, and more importantly, I was dissuaded from immediately chowing down on what I bought for later.

Rimini

Rimini


Rimini

Rimini


Rimini Market

Rimini Market


Yes, they're still moving

Yes, they're still moving


San Marino

San Marino


San Marino

San Marino


Skank Angel

Skank Angel


Tower 2 from Tower 1

Tower 2 from Tower 1


How to get to the next tower

How to get to the next tower


Tower 2

Tower 2


Tower 1 from Tower 2

Tower 1 from Tower 2


Tower 3 from Tower 2

Tower 3 from Tower 2


Just a great view

Just a great view


The 3 towers on a door

The 3 towers on a door


Down the funicular

Down the funicular


More to San Marino than San Marino

More to San Marino than San Marino


Rimini beach

Rimini beach

Posted by spsadventures 16:00 Archived in San Marino

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