[ blog » 2021 » 07_Tour_Italy ]d06: The Strait of Messina (by Philipp Gesang, location: A cafe in Reggio)

After yesterday's volcanic effort I took it slowly today. At the campsite I had a chat with a cycle touring couple from Switzerland who had experienced similar issues with the train from Zurich to Genova. Looks like the SBB has a black sheep connection that is troubled by frequent outages.

The road to Messina was another Strada statale but with far less traffic due to the motorway running in parallel. I especially appreciated the nearly complete absence of heavy trucks. It wasn't an overly relaxing ride though. The view of the gorgeous Sicilian coastline was overshadowed by a sharp headwind that was blowing from the northeast. A pleasant stretch of road nevertheless with numerous beaches and fascinating scenery with its ensemble of castles and villages on the coastal rocks.

I had planned to cross the Strait of Messina by train. Which is not a joke, there is a railroad connection from Messina to Villa San Giovanni for which the train is transported from coast to coast on a special ferry. Sadly that plan went south when the ticket machine at a train station a few kilometers outside Messina had a malfunction. When I finally reached Messina main station by bike the train had already departed. So I went with the more convenient car ferry instead which leaves every 20 min.

From Villa San Giovanni it was only another fifteen kilometers to Reggio. The proprietor of the B&B I booked gave me a spontaneous lecture on how Italy and Germany are "traditional football nations" whereas England isn't when I congratulated him to the success of his home squad. I followed some of his exhaustive advice and went to grab something to eat near the beach promenade, however at 19:00 h all the restaurants and bars are still closed. It is hard to appreciate this daily rhythm when you're famished from cycling all day all week. So coffee and toast at a bar it is. At least I got to observe what appears to be a spontaneous meeting of what must be half of the town's police force on the square nearby.


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