11 September 2009

Day 111

Alberobello Light, originally uploaded by Ryan Runs Europe.

29 Kilometers.
At 7 am Marco's alarm went off, and I woke up in a foggy car with some cramped legs. We simultaneously stepped out into the cold morning air stretched out. Marco and Gianluca resolved that sleeping in the car was not the most comfortable solution, and we drove to a nearby cafe to grab a pastry before heading back to Gioia where they dropped me off at the same place they found me.
I was still incredibly tired, cold, smelly and unshaven and didn't feel much like running. I stumbled over to the train station and went into the waiting room where I slept sitting upright for a couple more hours. Around 10 am the station attendant came in and woke me up.
"Where are you going?"
I got up and went back into town. I felt a little bit more rested, but still thought that it would be a good idea to shower and shave before heading out of town. I got a bite to eat, and after talking with a few people, a woman who ran a bed and breakfast let me in to have a shower and a shave in one of the rooms that hadn't yet been cleaned. It was glorious, and I emerged from the bathroom feeling many times more like a slightly respectable human being. I packed up my smelly clothes and got started on the easy run to Alberobello.
I had seen a picture of the town before, and knew that I was getting close by an increased number of "Trulli," an iconic type of architecture with a coned roof made of stone.
Alberobello is another UNESCO site, and I spent the late afternoon going through the town, walking in and out of various Trulli.
I went to the tourism office to see if they could help me out with a place to stay. I gave them some time to think, and around 8 pm the two girls working the office said that the best thing they could think of was going to the church and giving it a try.
It hadn't worked many times in the past, but around 8:30 I went over to the church and told my story. Before I could finish, a phone call was made and I had a place to sleep and a shower in a nearby church building. The guy who was living in the building made me an huge dinner, and I slept in some sort of classroom/bedroom that was painted with murals from Disney movies.
Next stop Ostuni. Then Brindisi. Then Greece.


  1. The difference is that before You were in protestant countries like Holland which pretty much means lavish in Europe and now You're in a Catholic country which means religious. While the general concept of seeking shelter in the Church was a romantic idea it's also kind of medieval, especially in North Western Europe where You started your trip.

  2. Only just found your blog and I am amazed at your stamina, confidence and writing skills.

    I know that, even if I was fit, I couldnt find a place to sleep each night.

    I am in awe and also tired at just reading about the distances covered!!!

  3. I still marvel at your adventure. Glorious

  4. I had lots of catching up to do! and once again, met some really nice people. Thinking of you! Love Mama

  5. Bet u felt like a kid sleeping w/those Disney characters on the wall!. Glad u found shelter..

  6. Glad things have been going better for you recently. I have been following you for a while and am looking forward to reading your blog every day. I am sorry that you have not had the best of luck with churches in the past but it is exciting for me that this church was able to help you.

    Being a christian myself I notice that the issue is not about a person being religious or not. It is so much more about letting the teachings they recieve affect their heart and actions by becoming honest and kind in their dealings with people.

    Have a great time on the rest of your journey. I hope and pray for your safety and success.

  7. All right! the church comes through. loved the story about sleeping in the car. I guess that was nice of them...

  8. Thess have been some very spectacular parts of Italy you've been seeing and sharing with us. Molte grazie. Email Ellie in Athens to do the little note in Greek for you. Glad you're getting more places to sleep in this part and the aches and pains have settled down. Bravo e salute da Antonio ed io!

  9. Hi Ryan, got your email this morning so feel like I got a sneak preview before you update your blog. Still addicted and need to know the details of how you found a place to sleep every night! Think about you every day, Laura

  10. ciao Ryan, bello che sei in Puglia e a breve vedrai Ostuni che io adoro.a breve lascerai l'Italia, ma sono convinta che nel suo bene e male, non la dimenticherai presto.
    un abbraccio