Linda was antsy to get out of Siena this weekend so suggested that if she rented a car was I willing to go somewhere. I said, “How about Elba?”
I heard it was nice but it is a slightly awkward place to get to due to the need of a car, then there’s the ferry, it takes a long time, etc.
Anyway, we decided to do it!
So late Friday (after returning from Pienza), we organized the whole thing from Linda’s flat. Actually, Linda did it all, and did it very well! We got the car, booked the ferry, booked the hotel. Good to go!
The only issue was that there were no more car transport spots available on the ferry. We decided to take our chances and park the Siena car at the port and see if we could rent a second car in Elba. The price to take the car over to the island is about the same as renting a second car for two days so we would pretty much break even if it worked out.
After a few wrong turns, we arrived at Piombono and hopped the boat to Portoferraio! The ferry only takes about an hour.
We grabbed a little table on the ferry which we ended up sharing with a retired couple from Genoa. We had a glass of wine and Linda got a bit crazy practicing her Italian on them. She can get very loud and vivacious and uses her hands and arms to “talk”. She can be like an over-energized cheer captain alla Saturday Night Live. Possible occupations for Linda would be anything with exaggerated arm/hand gestures like spelling out “YMCA” with the Village People or a Bar Mitzvah band, working as one of those people at the airport that guide the planes in/out of the gates with the fluorescent orange batons, or being a referee/umpire. Thankfully the couple found her very entertaining!
Once off the boat in Isola d’Elba we rented a car; an old clunker, really! A Fiat Panda that was obviously purchased before there were such things as power steering, electric windows, a/c, etc. We even have to lock the doors using the key and the topcoat has worn off the paint. It’s a riot!
We are staying in a place called Marciana Marina and the drive took about 30 minutes through some very lush, hilly scenery that reminded me a bit of Costa Rica.
When we arrived at the town we were very pleasantly surprised! It is a lovely little seaside spot. Very low key with mostly Italian visitors from ‘the mainland’. The receptionist where we are staying says that Linda is the first Australian they have ever had at the hotel!
We went out for a drink on the beach and later on, after showering, headed back into town for dinner at “Zorba” which ended up being more expensive than we expected, but that’s life!
On the walk home we happened across a piazza where an Argentine tango performance was occurring. We enjoyed it immensely (we were later told that one of the couples currently hold the world tango title). I will attach a photo from the musicians afternoon practice session but hopefully can get some photos from Linda later as she took some good shots of the tango performance.
Elba, at least where we are staying, is more upscale than I expected.
On Sunday we are heading off for a drive around the western side of the island.