2021-11-26 43 12
| Fri 26 Nov 2021 in 43,12:|
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on a sloped meadow in Acquaviva, San Marino
(within the borders of the City of San Marino according to OSM)
warning: long report!
The first expedition in San Marino, and indeed within the whole graticule of 43,12! I was on a solo trip through northern Italy by bus and train since 14 November. I had spent one night in nearby Rimini and then one night in San Marino, and my plan before the hash was revealed was to spend another night in Rimini and then travel to Bologna. When the coordinates for Friday came out on Wednesday (due to Thanksgiving), I was actually in the country of San Marino (I was sitting at 43.93831 12.44480, only 3 km from the hash, when I found out)!
It was incredible luck – a geohash only lands within San Marino around three times per year on average, and it happened right after I planned to leave the region. Only on five days could I have attempted an expedition in San Marino. What's more, the hash was near a path and within walking distance from the capital!
I now planned to spend a third night in Rimini, then take the shuttle to San Marino on the morning of the 26th, walk to the hash, take the shuttle back, collect my backpack at the hostel and continue to Bologna. (The following text was written a month after the expedition.) However, when I wanted to board the last shuttle bus of the day around 7 pm, it sped right past me without stopping, and I had to spend a second night at the hostel in San Marino. On the morning of the 25th, I took the first shuttle to Rimini and explored the city over the day, buying my 10€ return bus tickets for the 26th. The next morning, I only managed to catch the second shuttle back to San Marino at 9:25 am, leaving all my stuff at the hostel in Rimini and taking only what fit in my pockets.
I got off the bus at Borgo Maggiore because I wanted to walk through the old railway tunnels to the capital (San Marino had a railway in the 30s that was destroyed in WWII, but some tunnels remain). When I saw a supermarket, I went in because I wanted to try to get some more of the rare Sammarinese Euro coins, but to my annoyance I couldn't find a single item that had a reasonable price at which I got lots of coins back and that I actually wanted to consume, even though I searched the entire store. So I carried on, through the well-kept tunnels (some even have some pictures of when 100,000 Italian refugees found shelter there during in 1944–45).
I arrived below the City of San Marino and walked ever downward on winding roads and through tiny hamlets, getting magnificent views of the clouds rolling through the valleys below and over the hills beyond. However, while the views were great, I have to admit that San Marino is the worst country for pedestrians I have ever been to (perhaps not entirely surprising for the only country with more cars than inhabitants). Few of the roads have sidewalks (and only in the cities), and you can usually either walk on the street (with cars coming very close in the many curves) or beside it on a slope, in constant danger of sliding down. But it seems that there are few places in San Marino from which you don't have epic views of the landscape, which makes walking much more bearable.
I got off the roads at the edge of a very light forest, continuing on tractor lanes, which were at times so steep that I doubted any motor vehicle could drive there. I had to guess my way based on the cached map and my approximate position on Google (couldn't really use mobile data in San Marino), which lead to me retracing my steps and going the other way at a several crossroads. The path I had to take was the only one marked on OSM, and I was constantly unsure, but did manage to get out of the forest at the correct spot. From there, I could almost see the hashfield, but there were large difficulties on the way: The path was now extremely narrow and went down a ridge, with an abrupt drop on the right-hand side. But it had rained the previous days and the usually earthy ground had turned into mud. I could not take a single step on the path, or I would have immediately slid down the slope. Instead, I had to search for half-solid ground with every step and layaway from root to branch to the thinnest of trunks, holding onto everything I could find that was attached to the ground. It was slow going, but I eventually made it to the edge of the hashfield, postponing the question of how I'd get back up to later. I was very thankful that the hash lay very near to a path and not within dense vegetation or on a cliff, or I would've been Mother Nature's Bitch for sure (I don't think there is much even ground in San Marino).
The hash lay near the middle of a field of grass (in certain areas tall) that was quite steeply (for a field) descending into a valley. I had to be attentive to not slip and fall, but could otherwise easily reach the coordinates, having walked ~3.5 km. From the hash, you had a good view of the surrounding hills and some more distant hills through the valley. The city of San Marino was unfortunately behind the hill I came down (it probably would've been hidden in the clouds anyway), but I got some great views of it snuggling the westward flank of Monte Titano on my way back. I took pictures with Baruch, Jackie, and Eagle (who loved this kind of more adventurous geohashing) and rested a little, eating the sandwich I brought.
Climbing back up the hill was more difficult than climbing down, and my feet slipped several times (thankfully I always held onto something, though I often had to search for vegetation that was sturdy enough to hold me). My trousers got very dirty in the process, but I made it up the ridge, up through the forest and up the same streets I came until I reached the foot of the capital after 3.5 quite exhausting kilometres.
The bus left every hour, but I still wanted to walk through the longest open railway tunnel, which makes a 500 m bend at the southern end of the city. (I'd been there two days previously end even saw the tracks, but failed to get curious and discover the tunnel.) So I went up to the city via some steep streets and long stairs, and then went southward along the lower end of the old town, passing the bus terminal to check out where the shuttle leaves. All the while, I enjoyed the views – you have free view to the west from almost any point in the Città di San Marino.
I reached the entry to the Montale tunnel after 1.1 km, in which stood the restored AB 03 railcar: An 800 m long portion of the railway that leads through the tunnel was reinstated in 2012 as a tourist attraction with an original railcar from the 30s. Strangely, I didn't see this advertised anywhere in San Marino, and not on online guides either. I didn't see a single other person in the entire tunnel. I'm a big fan of caves and tunnels, and chose to walk an the planks between the rails instead of on the sidewalk for most of the way. When I exited, I came to the old San Marino station, where I saw the restored FC 22 waggon.
I didn't have enough time left to go to the top of the mountain again before the bus left at 2:15 pm, but I did at least want to get some more coins. So I went to the nearest supermarket (discovering a cool hidden amphitheatre on the way), but annoyingly found it closed. I considered going to another supermarket a few streets below, but decided against it; I didn't want to risk missing the bus. So instead I went to the terminal (1.3 km from the station), reveled in the amazing panorama you have for a few minutes and took some more pictures of the scenery to add to the many dozen I had already taken in the last three days. Finally the shuttle arrived, slightly late, and took me to Rimini again. In total, I spent 4:07 h off the bus in San Marino and 6.5 hours on the expedition (hostel to hostel).
There, I bought my ticket to Modena (all the hostels in Bologna had been completely booked for some unknown reason, so the cheapest way was to take the train from Modena to Bologna the next morning), hurried to hostel, snatched my backpack and ran back to the station to catch my train. Unfortunately though, the train boarded in Bologna didn't leave because it was "too full", so I had to get onto a different train and only arrived in Modena in the evening instead of in the afternoon as I had originally planned. What a day.
will follow shortly (many pictures)
Land geohash, Public transport geohash
|π π π earned the Border geohash achievement|
|π π π earned the Virgin Graticule Achievement|
Sadly, I think paying 10€ for the shuttle does not count as getting the Admit One achievement because I could theoretically have gotten there without taking the bus.