This morning we drove out to the town next door – Carovigno – to check out their market and do a bit more shopping. Kate loves trying out new fruit and at the market she came across an odd-looking example – pinkish with a regular pattern of small dark-brown spots all over it. We eventually figured out that it was the fruit of the prickly pear, which helped to solve a mystery that dated back to our time on Syros. On the way out to the bakery at Finikas for our baklava fix, we passed a plot of prickly pears that were obviously being cultivated. In Australia, the prickly pear is a pest, so I wondered why anyone would be farming them – for the fruit, apparently. (Kate and Sarah loved the fruit, which apparently tasted a bit like watermelon.)
Shopping done, we headed back to the apartment. Now, in much of Europe, staying in the old part of town often involves a trade-off. What you gain in aesthetics, you pay in the lack of convenience. When it comes to our apartment in Ostuni, that price is pretty steep – literally. The nearest place we can leave the car is in a free car park adjacent to a school. From there, it's a couple of hundred metres just to the town walls, followed by a steep climb up narrow roads and numerous stairs to the apartment, as illustrated here by Sarah.
Is it worth it? Without question. The view alone is payback enough.