Wednesday, 23 November 2011
And on into Italy
We had a great drive from Chambery to the Frejus Tunnel. The autumn colours along the route were fabulous, mind blowing. We were going through the mountains, climbing slowly, glimpses of Mont Blanc, snow covered as always, other mountains showing a sprinkling of snow and always, the colours, from palest gold to shimmering russets to brilliant reds. Add to that a clear blue sky and an almost empty road (and no lorries!) and you have a perfect drive. And then we were through the tunnel and into Italy and going down, down, down until we reached the Turin bypass an the road got busy, cars rushing by, entering and exiting it seemed every few hundred yards. This required attention… and no cruise control. From here onwards the traffic was more dense, more frenetic. We took a wrong turn and ended up on the wrong autostrada but decided it was better than the one the satnav had chosen. Then we were crossing Milan. Bergamo. And finally, signs for Verona. And Lago di Garda. This was our hotel. Not a great pic I know, but I thought you might like to see it anyway. But it was in the middle of nowhere! Or so it seemed - there was an interesting old village that we walked around but no bar, nowhere to have a coffee. So we got back in the car and wound our way downhill, round convoluted hairpin bends and finally to Bardolino. There were cars everywhere and we thought, hmmm, parking is going to be an issue but no, there was an enormous car park and a few empty spaces. Time for a walk. And a cappuccino. I thought I would insert some pics of Bardolino, but it seems I didn't take any. Brain-dead after all that scary driving. We decided not to rush on to Venice next day. The thought of finding the car park, getting our bags, walking into town and finding our hotel… much better stay where we were and have a relaxing day around the lake. Autumn in Lazise, Lago di Garda More autumn colour Castles seem to be the norm around Lake Garda, this is a view of Lazise's version. Tony and, in the background, one of the ancient 'gates' into the town. Okay, so I was trying to be artistic! Still in Lazise, the view across the small port towards the row of bars and restaurants. Wasn't it a glorious day! The inside of a tiny church on the quay, opposite the restaurants. From Lazise we took the lake steamer to Sirmione. Tony, waiting for cast off You wondered whether you would ever get a view of the lake, didn't you! And then to Sirmione Shops Icecream Lunch Sirmione's castle has a moat. And another small church. And narrow alleyways. A beach. And a pretty walk along the shore. The walk was pretty… not Tony!!! He was getting tired. Time for a drink. But not before we passed a grove of gnarled old olive trees. And finally, the return trip on the steamer. And in the evening (Tony reminded me last night) we enjoyed the most delicious pizza. I'm not a pizza fan, give me pasta any day. But this one was seriously good. Next Greece, and Ganymede, the reason for this trip.