Year: 2013

Walking miles, and miles, and miles…..in circles

Walking miles, and miles, and miles…..in circlesVenice, Italy Venice, Italy Our first full day in Venice started with a quick bite, then off to join the queue into St Marks Cathedral. Careful planning had us there at about 8.50, for a 9am start. Promising beginnings with only a short queue leading to the main doors, followed by disappointment when we realised the doors didn’t open till 9.45. Once inside your struck first by the ordinariness, dark and glum, almost dirty. Then the walls and ceilings slowly come to life, rich mosaics of gold covering every conceivable spot, detailing biblical stories and all manor mythical. It’s all very impressive, but in a different way to the opulent magnificence of St Peters, or the huge volume and serenity of Notre Dame. The work involved in the mosaics is mind boggling, who has the patience? We wandered around, looked at the treasury with its ancient religious relics, and then Rachael went off to light a candle. For those who have been following our journey you will have noticed …

Lake Como to Venice

Lake Como to VeniceVenice, Italy Venice, Italy Up early this morning as we have a four hour drive to Venice, so brekky and out the door by 8. Our little apartment has been great, very close to the ferry and all the main sights we wanted to see, as well as being only 10 minutes from the fancy place Maddy was staying at. Lake Como is beautiful, and we barely scratched the surface of things to do and see, so we may well come back for more……maybe?! So, at 8am we set the GPS and hit the road for a fast start to Venice. I had a feeling we are going the wrong way but pressed on regardless until the stupid machine says “turn right in 600 metres”. Only problem….a right turn is straight into the drink! GPS wants us to catch the ferry……mmmmm About turn, turn off the GPS for a while, and 30 minutes after departing we go past our apartment again. So much for an early start! GPS back on again. Two …

It actually rained!

It actually rained!Lake Como, Italy Lake Como, Italy This morning I decided to risk my life going for a run along the streets of Como. In parts there is nothing dividing you and the cars passing, therefore a 7am start was in order. As Hugh watched over our apartment, in his sleep, I managed to get through my run unscathed and was thankful for the little towns that had footpaths. I was also thankful that the lightning and thunder had subsided long enough for me to get through my run. Back for brekky before heading to our favourite wine bar for coffee and WiFi before driving to Menaggio. Here we actually took the time to start shopping, something we have been restrained with until we were nearer to the end of our trip. A few purchases later and suddenly the skies opened up and the rain came tumbling down. The change in weather today has been a welcome relief from the heat. A respectable 24 degrees with a light breeze, yet still warm enough to …

Cars, ferries & feet.

Cars, ferries & feet.Lake Como, Italy Lake Como, Italy Our first full day in Lake Como, so first stop….the wine bar! For a coffee and free wi-fi, that is. This not having Internet at your flat has some benefits after all. Our plan of attack today is to get an all day ferry pass and see the main villages, so off we go to Tremezzo which is the next town with a ferry stop, and hunt for a car park. Now, Lake Como’s roads are quite skinny, and every available space between the lake and the mountains is taken by villas, gardens, shops, hotels, restaurants, etc. not much room for cars. To drive, or to park. Finding an all day park proved quite the challenge, and when we finally found one and headed down to the ferry, the ferry was just pulling away from the pier! Typical! We seem to be experts at just missing our transport on this trip. And the next ferry left in an hour. Luckily, just down the road is a …

Sala Comacina on Lake Como

Sala Comacina on Lake ComoLake Como, Italy Lake Como, Italy With Kate and Sal gone it was just Maddy and I to exercise together, and so at 7.30am we hit the road and walked for an hour and a half around Mombaruzzo, which was a welcome change to running all the time. Back to the Villa for our last breakfast then everyone was off to pack their bags and check out. Whilst Maddy and Co headed to Biella we headed to Sala Comacina on Lake Como, but not before purchasing a SIM card in Nizza, as the apartment we had rented did not have WiFi, an unusual oversight on Hugh’s behalf!! With the language barrier very much tested, we managed to Google translate with the sales assistant on his computer and purchased what we thought was a SIM with data. As we later learnt, we had simply purchased a SIM card with no data, so there goes €30!! Once again we were on our way for a pleasant drive to Lake Como. As lunchtime was …

Pasquero Hilberg winery

Pasquero Hilberg wineryMombaruzzo, Italy Mombaruzzo, Italy Finally a day that did not involve a drive in to Turin, yippee!! With the World Masters now behind us it was time to relax and take in the Piemonte Region and all it has to offer. We both set our alarms for 6am so we could bid farewell to Kate and Sal before Maddy drove them to the train station. Back to bed for a couple of hours before rising again, refreshed and ready to go. Our Host Nicola had organised a wine tour for us in the town of Priocca at a small biodynamic/organic winery called ‘Pasquero Hilberg’. On the way to the winery, Hugh and I drove through Neive, a small town of 3280 residents. The old town is located at the top of a hill and is laid out in a circular pattern that is enclosed by walls. The Tower of Neive dates back to the 12th century and is the highest point of the town. From here we headed to Barbaresco, a town of …

Masters 10k

Masters 10kMombaruzzo, Italy Mombaruzzo, Italy Race day Another early start as we all needed to be at race centre by 7.45, so up at 5.50 for a quick brekky in the kitchen, then off to Turin, again! No need for the GPS! We got there by 7.40 and headed to the registration centre to find out where the timing devises were. Stupidly we asked an official, who had no idea. Then we asked another….”non comprendere”. Sigh…… Eventually the girls decided to follow the crowd, which proved more helpful, and we came upon a mass of competitors, and a queue. A queue to get your timing devise! A LONG queue to get your devise! A queue which eventually led to a trestle table with piles of devises all bundled together willy nilly, and a gaggle of volunteers pushing and shoving competitors around, whilst madly trying to find the devise which corresponded with your number. No orderly line, just a shitload of frustration masquerading as controlled chaos. It was like a gaggle of geese, a school of …