Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Day 54

Day 54. Sunday 23rd May.
Ben Hur

Galvanised by yesterday’s sloth we pack up a set off for Palermo. The breaking camp and setting up shop in a new town routine is taking on a rhythm of its own and doesn’t seem such a chore anymore. 2½-hour drive to Isola d. femmine, set by the sea (behind the cement works) 10k to the west of Palermo.
The drive around Palermo was a hoot and a half. Take my previous comments about Italian drivers (day 38) and multiply them by 10. Remember the race scene from Ben Hur, now, add car horns, turn up the volume and replay on fast forward.
La Playa is a gorgeous little campsite, deeply shaded by olive trees and a lovely warm welcome from the sisters that run it. Followed by a multilingual briefing about the busses and perils of a day in town for the following day.
Gird your loins Palermo here we come.

Day 53

Day 53. Sat 22nd May.
Much too much.

Thoroughly worn away by too much fun the previous day we snuggled down to a good read and general idleness.
We don’t have two good days in us anymore and will be in trouble when were back to work.

Day 52

Day 52. Friday 21st May.
Proper Tourists.

A brand new fresh day to enjoy. Sunny-cloudy start, were off to explore the Nebrodi Mountains. A leisurely drive to cheer the spirits after our confinement. Gorge ourselves on the lush, verdant scenery of the north facing slopes. Molly had a jolly trot through feathery ferns in a beech wood half way up. Reached the small town of Novera di sicilia for a spot of lunch and high praise for Andy’s language skills. In the local pharmacy he rejected their first lot of antihistamines as they were too expensive, all the customers started patting him on the back and saying how marvellous his Italian was. Onwards and upwards through mossy lushness and floriferous wildness till we reached the top. Stunning views of the snow topped, brooding Mount Etna greet us and we descended the less lush, but no less beautiful, south facing slopes. The last eruption was only in 2007. Gulp. Explored an abandoned village and spooked ourselves speculating why everyone left.
Our destination for the day is the tourist town of Taormina. Itself on the side of a mountain dangerously close to the last lava flow from Etna. Wonderful winding medieval streets lined with shops, bars and restaurants. Very smart and very civilised and full of all kinds of gorgeousness. Including a shop that hand filled Canoli (a heavenly pastry filled with ricotta) while you wait. Stunning views of the Volcano and along the coast of sparkling turquoise sea.
We feel like proper tourists.

Day 51

Day 51. Thursday 20th May.
Rain and Rain and Rain.

Rain stops play, again and so we are confined to quarters for the duration. Reading, washing, housework and bloging are our joyous activities for the day.
With three of us there is no pacing in this cage and like a delicate thing made of the finest wool the wang seems to shrink when wet.
Later in the day it cleared enough to tempt us out with the hound but became torrential again when we were a mile down the beach. Even her Molliness was blinking in the downpour. Thankfully no mud.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Day 50

Day 50. Wed 19th May. In Ruins.

Feeling a bit chipper today.

A monumental church perched on top of a cliff. looms over our beach and site. We strike out to explore. The church was only built in the 60s as a shrine to a miraculous Byzantine black Madonna. Nauseatingly kitsch, a strong stomach required to explore but with a huge local following. Along the line of trinket stalls we find the ancient ruins of Tyndaris. Rambled and scrambled all over the site. Had a great time exploring, wild flowers everywhere and stunning views along the coast. Back to the camp and onto the beach for a refreshing swim and a bit of sunbathing.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Day 49

Day 49 Tuesday 18th May.

Feeling nauseous, dizzy, thumping head and had cramps all day. No it’s not my time of the month. I think a bit of a tummy bug (yesterday was notable for the volume and ferocity of a certain bodily function) combined with still raging hay fever and the long drive have caught up with me.
A day in bed avoiding the light. Feeling a bit better by the evening so had a walk into town. Unremarkable.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Day 48 Monday 17th May.

Ferries are always dead exciting for the first hour and then they get very boring. Luckily the crossing was an hour exactly so we only had the exciting partStormy and cloudy Sicily at fist seems like everywhere else in Italy.
Only about an hour to our fist campsite on the north coast in Marinello. Next to the sea and on the edge of a large coastal nature reserve. Feels very much like low season here.
Our German neighbours had just arrived from Calabria with a harrowing tale. In the middle of town a scooter faked an accident in front of their BMW. Anther blocked the driver’s door while two more calmly opened the back doors and removed all the valuables from the back seat. They made off with quite a haul including handbag (with wallets and passports), camera, mobile phone and ipod. We are lucky to have our back seat guarded by such a vicious snarling attack hound as Molly. From now on were driving everywhere with the doors locked. The coastal reserve is very beautiful with several natural swimming pools and amazing wild flowers. Molly is very interested in the local wildlife.
Most of her research is along the lies of how fast it can run and how close can she get without having to catch it.

Day 47

Day 47. Sunday 16th May.

Awoke to the sound of booming from the bay. Hoping it wasn’t a long overdue eruption we quickly decamped for our southbound trek.
Originally intending to break overnight, the appalling rain and early start prompted us to continue on to the ferries for Sicily.
There is something profoundly unsatisfying about landscape seen from a car. Spectacular though it may be, and certainly was, it’s a fleeting appreciation, like eating candyfloss, and leaves you wanting more.
The coastal motorway in Calabria is scarily spectacular with thousands of feet between you and the coastline below and only a flimsy looking strip of metal, (and your own ability to steer of course), between you and oblivion.
It didn’t help we were listening to Ian Banks “The wasp factory” on the way. A gripping but highly disturbing novel we were well and truly weirded out by the end of our 600k drive. Originally relived by our arrival at the ferry terminal in Regio Calabria its only as we got closer we realized it was deserted.
No Sunday sailings and the nearest campsite another 60k away. I’m not one to point a finger (as you know) but suffice to say the person who researched the ferries online (Lets leave it that his initials were ANDREW DOUGLAS) had taken only a cursory glance at the details. I accept we all make mistakes and mine was choosing him as a partner in the fist place.
Count to ten, ungrip teeth.
Set off to find a closer campsite than the one in the guide. After about 15 k spotted an elaborate sign for Camping Greccia Magna, 2 k distant, 1.5k distant. 1k distant till we were there. A brightly painted large square with the flags of many nations fluttering bravely in the stiffening breeze. Well the flags were out but there was no one home.
Tumbleweed blew across piazza as Andy leapt from the car. To avoid impending murder and search for signs of life.
He managed to locate a sleeping caretaker who opened the electronic gate and bid us welcome.
It was utterly tatty and deserted with rows of beaten up old wangs. A camping graveyard, In the middle of nowhere and no one knows were here. What could possibly go wrong?
Well in the event nothing. Walked molly by the sea who swam and chased lots of stray cats. Fell into bed exhausted and left early the next morning for the Ferry.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Day 46

Day 46. Saturday 15th May. A day in the garden.

The largest garden in the region by miles is the Palazzo Reale in Caserta just 30/40 k drive from Naples.
The gigantic palace (makes Buckingham palace look like a Kennel) was built-in 1752 for Charles111 and the garden is on a scale to match. Colossal, enormous, hugh and utterly fabulous.A three km long promenade punctuated by formal ponds each with cavorting groups of classical statues, cascades, waterfalls, fountains and spouting dolphins. At the end of the two-mile walk is an 80 m high cascade falling into a basin with more mythological statues.
Impressive or what. A bit of a stormy old day so most visitors stuck to palace and the gardens were rather tranquil. Fortunately there are little electric busses to bring you back.
Wondering how to replicate this at home I got to miss my own little patch of green.
Has the lilacs flowered yet? Are the Wisterias putting on much of a display? For the first time I feel homesick.
So much of the enjoyment of gardening is seeing how plants develop from year to year, like old friends who visit annually and are gone for another 12 months. I miss it.

This one is the goddess Hilary with her pack?

Day 45

More archaeology at the smaller town of Herculaneum. Closer to the sea and nearer to Napoli and again accessed by the local train line.
Much smaller than Pompeii but more complete two story houses and more to see in them.
The Roman baths are amazing and the intact wall frescos beautiful.
Lots of the bronzes and marble from the original excavations were carted off to build houses in Napoli before the archaeologists got involved

We were a stones throw from the sea so set off to weave our way down to what was surely a beach.
Not likely, through a slum, under a railway track and the low tunnel underneath came out at a sewerage outlet, imagine our disappointment.
A whole week in the bay of Naples and we didn’t get to the sea once. Still the climb back up the hill was good for me.
The garage phoned, the car is fixed and they would collect us in two hours, we couldn’t contain our excitement at having our wheels back. The bill was a reasonable 168 Euros and we rushed to a giant out of town supermarket to look at lots of bright shiny things, breath out and relax. Ahhhh.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Day 44

Day 44 Thursday 13th May. Sunny Sorrento.

At the far end of the Circumvesuniana is the tourist town of Sorrento. An antidote to the other end of the line, Napoli. A delight to find somewhere clean and pretty with views and shops.
Shared our journey with a group of American cruse passengers. “You look like someone,” they offered. I smiled weakly and kept my gaze firmly on the landscape.
Had our morning Coffee on a smart hotel balcony overlooking the bay with great views of the town tumbling into the sea. Lots of boats leave here for Capri, filed away mental note in case of a prolonged car repair.An indifferent lunch where the waiters reminded us four times how to leave a tip. Well here’s a tip, serve better food and be more attentive. Were tourists not idiots?
The charms of aimless wandering eventually began to wane and we head home.
The correct car part has arrived so maybe tomorrow.

Day 43

Day 43 Wed 12th May. Ah Napoli.

The local railway line the “Circumvesuviana” (just in case you were to forger your living at the foot of an active volcano) leaves from just beyond the camp entrance and gets us to the centre of Naples in no time at all.
The Central Station is a clamourous building site and the City Its every bit as filthy, chaotic and downright dog gone dangerous as we were expecting.

Rather exciting, we strangely enjoyed it.
The Cathedral is creepy, what with vials of liquefying blood and all that. Yellow stained glass widows caste a urine glow over the interior and that just about says it all.
The Archaeological museum has very cannily nicked all the good stuff from Pompeii.
Inspired by the fantastic sculpture galleries, the fresco paintings and some mosaics from the ruins.

Though most of the mosaic galleries were closed for re-display, Andy is disappointed.
A surprisingly good lunch in a restaurant recommended by the museum bookseller. Busy as hell, the waiter (what a bruiser) threw the menus at the table and immediately demanded our order. Rather rude, even for Naples, we just bust out laughing and so did he. Phew.
Andy has his favourite plate of seafood to date, served with enormous fat rolls of pasta schiaffo.
Our new best friend, scary waiter, warming to his role as host and cultural attaché, mimes it is Italian for slap, a local speciality and we are not going to argue.
Made our wary way back to the station and the relative calm of camping Zeus.
Our car part has arrived and is the wrong part. Maybe tomorrow.

Weve all had days like these. Here come the boys.

Should have gone to Rigby and Pellar. .Lord but shes a big girl.

Thursday, 13 May 2010


Day 42 Tues 11th May.
Pining for our motor, we wait a whole day for no news.

Helpfully the RAC can’t find us a hire car anywhere in the entire area.


Day 41 Mon 10th May.

Back to the voice of the beehive, just whose blog is this?
Slow start and with Molly pestering for an adventure, with some trepidation, we set out for a trip up the Volcano.
Its due to go off every 35 years and last eruption was in 1944 so do the sums.
Another scary drive through the suburbs and a rather sad road up the lower volcanic slopes, knee deep in litter and filth. The locals drive up here for the amazing views of the Bay of Naples, a spectacular natural amphitheatre and express their appreciation by leaving bags of detritus in their wake.
Further up is a lot clearer and the lava flows have been colonised by an abundance of wild flowers. The ground is a haze of tiny sunshine yellow flowers, anthemis i think. Thrusting up from these, vivid red Valerian and blue and white Veronicas. Deep purple/blue Echiums (Vipers bugloss). More exquisite than any garden. Up and up through lush vegetation, which gradually falls away to red volcanic dust as you hit the car park.

It’s a bit cooler here. The top is often obscured by clouds and as a bunch of anoracked schoolchildren (all with backpacks) pass us on their way down we realised (in our shirtsleeves and shorts) we are unprepared for the driving wind, rain and dust of our ascent. Luckily by the time we reach the top the sun is shining again and the squall has driven most vistors off the summit.
The blacked crater of the volcano on one side and the amazing views over the bay of Naples on the other is awesome.
There is a faint whiff of sulphur and scarily we saw a few puffs of smoke. Run.
Almost disappointed not to see a couple of burnt out Fiat Uno’s and old fridges in the crater
Molly is in her element and frightens the life out of fellow visitors by scrabbling as close to the edge as she can chasing Lizards. She comes fully equipped with state of the art four-wheel drive and though we have a close shave, survives to scramble another day.
Back in the car park our car has an eruption of own from a radiator pipe. The pressurised system has fallen fowl of the long journeys running hotter than usual and sprung a leek. Limped back to the campsite and waved goodbye as another garage hauls her off for to god knows where for god knows how long.

Day 40

Day 40. Sun 9th May.

After our traumatic arrival yesterday we calmed ourselves with therapeutic housework, or wangwork in our case. We sluiced and scraped out the remaining mud, three loads of washing, filthy wet carpets draped over the Oleanders. Our space was bedecked with washing lines and all our worldly possessions piled up in the sunshine to dry. It looked like the Clampets from the Beverly Hillbillies had arrived.
What a blissful nights sleep in a fresh bed in preparation for a day in the excavations at Pompeii.
Though nothing can prepare you for the scale of Pompeii; the site has no less than three theatres!
Thousands of tourists swarm around but you can still find yourself alone. We followed our noses and wandered down an empty street with Vesuvius directly in front of us. You can imagine the scene of destruction 2000 years ago.
We continue towards the volcano and end up at the “villa of mysteries” one of the few house’s open to the public.

(Most houses are chained off and much of the frescos, sculpture and mosaic have been removed to museums.)
The villa is thought to be an out of town holiday home for an upper class Roman and is breathtakingly splendid, decoratively and architecturally with frescos mainly in red adorning many of the walls.
. Remains of a courtyard garden.

Leaving the villa we walk outside the city walls and enter the town via the Roman arena where many gladiatorial battles were fought, unfortunately we had run out of Christians so had to miss the lion feeding at lunchtime.The roads now feel hard underfoot, the sun beats down and we sit under an avenue of trees and eat pears, a few stray dogs wander over to see what’s on the menu but drift off when nothing is forthcoming. We cross the city and see more Doric columns, houses, villas, market squares, bath houses, whore houses, civic buildings, palaces and temples and leave via the city gates.

Scoot past the hawkers who seem to haunt every tourist attraction and 20 meters later are sitting in the cool comfort of our sparkling caravan, hoping the volcano sleeps tonight. What an amazing day!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Day 39

Day 39. Sat 8th May.

With a song in our hearts, if not exactly on our lips we travelled the second leg of our southbound escape rout to Pompeii.
Impressive scenery on the way down. The clouds thinned as the possibility of dying out beckoned.
Until the satnav turned into the demon bitch from hell.
15km from our destination she instructed us the leave the motorway. I still don’t know why we blindly obeyed? having already worked out the site was only 2km from the autostrada. Obey we did.
“Turn left”, we were in the back streets on Naples (they sound nice in the Peter Sarstead song) on a very gnarly, narrow road that was two way traffic and no road markings. Bouncing and lurching, after several very near misses my nerves were beginning to fray and the road was deteriorating before our eyes, bumpier and narrower by the meter with taller and taller slums looming overhead. Motorised lunatics swerving in front, (they NEVER let you through). We hit several blockages caused by oncoming cars trying to get by and simply having nowhere to go. Further road narrowing then we were hit by the lunchtime rush to get home for food and a kip.
The situation had become impossible.
It was then the mental cow said, “now turn right”? An impassably narrow right hand turn, we would have struggled to do it in the car but with the wang was a no no. We had no choice but to disobey (at last) and keep straight on.

Straight up a one-way street, coming the other way.
A school had just turned out, so a plague of gurning spawn swarmed round us while the stream of oncoming vehicles blasted us with abuse. We sat mesmerised by fear with nothing to do but wait for the stampede to abate.
After about 10 minuets, during which I didn’t breath once, a gap in the traffic appeared and I shot forward the 20 meters to a right turn I could manage. More bumpy narrow streets and the satnav going bonkers, we didn’t do a thing she suggested, and somehow found our way back to the autostrada. Followed the directions in the camping guide and in no time at all were set up in a pretty, deeply shaded spot in Camping Zeus, 20m from the entrance to Pompeii.

But at last the sun was shining.

Day 38

Day 38. Friday 7th May.

The smell in wang has become intolerable, the soaking carpet is living a double life as a fungus farm, the wet dog looks as though she belongs to Wurzell Gummage and we are wetter than as Otter’s pocket.
Every day in every way everything was just getting a little more wet.
So we flee Tuscany and head south to Latzio and Roma, we will just have to catch up on our way home.
The drive south was promising, lots of breaks in the clouds and flashes of sunshine. By the time we hit the Roma rush hour it was damp and miserable and yes RAINING.
Italian driving, don’t get me started, its never the main event it is in the Uk. Its something they do while they have a fag, fix their hair, or chat on the phone and all the while gesticulating like they have an invisible orchestra to conduct. Lanes exist to be ignored; indicators lie idle while they weave about like midges on a loch side.
Anyone in front is treated as a mortal insult to his or her moral standing and you must be passed at all costs.

In a queue of traffic on a motorway someone, undertook someone else, undertaking us, on the hard shoulder!.
The site in Rome, on a bend in the river Tiber was lovely and very well shaded by mature trees.
Great restaurant with generous portions of good food, we will return. Just like the Rain, Rain, Rain.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Day 37

Day 37. Thursday 6th May.

Pisa’s field of miracles was only a 20 min walk from our encampment, under a hideous thunderous underpass but what a sight greets you. The famous leaning tower, such an
appropriate symbol for Italy?
Totally unexpected were the Baptistry and the Cathedral. Both stunning, monochrome, confections in their own right and all set in an oasis of the greenest lawns you ever saw.
A guard with an incredible voice demonstrated the astonishing acoustics and echo in the Baptistery.

She sounded like whole choir singing counterpoint. Until the arrival of an English schoolteacher and her class, not to be swayed, she continued to lecture above the singing. The singer got louder but so did the teacher until the voice broke off, ripped into the English lady in vehement Italian, (ours isn’t good enough to work out what she was saying). The rest of the performance continued in hushed silence. Our feet almost left the ground the sound was so utterly transcended.
Nothing would persuade us the go up the tower but there is so much else to see it hardly mattered.

Explored the medieval city centre but on a cold wet day it all looked

very shabby and over lunch decided to head for Sicily and sunshine,

calling at Rome and Pompeii for stopovers on the way down.

Day 36.

Day 36. Wed 5th May.

Ah the dawn chorus isn’t it amazing how many birdcalls sound like an unanswered telephone.
The early morning mist on the hillsides was actually rising from our sodden abode and us.

The mud wrestling had taken its toll but al least we had a good night, in spite of the mud preventing us from levelling the wang and clinging on for dear life all night
A decision was made and we headed off for Pisa. An hour and a half away and an easy train ride into Florence, we weren’t giving up yet.
Our camping book described the site as flat and though the whole journey was in torrential rain we lived in hope of a dry landing.
It was dryish, at least the bit we set up on plus it was blissfully flat. Nothing like a night clinging onto the edge of the bed so you don’t roll out, to make you appreciate such luxurious comforts.
Had a snack in the site café, served by our second nominee for “Glum Italy 2010”, as her only customers we were clearly delaying her headlong rush into a permanently vegetative state.Discovered podcasts and caught up with the Archers. Early night

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Day 35

Day 35. Tuesday 4th May.

Rained all through the night and all the next morning. Try walking back from the morning shower, struggling to keep your wet hair dry, in the pouring rain. The rain looks set for the day so we hitch up and set off. Bidding a sad farewell to the lively Dutch family we have befriended.
Rained all the way up into the mountains, not so much a winding road as taking a line for a walk. And this is the autostrada so enormous bloody lorries thundering by on hairpin bends in sheeting water.
Only a 3-hour jaunt to the site in Firenze. With a narrow little entrance and steep climb up a hill. A leafy green site, which by the time we arrive, has become a mud bath. Choosing our pitch with great care and all the skill our growing experience can muster. In no time at all we are up to our axels in mud. The wang, the car and us. It needed a tractor to pull us out and all the time, rain, rain, rain.
Madam is in her element, running around madly with mud dripping off her furry backside. The inside of our tastefully biscuit wang is a total horror story. Now the colours of army camouflage, just a packet of seeds and we have a hydroponics farm.
Set off to investigate the other two sites in the city and they are just as bad.
Eat in the deserted campsite restaurant, not bad food but molly created an action painting on the tiled floor in mud.
Our waiter (leading candidate for our“Mr Italian Glum 2010” award) was not amused.
Settled into our filthy bed (another action painting from the prolific Miss Molly) and decided to give Florence a miss.
Its going to rain for the next two weeks and the simple truth is camping anywhere in the rain is bloody horrible.
“Hi Di Hi campers.”

Day 34

Day 34. Monday 3rd May.

Joy oh joy; the rain washed away all the noisome bothersome week enders and our sylvan glade is restored.
After a blissfully peaceful night we promptly left for a visit to Sirmione, a striking village at the head of a peninsular jutting out into the lake.
Pretty place with a 13thc turreted castle completely surrounded by water and only one way into the old town, over a former drawer bridge. Full of thermal springs and heath spas, it really smells terrible in places. Headed right to the end of the peninsular for the ruins of a roman villa and of course it’s closed on Mondays. Still it’s a pretty walk and our hairy monster has a whale of a time.
With the sun shining the place has filled to bursting by the time we head out and back to camp.
Florence and the gardens of Tuscany are beckoning so we start the process of packing up to head off on the morrow.
Had a mixed time in Lake Garda and didn’t do half the things we meant too, but it’s a beautiful base for a holiday and we hope to return.

Day 32

Day 32; Saturday 1st May.

Our charming assistant in Cartier had warned us half of Italy heads to Lake Garda for the May bank holiday and sure enough on returning to our leafy glade, It had turned into Butlins. Noisome, lively and very international, we realised the biggest drawbacks of camping are the total lack of sound insulation and privacy.
Hot and sunny. Took a desultory walk along the lake with Molls and all the other tourists. At least Molls had a great time, enthusiastic swimming (her more or less permanent mode) and wildlife bothering. Had the worst lunch of our visit and were thoroughly dreary all day

Day 33

Day 33. Sunday 2nd May.

Sullen and resentful we fled to Verona for the day.
The Giardino Giusti is a verdant haven in the middle of the city.

Created at the end on the 15th century it’s a masterpiece. Towering Cypress avenues, box knot gardens, fountains, statures, bowers and the oldest maize in Europe. What a joy. The weather is overcast which intensifies the feeling of being saturated in green.
Winding up the hill, we climb a spiral stone staircase to the belvedere. Emerging at 10.30 am as the bells of Verona, laid out below us, rang out. The stand of flowering Circis ( Judas Trees) showered us with cerise petals, what a moment.

Lunch at a typical Verona trattoria (recommended by the gardiner) was the best we’ve had since arriving in Italy.
The house speciality is horse, which we didn’t try.
Walked through Verona as the storm clouds gathered. Took a turn around the Roman Amphitheatre. Home of the famous Verona opera festival, Alicia Keys (I have no idea) was appearing that night. Took a quick peek at the famous Juliet balcony (so bogus) and dashed back to car as the heavens opened.
Even it Italy it rains at the Bank Holidays.

Equilibrium full restored


Day 31; Friday 30thth April.

In need of action and adventure were on a mid morning train into Milano. Train travel is cheap in Italy and it’s just not worth the hassle of driving and parking in the big cities.
Now Italian ladies like to travel in style on the train. Curled up in the one seat they have paid for with a book or magazine. The seat beside them is taken up with the handbag, the one opposite with the coat and the one beside that with the shopping bags. The four seats opposite the aisle have the suitcases shoved in so at eight seats per person the trains fill up very quickly and they are happily oblivious to anyone having to stand for the journey.
The Stazione Centrale is truly monumental, gleaming white and built on the orders of Mussolini. A stunner and when we’ve finished gawping realised we were up to our necks in a throng of humanity.

I so needed a city. We take the metro. Like me, its easy and cheap (Andy is still Sir Limpsalot) and we head for Cartier to get my blessed battery replace.
A buzzer admits us to the shop where the charming lady behind the counter greets us like old friends.
The replacement will take a few minutes so were served hot coffee and chilled water while we discuss all the places she thinks we should see in Italy. 30 minuets later and we want to take her with us and I think she would have come. But when discussing our travels to date, (the mountains, Venice, the Lakes) we failed to mention we were in a caravan so she clearly had the impression we were international playboys. Declined any sort of payment for the repair (in Bond street they charge £80 for a new battery) we were sent on our way, delighted and refreshed.
Is this what its like for rich people all the time?
A divine plate of late lunch (and cheap) in a café round the corner and were off to the Duomo where nothing quite prepares you for the scale of the place, its incredibly elaborate and HUGHE.
Unfortunately manned by guards shooing away perfectly respectable girls with bare shoulders and short skirts.
Do they honestly think an omnipotent deity is going to be remotely offended by what people are wearing or are their brains as small as their *****?

Across from the Duomo is the
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, surely the most elegant shopping arcade in the world.
In Prada(beautifull shop) its full on fifties, patterns, summer frocks and everything,
available from any vintage shop a fraction of the price.
Flying Visit to La Scala, no tickets for Lulu (the opera) that night and a rather austere façade.

Train home, Job Done, Great Day.

Day 30

Day 30; Thursday 29th April.

Running short of supplies and with half an eye out for a supermarket, a tour along the Lakeshore brings us to the small town of Garda. A delightfully situated harbour backed by soaring mountains and lined with restaurants and Hotels.
Stop for lunch and soak up the atmosphere.
Then wander along and re couperate from lunch with an ice cream and coffee (Italian coffee is devine) at another establishment.
With Andys injury we are still experiencing life at a limps pace, the same as most of the old dears strolling along.
OK, all very pretty and that, but I have to say meandering is not all its cracked up to be. I am bored out of my brain.
A whole day and I’ve achieved nothing to justify my existence on this planet. Perhaps I need to fine tune my relaxation vibe or wake up to the realization; I’m just not one of life’s idlers. There’s no pleasing some folk.

Not A Happy Face.