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June 11, 2016 1 Comment

We stumbled into Italy yesterday, after a few nights in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljuana, then a look at Lake Bled (which was okay), a cobalt coloured lake Bohinj, (much better), then a fantastic run through Julian Alps towards Italy.

We expected a border crossing, but there wasn’t one. What we did find was a deserted concrete block with a concrete lid in the middle of the road, with ITALIA, written on it.

We’re in! No sniffer dogs, no open out the cupboards, no insurance, no bribes, no wait, no card games or hacky sac kicking, nothing. No police either.

So we drove into Italy.

What do they put in their water? Ok, we’re in the suburbs of a big town, but honestly, the drivers instantly became impatient, noisier, quicker and louder, just within that 40 metres of travel. And it hasn’t let up.

In Indonesia there’s chaos, but there are more cars there, with a flow that seems to fit okay. In Italy, the illegally overtaking car seems to baulk you before, during and after the manoeuvre. There are bicycles, both lycra hotrods and oldies like us, wobbling along. The motorcycles are huge road bikes, not as many as Indo, but what they lack in numbers, they make up for in size.

Today we used the Autostrada (A4), for the first 150km. I think the minimum speed is 90km/h, because while plodding along in the slow lane at 85, a 15 tonne rigid chassis interstate came up behind, so close I could see the smiles in the bugs on his nose cone, then he started to blow his horn. It was a shrill little thing, which I didn’t realise was his. Then he got closer, flashing his lights… I thought the rooftop camper tent was falling off, so I pulled over.

He zoomed past and Lynn translated, suggesting I show more zeal. I cranked her up to 90, and all was well.

We’re mid country, on our way to the west coast, north of Pisa, to walk the five villages. Cinque-Terra. Should be a snack.

Tonight we’re in a beech tree forest, which doubles as a flood plain for the huge river we are beside. I expect fireflies to be our main companions. Last night, our first in Italy, sitting out, we were enveloped in thousands of them. Quite stunning, with nothing to prove, as the photos (mine) are terrible.

Italy 7Today, once off the Autostrada, we popped into a cafe for a coffee and a biscuit. On departure, we got talking to the lovely lady running the show and she put us on to sights for the following two little towns. It turned out a great way to spend a few hours, some good gardens, a great, big, unrestored fortress, and a huge walled community. Thrown in was a tower, built on alluvial silt, that would rival the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

A lovely afternoon.

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  1. Judy Veitch says:

    Hi, Al and Lynn!
    Miss you guys but am loving your stories. Each of you writes with a different slant and that makes it interesting too.
    Keep up the good work and travel safely xxx

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