Gra Nomad Wanderings

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Monday – CINQUE TERRE             167 km
Here we visited the city of La Spezia and the small coastal towns of Riomaggiore, Manarola, and Monterosso. Corniglia and Vernazza are the other two.  We walked some, rode the train some and then ferried along at the finish. In all, we got a pretty good look at this world famous area. 

Tuesday – PISA                                 58 km
Yeah, we had to check out Pisa! But it’s not just the leaning tower, it’s other buildings and it’s the walled town that we enjoyed wandering through. It was really excellent that we stayed at Lucca and were able to venture to Florence, Cinque Terre and Pisa while staying in a comfortable apartment owned by Giorgio and Gabriella. We even tried out their pool before heading off to a concert and dinner with folk from Canada we’d befriended. The concert was a Puccini-Mozart concert – just beautiful. 

Wednesday – LUCCA to SPINEA                360 km
Extremely picturesque wander through the mountains of northern Italy. Heaps of semis as we took the scenic route. Told our GPS (they call it Navigation here), “no tolls” – she obliged. Fran (our GPS) got us to our hosts’ place at 6:15 pm which was ecxcellent timing. After dinner, Mario took us to his friend’s place where Fay and I were staying. Barry and Annette stayed with Mario and Rosetta. 

Thursday – VENICE                         
Following instruction from Mario we headed for Venice by bus. 180 canals and 450 bridges! Maybe we didn’t do them all, but we walked over a few that’s for sure. San Marco church, Rialto Bridge (above),  Murano glass etc. Finally a weary 40 minute trip home in the bendy bus. Dinner at night was at  a beaut restaurant where we took our hosts Mario and Rosetta. A beaut night (including 2 bottles of bubbly) and it didn’t break the bank. 

Friday – SPINEA to UDINE            255 km
After our farewells, we headed for Udine/Tarcento area. On the way we went to Aquileia (ancient ruins) and then passed through Grado (resort area) and Cividale del Friuli. Finally to Tarcento where we wandered round looking for where Annette’s relatives lived or are living. We had good fun but were not successful. We found the street but that was all. Off then to Hotel Alle Due Palme. We drove along a hick area using coordinates for the first time and Fran finally said, “You have reached your destination!” We were at a deserted building very much in need of repair. Common sense over ruled and we wandered round a bit till we actually found the hotel which turned out to be a winner – comfortable ensuite rooms including breakfast. All for 50 Euro a couple. Car was parked right outside the front door. And man was it a beaut brekky!  

Saturday – UDINE to SCHLADMING (AUSTRIA)   298 km
Into Austria – and the countryside looked way different to Italy. After lunch we were pulled over by police because a mob of cows were coming along the road in our direction! Bells ringing, accordion playing, cows pooping etc. Quite a spectacle. Our next surprise came when we had to put the car on a train to go through a tunnel! Seventeen euro later…. We continued. It was a 12 km trip. Unexpected! Finally we landed ourselves in the resort town of Schladming and found the ALPINE CLUB up a hill out of town. Very comfortable. The ladies went on strike so we all went to the restaurant for dinner. A wonderful idea.  

We didn’t go too far today, but joined in a musical event by visiting a few restaurants in the hills. These restaurants had live music playing while you ate. Have soup at this place, coffee at the next – or was it the other way round. How lucky were we to be in the area of Ramsaul Dachstein on Sunday 23 September! Barry ventured up the gondola which took him to the top of the mountain (3,000 m) – near Tuerlwand restaurant. A great excursion for the day.Photos to come.
Yeah…. That was another great week!  Our third. Everybody still talking to everybody. Annette crook. Fay fairly recovered now. Six more sleeps at this resort here in Schladming, Austria. Then off to Germany.


At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Great commentary and photos dad. I am so jealous, sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun. I'm still here working and studying and daydreaming that I'm over there with you. Keep the blog coming...


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