Day 844 – Euro Mini Tour – 23 Jun 12
For piccies see www.eastmidlandsdea.co.ukPrimarily this blog is aimed at keeping our daughter in the UK, Chloe, abreast of our adventures in Europe. Additionally, we hope that other readers will find snippets of info regarding campsites, prices and foreign travel interesting or perhaps just informative.
Well, we are nicely settled in to the rhythm of Serenella. Paul and Jackie are on the next pitch which makes for useful exchange of local knowledge. It's also nice to have someone to chat to as the campsite is 75% German and 24% Dutch. So, as it's Euro Footie time, excitement and partisan opinion is running high. As things stand the Germans are getting pretty cocky! I’ve started a rumour that their star centre forward, Gomez, is going to Chelsea for €50M. Not unsurprisingly, lots of German disbelief!
We’ve wandered into Bardolino and Garda for the markets and shopping and the weather has turned really hot after a few days of thunderstorms – but only one shower. Evenings are taken up with the odd footie match, walking along the lakeside or a friendly? game of cards. We’ve bought tickets for Don Giovanni at the Arena in Verona on 22 June. €59 for the whole deal. Bus there and back, tickets and guide. Should be good as after all of our visits to beautiful Verona, we've never seen the Opera. So our trip home will be a bit manic. Depart 24th for Luzern, then on to Strasbourg and pick up Smartie on the 25th, Epernay on the 26th, Calais on 27th and the ferry from Dunkirk – as planned – on 28th…PHEW!!!!!
But we’ve got another 9 days here to enjoy. Off clubbing in Garda tonight with P and J. My knee is much better as well after getting a new supply of pills from the camp doctor.
Walked along the lakeshore after a very pleasant home cooked pasta lunch. Found a bar with live music right on the water. After a while about 20 various aged women came in and sang a few choral ditties. Apparently they were from Iceland over in Italy to raise money for the recent Bologna earthquake. Then the barman joined in with his own a-capello extract from the opera. Surreal but enjoyable nonetheless. We continued the stroll into Garda, had bruschetta and vino at a streetside café, then proceeded to a music bar which P and J had been to before. A live jazz trio were in full swing, so we stayed till gone 11pm dancing in the crowded club. Walked home and Paul decided to skinny dip in the lake. Rather him than me. Finished up at another bar where the Icelandic ladies were finishing their ‘liquid’ evening. Great night all round.
16 June brought 33rd anniversary for me and Shirl. We had G and T’s with our neighbours at noon, followed by a walk into Bardolino for lunch. As it happened the 29th annual triathlon was in progress. About 1300 athletes swam 1500metres, cycled 40kms and ran 10 kms around Bardolino. We had lunch on the main drag and had a grandstand view of the runners approaching the finish line. An unexpected bonus and a very nice lunch. We passed the back markers on the way home. They certainly have determination. ANOTHER walk – are our bikes broke???- into Garda to watch an open air jazz/big band concert in the town square. Hundreds of people watching a fair band playing 30s/40s classics. It's nice how the Italians can do this sort of thing – mainly because they have the weather!
The temperature is rising here as well. Most days it gets up to 35 degrees C but is nice and cool under the trees and is OK at night. The holiday makers are arriving in force and the 11pm curfew has little meaning from now till September. People chatting till the small hours and late night party revellers – 4am yesterday. Not a real problem, but one shouldn’t expect CC conditions this time of year – especially in an Italian Holiday Location. It's all part of the atmosphere and fun, but I couldn’t take it for 3 months!
Tried out the new UNO Extreme with P and J last night (17th) – whilst our neighbours watched Deutschland win through. Quite good fun and I am now World Champion. Paul has been briefed to bake Lemon Almond Cakes from your Spanish recipe book – so looking forward to them. My gout appears to be cured – just the odd tinge and just about clear of the urticarial for a week. Sensible food – so I should lose weight as well.
Might have a problem with the water system. There could be a leak as the water pump keeps going unnecessarily. Will have to go into Camper UK for investigation.
Cycled to Garda (19th) and caught the ‘Rapido Ferry’ to Limone ( €33 return pp) via several stops, including Torre, Gardone and Malcesine. 90 minutes in AC, which was nice. Most of these Lake Garda towns are very similar – just some quieter than others. Where the tourism has got a foot in, it's very busy and full of day visitors, much like Limone. It's pleasant enough but not worth more than a couple of hours. Bardolino, Peschiera and Garda are much nicer. Limone is FULL-ON tourism. Worth a visit though just to see that end of the lake and the other towns on the Garda.
Got home and discovered the leak. It's in the cold water pipe leading to the main sink, just above the fridge condenser. Luckily and can access it via a fridge vent. Tried to seal it last night but with no luck. Will have to try again today in this heat – which is now stifling. Gets up to 40 degrees C++ and is very sticky. Our fan is broken as well. Hope the wx holds till Friday and the Opera in Verona.
England reached the QF of Euros, to play Italy on Sunday, when hopefully we’ll be in Luzern. Paul helped me fix the leak, which simply involved cutting off an inch of leaky pipe and re-attaching. No problem now. It was a big hole and I think has been leaking for some time and just got out of control this week. The water pump has been operating without demand for over a year – so it's a good job we fixed it now.
Checked the wx today, 21st (Midsummer) and might be thundery on Friday for Opera. Let's hope not. Sat out at a local bar last night listening to another live jazz duo. However, we left too late and had to walk around to the main gate – again! Cycling into Bardolino today to the market for one last walk around.
Set off for the Opera at the Arena, Verona at 1710 on an air conditioned coach – oh joy! It's still SCORCHIO here – 35 degrees C most of the time. Got our tickets (€27.50) for a seat in the upper circle sitting on marble just like the ancient romans. Don Giovanni didn’t start till 2130 so we had a fair wait, so we ate our picnic and watched all the ‘nobs’ arrive in their evening gowns and DJs. The setting was spectacular and the atmosphere fantastic. However, 4 hours is 2 hours too long as the music in Don Giovanni is very forgettable. I suppose a music buff would disagree, but I had trouble staying awake – especially during the soprano solos. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic experience and one of those things we always wanted to do. Got to bed at 3am and today we are packing up for an early departure tomorrow (24th).
We head to Luzern (24th), Strasbourg (25th) – pick up Smartie and go on to Epernay (26th), Calais (27th) and the ferry from Dunkirk on 28th. Then we drive to W Sussex to get Smartie fixed (we hope) at Storrington. Hopefully home by 1st July.
We’ve had a great time over the past 6 weeks and this 2 week ‘holiday’ on Lake Garda has been really enjoyable, as Paul and Jackie have been great company. However, it's time to go home and do the admin stuff – but not long till we hit the road again to visit our UK pals.
I’ll be glad to get to Cabopino for a rest!
M and D
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