Right let’s try to get this bloggy thing back on track.
Tonight I’m staying on a farm just outside Pavia in Lombardi, Italy. What it lacks in five star luxury it certainly makes up for in the warmth of the welcome and the lovelyness of its owners. My Italian language skills are not brilliant, but we are rubbing along just fine! In a way that’s the problem with Europe, so many bloomin’ languages in a small area; I do ok in German, get by in Spanish, am pretty fluent in French, but I really want to learn more Italian because I just love this crazy country and it’s wonderful people; even the guy I gave the finger to on the Autostrada outside Milan, they are all wonderfully bonkers. Well actually he was bloody dangerous and I would have pulled his arms off for the way he cut me up, but I think he got the message!
Oh yes, I was going to tell you about the Großglockner. Well this is the view at the start.
This internet connection ain’t to hot either; so I’m going to leave you with only this picture as a further teaser. What I will say is that the road is very special, to save me giving a blow for blow history, go check out their own site, http://www.grossglockner.at/en.
I promise I’ll do a proper post as soon as I get a decent WiFi connection, might have to go to a McDo’s! Sorry!
Today we should have ridden the Stelvio Pass, but poor weather at Bolzano, low cloud and rain put paid to that idea. In addition I have come to the conclusion that Baby Harls just ain’t the girl for that type of road, she’s too heavy and her long wheelbase makes it “interesting” on the tight hairpins. What she is good at though is “mile munching” and today she did that just fine.
I chose a different route over Passo del Tonale, which at 1884metres still sticks up over a mile into the sky, but was a lot easier to ride than 73 hairpins. The pass is these days famous as a ski station in the winter, but today was largely closed; actually there were mountain goats everywhere and the place stank of them! Something else happened on Tonale, something that I found deeply moving and I’ll tell you more about that soon; it was the second such thing this trip and I need to get my head around how I write about it, so bear with me please.
Later in the day we called into Monza, well we were passing through Milan and it seemed crazy not to drop in. If you need me to explain about the Autodromo Nationale Monza, you need to go google! If not, welcome true petrol head!
Ok three moving experiences. . . but this one so amazingly happy! It’s an amazing place, so much history and memories everywhere! I was very lucky, basically the guy in the gate let me in and said, “Enjoy, but don’t go on the track!” . . . But he didn’t mention the old track!!!!!!
I’ll post pictures of Monza as well, but be happy for me, very happy, because I can’t stop smiling.
Then came the Milan traffic at rush hour, in 34degree Celcius heat. Now I have cousins who live in Chicago and last time we visited I hired a car, I know that they were worried for us in their traffic, but hey Peter, you ain’t seen nothin’! It was the most amazing, dangerous, crazy, yet exhilarating thing anyone can do! Think you are an ok driver? Come here and let’s see what you’ve got. The speed limit is purely a minimum I’m sure, because when the limit was 120kph most vehicles were doing over 150, I know because the was what I was doing and still people were passing me, lots of people! I loved it so much I might come back to do it again!
From Milan we slipped into Lombardi, the land is flat now, but the mountains frame the views North and East and I rather like that. There are fruit trees, grape vines and nut orchards everywhere, such a fertile land in the flood plain of the River Po, the largest river in Italy. 280 miles today, not bad. Tomorrow we head back in the Mountains, West to the French Alps.
“There’s a feeling I get when I look to the West and my spirit is calling for leaving.”
Catch you soon.