2005 Bologna, Italy
We've been looking forward to this trip. We have never been to Italy, not even on charter. Let's hope that everything goes well.
The PC is a company this year as well. No new software installed.
We've signed up for one excursion, to Venice. Some friends from Stockholm said that when we where up here in Italy one should really visit Venice. And with a guide everything is so much easier, than walking around on your own, not really knowing what you should see and not. And then you don't have to worry about a parked car either. That's comforting.
21/7 This holiday starts in an odd way. Kent quit work now in the morning and have to go to town to leave the car. I have to go along to bring him home again as soon as possible. This means that I have to get up as it was an ordinary workingday around 05.30! Not so nice way to start a holiday, but Kent saves one day since he gets Friday for free from the company.
We leave home (with the caravan) around 1/4 to 8, but we have to go back to Stockholm since Kent got the keys to the car in his pocket. Hmmm. We are on our way around 1/2 past 8. It's raining all the way through Småland and half of Skåne. Arrives at Trelleborg around half past 5.
22/7 Goes up at 7 and takes a cup of coffee. We're having breakfast on the ferry. In the "tax free" shop we buy 2 bottles of wine for the price of one and we get two film cartridges too (à 12 photos). Nice. When we arrive at Schönböcken it is fairly crowded, we have never seen it so crowded before.
23/7 It's raining a lot. Takes the car and do some shopping. When we get back from Italy we will buy much mure, I think. Goes to bed early due to the bad weather.
24/7 Leaves the camp site 1/4 past 9. Due to road work we can't get of at abfahrt 74, but the 75 is also leading us to Witzenhausen. I don't remember all this advertising about cherries. The camp site is as empty as it was last spring. Strange. Gets a SMS from Tom who has managed to book a place for us at a camp site in Ferrara, he himself was Bolzano.
25/7 Leaves the camp site about the same time as yesterday and managed to clock the 'Mittagsruhe' here too, at Knaus Campingpark in Nuremberg. I think it's a rather nice place, nice sanitary buildings. Kent has another opinion, I'm not sure why.
26/7 Since we're have long to go today, we get up at 1/2 past 6, and leaves about 20 past 7. We have to say that the motorway between Nuremberg and Münich is the most beautiful we have seen in Germany. You can actually see the landscape, which we think is rather unusual. The climb to the Brenner pass was a little hard. Sometimes Kent had to use only the 2 gear, but that depended mostly on slow trucks. And the way down on the Italian side must have been the most beautiful views we've seen in a long time. 5 to 2 we are at the gates to Camping Steiner south of Bolzano (Laives). And guess what? They have 'Mittagsruhe' here too, but perhaps it is named siesta here, I don't know. We're sitting outside of the restaurant and suffer from the heat in about one hour and then we can get to our place, next to Tom's. The warden had saved this spot to us. Around 8 arrives a SMS from Styrsvens: "We on place 315." Now we are 3 from Sweden in this camp site and that are going to Bologna. The rest seems to be from Denmark and Holland.
27/7 We can't leave the camp site until after 9, when the reception has opened. We're trying to extend the time on our way to Ferrara so we wont end up in another 'Mittagsruhen' again. But this camp site, Campeggio Comunale Estense, has siesta only between 1 and 2. Here are more swedes heading for Bologna. The Styrsvens arrives after a while too. The gang sits in the shade behind our caravan and talks to 11, but at this time of day it's rather cool outside (but not inside).
28/7 Checks out at 8 o'clock and pays €16,85 (not expensive, with electrics). Just inside the city limits Tom (who's driving first) gets a flat tire on one of the four wheels of the caravan. Lucky for us he can park beside a petrolstation. We take the opportunity and fills up the car,and Stig stops behind Tom. Then Kent and Stig helps Tom to switch tire. In 20 minutes we're on our way again. We take the lead and have no problems whatsoever to find the rally site! This is the first time we have to show our ICC-card upon arrival. At about 10 we have found our place, and as usual the Swedes are farthest from everything. But we rather have it this way than standing on concrete (Norway, France) or gravel (Netherlands). The toilets and showers are near and it it close to the bins as well. Perfect. We have to get back to the reception to tell them that we are here (!) and now we get our welcomming bag. The gift this year is a funny little hat. No pennon is given to us just a plasticflag (perhaps you could convert it into a pennon).
29/7 We get information all the time (in 3-4 languages) from the speakers, but it is echoing so much that we can hardly hear what is said. Takes the car to the reception to see if our booking for the excursion to Venice has worked. Yes it had. Goes shopping at Coop. Everybody has said that it is very expensive in Italy, but we didn't think that it was so bad.
30/7 Today we take the bus in to Bologna. We, that is Kent and Inger, Stig and Laila, Bo and Turid. The fair is only €1, but it has to be one coin! The busdriver must have been thinking he was a rally driver of some sort, because the ride was not a relaxed one. I had checked the bus map where we should get of and we gets of quit near the Piazza de Maggiore. Walks around the entire square and looks. Takes a strol in the church as well. Very beautiful! Wanders around in the city, sees the leaning tower among other things. Stig gets "attacked" by a couple of beggers with childen in their arms. They looked like Indian. But he managed to get rid of them without loosing any money. When we got around to the leaning tower again it is time for some icecream. It tasted heavenly. When we gets back to the rally site we can feel the difference in temperature. It was "cooler" in the city.
2/8 Excursion to Venice. Stig and Laila has managed to get some extra tickets. They hadn't booked in Sweden. It is 2 busses with English spoken guides and 1 French. In our buss there are 23 Taiwaneses that don't know much English, one of them is interpreting to the rest.
At 1/2 past 10 we're going by boat to Venice. Outside the Doge palace is 3 English talking guides waiting for us. We manage to "loose" the Taiwaneses and we're a fairly small group of people that is following our 81 old year guide. He's Italian. He begins telling us about the Piazzetta San Marco and about Venice. Then we walk the 30 metres to the Basilica San Marco we're we end up queing for 20 minutes before entering. During this wait the guide tells us about the church. They began building it 1063, and it was ready around 1095. The Evangelist Marc is buried here (so they tell us). A quick tour in the church. It has 5 domes and a lot of gold leafs. Beautiful. Then back to the palace for a long walk inside it and a lot of information. we cross the bridge of Sighs twice. Now we only have 1 1/2 hour before the boat leaves and we are starving. Finds a ristaurante in an alley, where we order 4 homemade lasagna and 4 beer. When the check arrives it says €72,40! I thought that Laila had read it wrong, but no. Well, it tasted good anyhow, though Stig thought it was childrens portions.
Arriving at the boat Kent and I manage to get a seat on upper deck. Then we have to wait for 15-20 minutes for some Taiwaneses! The guide is really mad and says that anyone that is late when the boat shall return to Venice from Murano will have to take the train back to Bologna. And as a result of the late coming people our stop at Murano is very short. Murano is the island where the glassblowers were forced to move to in 1298 for safety reasons.
We are back at the caravan around 8.
4/8 Now we're leaving. Around 1/2 past 8 we're on our way. Pays €22,30 at the Voltri junction. It has been a lot of tunnels and bridges, so the fee isn't that expensive. Arrives 1/2 past 2 at Camping Caravan Park Vesima and it is very tight. We get help to get our caravan in place, pushed and towed. It is impossible to get in place with car. The fee is €35/night incl. electric but the warm water shower are not free. But there is a restaurant, bar and a minishop. You have to park the car outside the camping area (but inside the fence).
5/8 1/4 past 8 we're leaving the camping and 1/4 past 10 we pay €24,10 outside of Ventimiglia. Hmm, more expensive but shorter distance than yesterday, but still a lot of tunnels and bridges. Pays €2,90 outisde of Monaco, €1,90 outside of Antibes and €3,80 outside of Cannes without having to take a singel ticket. How does this work? Outside of Fréjus we take a ticket and pays €17,80 outside of Aix-en-Provence. Gets a new ticket at Lancon and pays €20,70 at Valence South. 1/4 past 5 we have arrived at St Nazaire-en Royans and it is not tight at all. We really love this place! We get to choose the pitch ourselfs depending on how much Amps you want. The showers are free. It is mostly people from the Netherlands and France here.
6/8 Goes to St Jean-en-Royans and finds the Intermaché. Buys some food and drink. Back to the camping and puts away the goods and away again to the caves. Grotte de Thaïs. Cro-Magnon lived here for a long time ago. A bit confusing this is, no signs in English. It is not cold in these caves probably due to the fact that they are not down but in to the mountain. It is only a little cooler than outside. We received 2 plastic Euros when we payed the entrance fee (€6,50/pce), and with these two "coins" you get a discount at other attractions.
In the evening a French couple comes by and he tells us that he collects money. Aha a type of beggar you think. No he collects foreign coins. He had a 50 öre with Gustav Adolf 6 and a 10 öre that he thougth was Danish, but it was with the same king (GA6). We find two 1 krona with Carl 16 Gustaf, one rather new and one a bit older + a new 50 öre. He wanted to pay for the coins, so he can give us €0,25. He looks a bit confused.
7/8 We have been freezing during the night! We changed the linnen yesterday and desided that we didn't need the quilts (it has been very warm). But with all the windows open, it got rather cool.
It is cloudy today, but we go to La Sône any way and walks around in the Jardin des Fontaines Pétrifiantes (petrifying waterfalls). It is a rather big garden with plants from all over the world. Here we leave one of the two plastic coins we got yesterday and get €1 discount and 2 new plastic coins. After a nice walk around in the garden we leave for Chatte and enters Jardin Ferroviaire, The Railway Garden. Leaves the two plastic coins and gets €2 in discount and 2 new plastic coins again. How does one end this? The railway is in scale G (1/22,5) and outdoors. 1 km of rail, 30 loks, 250 carts and a lot of other things.
8/8 Today is the first day that we notice that the baker doesn't come to the camping any more on Monday to Friday, as he did the last time we were here. Pity. Goes to St Jean-en-Royans and fills up the car, withdraw some money and shops some food.
9/8 We had estimated a fee of €17/night here but we pay only €48 for 4 nights. That is not expensive! Looses our way in les Abrets and has to take the motorway towards Lyon. Southeast of Lyon we pay €8,90. That was expensive for that short distance. Takes a new ticket in La Boisse and in Lons le S we pay €12,20. Stays the night in Épinal, 'cos Kent thinks it is a good standby-place.
What we have left to see around St Nazaire-en-Royans is; Go on the Bateau à Roue, visit the Grottes de Choranche and St Antoine-l'Abbaye and maybe even the Magie des Automates.
10/8 Gets up really early and are on our way around 7. South of Thionville there is a "deviation" and we are not allowed to go on the motorway A31 any more. The road takes us west and before we know it we are in Beglium for about 10 minutes then we find our way to Luxemburg. Shortly after 12 we arrive at Nehren and they tell us to find us a place. We park beside another Swedish caravan.
11/8 Goes to Cochem and buy witches. A promise to a friend (she gets a red one) and one for home (a big black) and one small running red one for the caravan. Witches seems to be out now, not many to choose by. Have dinner at the restaurant at the camping.
12/8 Today we visit the winelady, frau Stock, but we have to deal with herr Stock since the wife is away shopping in Cochem. He is as nice as she is. A cross the street from the camping and you are there. Buys 6 of their most expensive wine, one of their sons lives in Senheim and he together with his father-in-law has made it. €4,90/bottle not the worlds cheapest but not that expensive either. In Sweden I bet you it would be around 80-90 SEK/bottle. We also buy 6 litrers of another type.
13/8 You don't need an alarm clock while you're here in Nehren. The church bells wakes you up at 8. Today it is summerparty in the camping and you can buy barbequed pig (appr. 2 cm thick and 1 dm across) or bratwurst/currywurst or pommes. There is a beer tent too. In the evening we go there to buy us a wurst. In the tent we see frau Stock with husband and we join them for 4 hours. They buy us beer (for friendship) and wine from the store at the camping. The Alte stadsmusikanten from Wolf is entertaining us all evening. Very good. The warden and 2 of his personell suprised us all with a show. Around 10 we had to leave the party 'cos we're going up north tomorrow. We've deside that we shall bring a jar of lingonberry jam to the Stocks next year.
14/8 It rained half the night. Gets up before the church bells and are on our way 1/4 to 9. 1/4 past 5 we have arrived in Lübeck and it is quite crowded.
15/8 The fridge is rather empty so we do some shopping.
16/8 Stig and Laila arrived yesterday so today we're eating out, at Paches Gasthof (200 m from the campsite). Very good indeed.
17/8 Does some more shopping today, tomorrow we leave for Sweden.
18/8 At 8 we arrive in Travemünde and it is a lot of people here already. The ferry leaves port at 10 to 10, when we're having breakfast. At 1/2 past 4 there's an announcement in the speakers saying that we are not to arrive on time, but 45 minutes later. Why? Drives off at 10 to 6 and heads for Karlskrona.
19/8 Walks around in Blomstergården in Göljahult (Eringsboda). A really nice garden from the 30s. Then we head north and to Gränna. Stays one night at Getingaryds Camping 9 km north of Gränna. A very nice campsite some 100 metres from the lake Vättern. There was a small beach (pepples) and the water was clear.
20/8 Leaves Gränna at 8 and head for home. From Strängnäs and to Enköping we meet a lot of MCs and after a while we remember that it is the Mälaren runt rally. 1/2 past 12 we are home again.
It has been a very beautiful journey, mostly from Nürnberg to Bolzano and then along the Genovagulf, the french coast and up to St Nazaire-en-Royans.
The cheapest (in €) petrol we found in Austria, 1,139/l.
The whole holiday: 5848 km