Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Road Trip to Valstagna

Ahhh Venice, so close, but yet so far.  We've given up on Venice.  Jim is better, but the thought of being on his feet all day and wading through the crowds was just more than he could bear.  So we went for a drive.  We started out for Bolzano, but immediately made a bad decision to get off the freeways.  Hey, we'll see the real Italy, right?  Well the first part of the real Italy we saw today was the Italy that has not managed growth and has too dang many cars and giant trucks on narrow roads.  The first 45 or 50k of driving was extremely tedious.  So tedious in fact that there are no pictures. After a bit, we decided that we would probably grow old and die on the way to Bolzano, so we decided to bail to Trento, because we were pretty sure there would be freeway access there.  It was a fortuitous decision.  Had we not gotten off the freeway, and then bailed on Bolzano, we would have missed this.

The mountains just spring right up out of the ground.

This was taken in the parking lot of the restaurant we stopped at for a nature break and a map consult.  At this point, GPS was telling us the quickest way back to Padua was to retrace our steps.  Jim was getting tired, and I'm not sure I remember how to drive a manual.  But enough of that, look at the mountains!

We saw this in the parking lot as well.  Look at 1) where the wheels are located on the trailer, and 2) there's only one axle.  One wonders how this behaves when being towed.  For Europe, it's a good sized rig.

 We stopped in Valstagna on the way back.  Could this place be any cuter?

 This is their WWII memorial.  It's just tragic, you read the list of the dead and the same last name repeats over and over.  Entire families were wiped out.

Their church.  It was too dark inside to get pictures, I am so disappointed about that.  The artwork and stained glass were just phenomenal.

Valstagna was a qualifying venue for the 2012 Olympics.  This is the kayak slalom.

Tomorrow we're leaving for Turin, or as the Italians spell it, Torino.  Lonely Planet said it's worth visiting, so we shall do that.  I've booked for two nights, if it's really good we might stay for another.  The hotel is more than I would like to spend, but it has parking and is not located in the car-free sections of the city.  The good thing about having a car is that you can go where you want.  The bad thing is that you must park it, and that limits where you can stay.  We are of two minds (at the same time) as to whether we like the car or would prefer to use trains.  On this trip it's moot, since the bicycling portion of the vacation added significant weight to the luggage, I need a car! 
I think I'll quit now, it's time to go forage for food.

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