Monday, July 26, 2010

On to Italy – 16 July 2010

The Montgenevre pass was just up the road from the fortified town of Briancon, which has guarded the pass for centuries. The old town is delightful to walk around, and have a coffee, and we were entertained with a re-enactment by a brigade of soldiers, who patrolled the town in full 18th century kit and gave a rifle firing demonstration.

The drive over the pass and down through the mountains on the Italian side, was the highlight of the day. The Fort Exille was the Italian counterpart of Briancon. But sadly, after leaving here, the drive settled down to very hot tedium, as we crossed the top of Italy,

Turin was wrapped in heat haze, pollution and traffic fumes so we shrugged of that Turin shroud, and moved on to Milan which unfortunately was mired in motorway madness and men and machines making more, creating mayhem and monotony as we moved maddeningly slowly around the metropolis. It was all compounded by the fact that every Italian in the city seemed to be heading north for the weekend, but eventually we reached our destination – Lake Como. We had no idea what the camping situation was like here, and after getting stuck in the continuous tunnel system above the lake, we were finally able to exit that, and found a campsite right on the water's edge, and were allocated a spot right beside the water. Life seemed to have taken a turn for the better! We were happy to be well away from Milan and it's pollution and heat; temperature gauges we passed during the day had hit the low 40s

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