[Tuesday 19 June 2012]
- Tour round, and on, Lake Garda
Very hot and sunny again today. After breakfast, we boarded the coach at 8.30am. Lynn was our very competent and informative guide; she mentioned that it had been 41°C (106°F) in Venice yesterday. Last week it rained, was 16°C (61°F), and they had a tornado!
08:32:09 Just after boarding the coach in Assenza
08:52:59 Approaching our first tunnel
08:54:19 Torbole, ahead — Monte Brione, left
08:55:04 Old Custom House, Torbole
08:56:46 River Sarca flowing into Lake Garda
08:58:14 Delay while skirting round Monte Brione
09:00:12 Riva del Garda
09:00:38 Riva del Garda
09:04:40 Riva del Garda
09:05:46 Bastione, Riva del Garda
09:08:50 One of many tunnels on the west side of Lake Garda
09:09:32 Leaving one tunnel, about to enter another
09:18:20 Limone sul Garda, bypassed on this trip
09:32:18 Impasse! The truck and the vehicles behind it reversed out of our way, though.
09:35:56 White stone pillars, indicators of citrus cultivation
09:43:28 Church of San Martino, Gargnano
09:46:02 Going along the Via della Libertà, Gargnano
10:00:00 Corso Giuseppe Zanardelli, Gardone Riviera
We had a refreshment stop at Gardone Riviera, where we also boarded a boat which took us across the lake, passing to the west and south of Isola di Garda, to the peninsula Sirmio.
10:35:10 Lungolago D'Annunzio, Gardone Riviera
10:39:06 Lungolago D'Annunzio, Gardone Riviera
10:41:40 Lungolago D'Annunzio, Gardone Riviera
10:41:52 Boarding the boat in Gardone Riviera
10:55:54 Isola di Garda
10:58:00 Isola di Garda
11:19:08 Sirmio peninsula
11:23:22 Roman ruins on Sirmio peninsula
11:23:46 Roman ruins on Sirmio peninsula
We went ashore at Sirmione, and Lynn led us through the castle, and on through the town, to where the “trenino elettrico”, which took people to the Roman ruins, Grotte di Catullo, had its terminus.
11:34:18 13th century Scaliger castle, Sirmione
11:37:18 Stall selling fruits, lemon-like but huge
There were more people waiting than there were seats on the “trenino”. Janet did get a seat on the first one to arrive, attempting to save a seat for me; but a mean, selfish old bastard from our party ignored her and sat there, so she got off and we caught the next one.
11:55:32 Little train “il trenino elettrico” to the Roman ruins, called “Grotte di Catullo”
It was very hot, so first we had a drink at the bar that was there just before one got to the ruins. Janet ordered a Coca Cola Light
and I a small (“piccolo”) draught beer. The Coca Cola Light
came in a 500ml plastic bottle (mostly it’s in 330ml cans), also we were served with a little basket of potato crisps [chips]
which I thought was very civilised. The sparrows around here, and indeed in Assenza, were very tame, and came for scraps. I shook out the paper lining the basket after I’d finished the crisps. Again, as in Assenza, the male sparrows had brown heads. Because this was the only bar in the vicinity of Grotte di Catullo and was thus a bit of a “tourist trap”, we expected to be stung with high prices; but in fact it cost us only €6.50, the cheapest so far.
12:04:14 First, some refreshment
12:10:12 Male Italian Sparrow (Passer italiae), different from our sparrows in having a brown, not grey, crown
12:13:02 The females to my eyes were indistinguishable from our own Passer domesticus.
12:22:42 We saw many two- and three-legged olive trees. (We deemed them to be Ents.)
12:23:14 On to the nearby Grotte di Catullo
12:25:18 Grotte di Catullo
12:27:16 Grotte di Catullo
12:30:02 Grotte di Catullo
12:32:56 Grotte di Catullo
12:33:48 Grotte di Catullo
12:34:44 Grotte di Catullo
12:36:34 Grotte di Catullo
12:39:10 A passing hydrofoil
12:57:24 Back on “il trenino”
13:01:56 Walking back from the “trenino”, the way we’d come earlier
13:04:16 Walking back the way we’d come earlier
13:05:26 Walking back the way we’d come earlier
13:07:14 Walking back the way we’d come earlier
13:08:04 Walking back the way we’d come earlier
13:08:56 Walking back the way we’d come earlier
We were a bit short of time for fully exploring the ruins. We got the “trenino elettrico” back, walked through the town, and headed for the bus station, where the coach would pick us up. Strictly, it wasn’t allowed to pick up there, but it did so as a favour so we wouldn’t have further to walk. Ca.
1.30pm, we set off, resuming our tour of the shore of the lake.
13:51:18 Peschiera del Garda
13:56:06 “Gardaland” theme park
13:57:38 Passing through Pacengo di Lazise
14:00:12 “Movieland” theme park
14:03:42 Castle in Lazise built by the Scaligeri, 13th–14th century
14:03:56 Castle in Lazise built by the Scaligeri, 13th–14th century
14:08:48 Entering Bardolino
We had a stop in Bardolino, and Janet and I found a pavement bar. So I drank Bardolino
in Bardolino! Again, this was served with a little basket of crisps, and not only that, some peanuts too.
14:17:08 Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, Bardolino
14:17:58 Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, Bardolino
14:18:56 Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, Bardolino, looking back to the Church of San Zeno
14:26:26 Drinking Bardolino in Bardolino…
14:59:54 …at the Bottega del Vino
We went in the “Dom”, the Church of San Zeno, before rejoining the coach.
15:03:14 Church of San Zeno, Bardolino
15:04:02 Church of San Zeno, Bardolino
15:04:22 Church of San Zeno, Bardolino
15:04:36 Church of San Zeno, Bardolino
15:05:06 Church of San Zeno, Bardolino
15:05:50 Church of San Zeno, Bardolino
15:05:58 Church of San Zeno, Bardolino
15:08:26 Church of San Zeno, Bardolino
We lit candles here, as we had done in Assenza. When we left the church I realised that I didn’t have my walking stick, so went back for it. I didn’t want them mistakenly to attribute a miracle of healing there! I had difficulty locating it at first, because all the pews looked the same. I snapped a final photo.
15:09:50 Church of San Zeno, Bardolino
We set off again, ca.
3.15pm, and resumed our circuit of the lake.
15:17:54 Approaching Garda village
15:18:58 “The Crocodile” promontory just west of Garda village
15:22:58 Travelling westwards on Via San Viglio
15:30:20 Torri del Benaco
15:31:50 14th century Scaliger castle, Torri del Benaco
15:33:08 Torri del Benaco
15:39:38 Line-painting on the road somewhere in Brenzone
We got back to the hotel, ca.
4pm. Transferred today’s photos to the computer system. Edited 33 of yesterday’s photos using Photoshop
(16:29–17:58). Also wrote the two post cards, bought the day before yesterday: to Mum and to Chris
6.30pm we went down to the restaurant for dinner. Later, despite my feet, now sore and swollen again, we went for a stroll, posted the cards, and went to the bar further along the promenade from one we went to the day before yesterday; I thought they might have “dunkel” Weißbier, but they didn’t. Janet found the seats uncomfortable, so after one round we resorted to the first bar for the second round. Back at the hotel room, Janet discovered that her pyjamas that she’d left under the pillow had gone! She went to Reception. It seems the bedding was changed today. Edited the remaining 24 of yesterday’s photos (21:17–21:57). When Janet was in bed, I resumed reading Leaving Alexandria.
[Thursday 21 June 2012]