John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Wednesday 20 June 2012

[2012]
[Tuesday 19 June 2012]
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


08:39:08


08:40:23 Malcesine


08:40:53 Malcesine


08:52:59 Approaching our first tunnel


08:54:19 Torbole, ahead — Monte Brione, left


08:54:28 Torbole


08:55:04 Old Custom House, Torbole


08:55:12 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


09:10:42 Gallery-cum-tunnel


09:18:20 Limone sul Garda, bypassed on this trip


09:26:16


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


09:44:20 Gargnano


09:46:02 Going along the Via della Libertà, Gargnano


09:56:50 Toscolano-Maderno


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


10:48:06


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


11:28:10 Sirmione


11:29:26 Sirmione


11:29:58 Sirmione

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


11:38:20

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


13:06:46


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.


14:12:40 Bardolino


14:15:20 Bardolino


14:15:50 Bardolino


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


15:21:14 Garda


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. Ca.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]


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