Trento , Trentino-Alto SudTirol July 2017
Rose 29th July: This morning we woke up and had a serious chat about the next few days. We had to be in Munich the night of the 3rd Aug so we could hand in the camper the next morning. This means we seriously have to think about going North back in the direction of Germany. We planned to enter Austria through the Bolzana/Brenner pass and then make our way straight up, so we need to choose places on the way.
Sort of liking Italy but not as much as we enjoyed the Emilia-Romagna area where we got married (I will write a post about that soon) , but maybe we just have not has the best experience yet. With this in mind we decide to go to Trento which was recommended by Anton in Slovenia , and then to find a camp spot close tot this area. We have a few in mind so we decide to book..WTF, you say! Yes we are planning ahead. Ok don’t get excited the first place we choose with loving care comes back saying “sorry we are exhausted” I suppose that means they are full.
We arrive in Trento and park at a big parking lot just outside the main centre (found by Rose on google of course). We set off in the heat to explore . We walk thru the market admiring all the fresh produce and then we get a tourist map. I like to get a map of a town, as you can see all the churches and museums and have an idea where to walk to….Chris like to wander. He does not want to be told where to go.Sometimes that results in finding out of the way gems and really good discoveries but sometimes we walk in the complete wrong direction, #justsaying. So we have managed to find a compromise. I get a map and then walk in the right direction whilst pretending we are wandering around.
Chris: My first marriage lesson! ‘Compromise’ means doing whatever your wife wants to do, accepting it with a smile and let her think this is our joint decision.
Trento is magnificent, I have no words to tell you how beautiful it is. The old town is full of beautiful buildings and hidden courtyards with sculptures and gardens and fountains. The stores are quaint but NOT touristy. The people are stylish and friendly. This would definitely appear on our list of places we might want to live in (#secondlife). Its a university city lying along the Aldige river. It is the capital of the area Trentino-Alto. It has a lovely glow about it, as it is mostly built from stone from the Dolomites which are nearby . The dolomites have this pinky tone, which reflects everywhere you look in Trento. See my millions of pics of beautiful buildings. We visited the cathedral and it was full of interesting facts and beautiful paintings. We “wandered” around & admired the historical centre.
The other part of Trento which made it a fantastic find, was the food shops. First off we discovered this shop selling salami and meats. The shop assistant was a fantastic salesman, offering to let us taste all the different types they make, and of course resulting in a sale. We added a few extras like some a risotto rice and some special cheeses..
Then we moved on to a speciality pasta shop, where the lovely sales lady helped us choose a fresh filled pasta. Are you jealous yet? Then onto the choc shop Loacker where again the sales guy was friendly and informative and helped spend way too much money on choccies. We bought some fruit and some veg for the market on the street. We now had the makings of a fantastic few meals. So moving on we need to get to the camp site. Oh wait first a gelato..
As we drove along the highway towards Bolzano we were shocked at the amount of traffic
going to other way. It was grid lock of camper vans, caravans and cars all going South. Now I understand the reason Chris wanted us to move north and also to take a break in August to escape the masses. Our trip was breath taking , all along small villages and up into the mountains thru countryside filled with fruit trees and vineyards.
Lana, Italy July 2017
Camping Arquin , our camp site was located outside of Merano in a town called Lana. It was not our first choice, but in hindsight it was the best. We arrived, no booking but the lady was helpful and said she had a space for 3 nights. So we settled in at a site right next to the apple orchards. It had a lovely grassy area for our dining room, it had a pool with loungers. They had a restaurant serving meals and also selling ice coffee, what more could we want? It was also very clean and the ablutions and facilities spotless. Hey even the wifi was great.
This was to be our last 3 night relaxing stay before heading up north so we were very happy. We did out walk quite late as it was extremely hot and humid. Walking through the streets surrounded on both sides with apple orchards was amazing, we saw they had 2 supermarkets within walking distance and also a public pool. The public pool is novel to us, as we both remember visiting Newlands pool in Cape Town in our youth and having the best time. This pool was so organized with a restaurant and a bar. They had a children’s playground and grassy areas for people to plonk themselves for the day.The price was reasonable and it seemed ALL the locals used it for their summer entertainment. Something we noticed about these European towns that even if its small it has fantastic facilities that just work.
That night we ate quite late as it was just so hot, we say outside till late finding a breeze. Ok so the breeze turned into a slight wind and as we were preparing for bed, we both wondered should we put away the awning? Was it going to rain hard?
(Chris was keen to put away the awning, Rose was keen to finish her obsession blog)
We looked around and saw everyone else had their awning’s up, so no we thought we were safe. Chris says to me, wake me up if it starts storming. Yes I will my love.
It was not to be, at 12am I woke up to a sudden and very loud bang. I thought we had been struck by lightning as at the same time the entire camper was lit up with a flash. It was pouring a torrential downpour. We got up and peered out and we could see the awning had fallen down. It was too windy and wet to pull it in, so we lay back down and waited for the rain to stop…wide awake till 2am!
Eventually it calmed down and we went outside in our pj’s to pull in the awning. OH SUGAR! ( as Pam would say) the entire arm of the awning is broken. We cannot pull it in, it looks disastrous. We went back to bed and lay sleepless till dawn. Both of us chastising ourselves for not just pulling that damn thing in!
So it was Sunday and after a couple of hours of hiding in the van we ventured out. It was not a good sight, the entire metal arm was bent. I won’t bore you with our story and believe me Chris will tell you the whole sorry incident, but of course we asked the camp manager if he knew someone we could call to help. He shrugged and said “It iz Sontag, everysing ist geschlossen”
Sunday we spent miserable and quiet doing not much. That evening we decide to take a walk to clear our heads. We walked past the only restaurant in town and its full, what the heck! Break the booodget and eat out. We have only a credit card on us, hope they take cards and we sit down to eat.
They were serving pfifferling (chanterelle mushrooms) which were in season. ( C: One of the really exciting things foodwise, for us, was that the harvest times for seasonal foods are kept special and celebrated; early spring brings asparagus, then cherries come into season, pfifferlinge is reason for special menus all over and so it goes) We had a delicious bruschetta and I had the pasta. The people watching was fun, we forgot about our woes for a few hours and we enjoyed ourselves. I tried a new drink called a “Hugo” it like a aperol spritz, but made with an elderflower syrup. A little sweet for me, but a nice change from my usual aperol version.
Walking back it stormed and we had no umbrella but we did not care.
The next day Monday (everysing ist now nigt geschlossen) we asked them to call the technician. We waited the entire day and just as we sat down to enjoy an iced coffee at the bar, he arrived of course. He removed the metal bar so we could pull in the awning. This meant of of course we had no awning, but at least we could drive. The cost a mere €20 so Chris was massively relieved. (Chris: I gave him 25, I was so happy) We called the camper rental place told them what had happened and warned them it would need fixing when we arrived. So now we felt better, not sure what it would cost but at least we could travel.