Bergamo, day 2

Wednesday 11th April 2018

Dave posting,

We intended to go back into Bergamo this morning as we loved it, the weather is not looking so good though.

We have been away on the road now for 3 weeks it really is time to do some housework in and around the van. We have been meaning to do the cleaning, sweeping and dusting for about a week now, so today is the day. We work well as a team, we’ve settled in to blue and pink jobs! I wash the windscreen and the whole cab area inside. Cathy did the kitchen, work surfaces, bathroom,  Last was the removeable carpets that came out for a beating! A blue job!

Well what a friendly bunch motorhomers are! We have noticed the comradery amongst you, there is always someone to help or advise you. Often conversations start that lead to interesting details and information about places you intend to visit or have been. We met a New Zealand couple who surprised us as we thought they were Italian, he really liked our van and came to take a look.

We don’t always have a plan of what to do or where to go, sometimes we get up &chat and then decide, we follow our instinct and feelings about what we want to do next.

Lake Garda and Venice were always a plan though, checked the weather forecast, urmmm rain and cloud for the next 3 days at least around Garda, let’s go there when the weather improves. We feel the need to move on, so we take a chance and drive to Lake Iseo to find a free wild spot near there. We found it okay but now it’s a supermarket! Oh, we stopped for a while, drove around the area looking for a suitable spot, no joy though. Back to the supermarket to buy a small amount of fresh groceries. Next we had lunch whilst we researched where to go, the heavens open and it’s raining heavily now, spent a couple of hours in the car park, doesn’t matter a lot when it’s raining!

Let’s go to Brescia it’s not far away, we head there hoping to use a free overnight stop. We find the “listed spot” next to the Prison (might be safe!) but it doesn’t feel right, not enough length available to park, it’s close to permit parking for cars, it’s not level with both left hand side tyres in the gutter giving us a lob sided fell, can’t use the chocks as the tarmac and grass shoulder is too rough.

We rested for 10 mins and chose the cheapest paid for site nearest to us, it’s 7.15pm now and we just want a place for the night. Cathy found one 5kms away, Ristorante Cascina Maggia, it’s a farm/restaurant with camper car facilities, €15 including electric hook up. 10 mins later we are there, plugged in and set up. We go back to reception and ask if the bar is open, we need a drink! “no, sorry, not open on Mon, Tue & Wed” Anywhere nearby ? “Yes, 500 m that way!” Off we go on foot to find it, we find a bar near a fairground Called L’Old Roger, it looks like an English pub abroad but there’s nothing else that’s open or near, we go in and ask do you do food? Yes, we are shown to a table, it’s quite busy as well with a good atmosphere, it feels friendly, it’s warm and we feel comfortable, we order food and drink. One beer, one wine and two burgers…unbelievable burgers, Cathy was Iberico ham (200gr) brie, smoked bacon and caramelised onion, mine was 400gr irish steak, bbq sauce, cheese, smoked crispy bacon, the buns were perfect for the burgers, like a soft shell with crunchy seeds and not too doughy inside. Cathy was disgusted at my 400g! she says she makes chilli for 4 people with that much beef! mmmm! but it went down very nicely.

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Beer, burgers and football

 

It’s getting busy now, the atmosphere is ramping up, the Italians are watching and supporting Roma in the Champions League quarter finals and they are beating Barcelona, they get a little nervous as the final whistle approaches, great atmosphere in here tonight!

Cathy’s beer she described as “smoky” I tried it but I didn’t like it! It’s our second meal out in 19 days and it was great, Cathy never orders burgers but this menu had to be tried! and she reported back that if all burgers were like that shed have one more often.

(sorry not many photos!)

Dave

 

What did she say?

 

Sunday 8th April 2018

Cathy posting,

Up early and went for a 6.5k walk along the riverside and into the village near the sosta. It’s a pleasant enough place with lots of people cycling, running, walking, jogging and fishing, strange thing that we noticed in Italy is lots of people exercise and yet there are cigarette machines at the side of the road & near car parks, it’s an odd contrast.

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There are many small holdings very close to residential properties

 

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Cathy loved this rose tree

We are surrounded on three sides by huge tall mountains making us feel like we are in the bottom of a bowl.

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Surrounded by mountains in Chiavenna

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Lots of old style alpine roofs, the stones are holding the slates down

We had a nice chill out after lunch, did some blogging, the usual van services, water etc and set off. We had decided upon Bergamo, the research suggests it’s an amazing city with loads of history, wonderful views from the Venetian city walls from 16th Century, we fancy a bit of that.

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We got stuck behind this chap for miles! (Piaggio)

Travelled on the SS36 road which is basically a motorway through tunnels alongside the east side of Lake Como, the tunnels were not very pleasant to drive through, every now and then there was a view but before you could say ”Bob’s your uncle” we were thrown into darkness again!

Whilst driving along it dawns upon Dave that the numbers on the speed sign i.e. 90 is the minimum speed that the Italians think they can drive at! There were some scary moments and the air was a little blue!

We’ve noticed the Italian roads are a bit rough compared to Switzerland & Germany, it’s a game of dodging the potholes, from Lecco at the Sothern end of Como it was a horrible drive to Bergamo, roundabout after roundabout every kilometre for many kilometres.

Sat Naff can’t speak French very well, she doesn’t have any German or Swiss either and she most definitely can’t speak Italian! (apologies for the lack of focus on the video)

We were going to stay at a free car park but when we got there we didn’t like the feel of it being on a corner of two busy roads, also we’d located a campsite just 4 kms outside of Bergamo centre, for €18 per night plus it has a bus and tram stop right outside the gate for Bergamo.

We arrive late just before 8pm and it’s not busy, so pick your spot.

We tried to ask questions of the lady who runs the site and we’ve had success with google translate however tiredness and not having reading glasses on again and I managed to communicate with her in Romanian, no wonder she looked confused!

Gnocchi and pesto for tea and the evening was spent researching Bergamo.

Cathy