We’ve found gold!

Saturday 14th April 2018

Dave posting,

This morning, from the camp site we walked to Sirmione, it’s a glorious day, we are wearing shorts, tee shirts, caps & walking trainers, sun tan lotion has been applied. It’s such a fantastic day that the Italians have come out to play, the atmosphere is positive, vibrant, cars trying to park to visit the old town, bars and cafes’ are busy, the sun umbrellas are out, everybody wants a drink and a view of the lake.

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Gold Rolls Royce

The sky is azure blue, the sun is beating down, the water is gentle moving around and is a bluey grey colour, there’s no breeze and there’s a feeling that summer is coming and just around the corner.

We amble around for a while, we feel like getting a drink and sitting by the water, we find the perfect spot facing West in to the sun on a hotel wharf, the water is gently lapping under us as we can see through the decking.

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Our lunch spot!

We sit watching the boats trips coming and going, passengers alighting and boarding, life feels very good for us right at his moment. We ordered a small lager and small wine, it arrives with some tapas snacks, mini pizza pasties and olives wrapped in sausage and breadcrumbs and deep fried mmmm, lovely, let’s order some food. A club sandwich arrives 15 mins later and we are glad that we ordered just one to share as it’s large! And they’ve put chips alongside, it was delicious too.

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What a great place for a bite to eat!

We are so relaxed and content at this moment, but we will have to move from our seats soon, as we want to go and see the castle. We paid €26.00 for 3 drinks and the sandwich and made our way to the castle entrance.

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Sirmione Castle

Sirmione castle is considered one of the finest examples of a medieval fortification including a very rare fortified port, the castle is also known as the Scalinge castle after the ruling family of the area until 1387. Entry fee was €6 each but you can visit for free on the 1st Sunday of every month and it’s closed every Monday by the way.

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Castle drawbridge

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Fortified port

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Super view looking back down the Sirmione peninsula

There are many ice cream shops selling a huge and I mean a huge variety of flavours, they are in the chiller cabinets in waves, rolls undulating, certainly not kept in plastic boxes. The local infamous flavour is Stracciatella, allegedly this flavour was created by a local man here in Sirmione, but history mentions it was in fact Enrico Panattoni from Bergamo, a traditionally made ice cream with fine, irregular shavings of chocolate.  All the shops make a big effort to display their ice cream in such an appetising way! There are so well presented.

We continued walking through town towards the coastal path, following our noses and a small number of folk in front of us, we passed a jetty.

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He’s so relaxed!

Then we end up at the point where the path ceases, and we can’t go any further, but we are at the tip, we thought we could walk all the way around the further point of the peninsula, but not so.

As we head back we come inland a little and find a small public park with a tree lined boulevard and a plaque referencing Maria Callas, the famous Greek/Amercian soprano opera singer (1923-1977) who lived here in Sirmione.

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Through the park

We both agree that’s it’s been a wonderful surprise discovering Sirmione, water as far as the eye can see, mountains, snow, park, walkways and paths, beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees, everywhere is clean and spotless, fantastic buildings everywhere.

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It’s been a fantastic day and we have fallen in love with Sirmione! We will be back…… Arrivederci!

Dave

Camping “proper” in Sirmione Del Garda!

Friday 13th April 2018

Cathy posting,

The sun has got his hat on hip hip hooray! This morning we are totally relaxing, it’s seems like we’ve done so much in 19 days on this trip and 22 days since we left our home, as we’ve already said we have rented our house and now “home” is Pogo our motorhome, we are more than happy with our living quarters but we really have been looking forward to getting our chairs outside for some sun.

The morning started with what we thought were bacon medallions but turned out to be just thinly sliced pork so we had them with egg on toasted olive ciabatta, strange but it was quite tasty. We have a little toast or toasty maker

And of course good coffee was needed, we buy the coffee from Lidl, it’s called Bellaroma and we like it.

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It makes great coffee!

Dave headed off for another hot shower splurge! Got to make the most of it, even though we have a hot shower in the van and it’s surprisingly good it’s not as powerful or strong as you’d normally have. We’ve chilled out for a couple of hours in the sun and I’ve been writing this here blog and drinking more tea than is good for me, I’m off to wash some clothes, €3.00 before we start leaving an odour trail behind us!

Late afternoon and we decided to go for a long walk to Desenzano del Garda,  you can literally walk from one side to the other on Sirmiones’ peninsular, it was approx 11 Kilometers there and we had planned to walk back but we stopped for a beer! (free snacks again) and to enjoy the view down the lake to the north of Lake Garda.

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view from the beer stop

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We didn’t do this place Desenzano del Garda any justice as we didn’t really visit the town, we just walked to it and came back, it was more about the walk for us.

We eventually tried to get a bus back but we can’t find out any information for the times, time is getting on now it’s 6.40pm, we are at the bus stop, the timetable is vague, as a bus stops right next to me, I asked driver how to get back to Sirmione, she said we’ve missed the last bus so we asked asked a man at the nearest restaurant he said there is another bus in an hour and we need to buy a ticket from a tabac (tobacconist) before getting on the bus it’s easier and cheaper than paying the driver. We go back to the bus stop area to look for a tabac, no, I can’t see one? I decided to go in to the chemist, who can usually speak English as we have found on our travels around the world. Yes, this is the right bus stop here, pointing, the tabac is up there but the bus comes in 10 mins so you must be quick! we quickly exit and go to find the tabac up the street, we bought two tickets (€1.50 each) and ran back to the stop, we made it with 2 mins to spare! we then waited for 25 mins for it to arrive! We hopped on and sat near the front so we knew when to get off, the bus trip took only about 7 mins, it was a bit scary and we were worried by the driver who BRAKED LATE ! seemed to be tired and almost falling asleep, we put on our seat belts just in case! got back safe and sound, but we’ve no tea so it’s the campsite restaurant for us! Carbonara for Dave and seafood Linguine for me, it was lovely and thank you to Freda and Gerald for the money to pay for it and also thank you to Jonathan and Roisin in advance for the Euros for tomorrows dinner which we’ve just booked in for!

p.s. – the campsite launderette is very organised, you have to choose your time, i.e. 30 minutes, your temperature i.e. 30° and they give you a key to the electricity control unit, as soon as your minutes are up, switch the electricity off and lock the unit and then you go and pay, obviously this keeps people from leaving their stuff there for ages because you have to pay for the length of time you’ve used. These were just my clothes, Dave had his washed a couple of days ago in a tub with a sealed lid which sat in the shower whilst we travelled, my clothes are not going in with his socks lol!

Cathy