Category: Italy

Towing the Gorges du Verdon – Our Most Challenging Drive… Ever!

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Gorges du Verdon: “Not for the faint-hearted” – even without a caravan!

“The Transfăgărășan was nothing compared to this!”

Mark was referring to the day we joined the Mile High Club. With Caravan Kismet in tow, you understand. We crossed the Carpathian mountains in Romania on one of the world’s most dangerous roads. Kismet has conquered a number of mountain passes (see the Dangerous Roads section of my blog) but none compared to the Gorges du Verdon, which caught us entirely by surprise. “We drive past the gorge,” Mark informed me. If only that had been so…

When we looked it up later, the Gorges du Verdon appears on the website Dangerous Roads. I am fairly sure that whoever described the drive as ‘not for the faint hearted,’ probably didn’t mean with a 7m (20ft) caravan in tow! Continue reading “Towing the Gorges du Verdon – Our Most Challenging Drive… Ever!”

Hill Towns & Cloud Forests – Saluzzo & Pian Munè, Italy

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Saluzzo with Monviso in the background. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1,000AD, Saluzzo is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the Italian region of Piedmont. It occupies a striking hill top position, with the imposing, pyramidal peak of Monviso, ‘The Stone King’ as a backdrop. Saluzzo takes its name from the Salluvii, one of the tribes who first settled in the area while Il Re di Pietra – The Stone King is allegedly a candidate for the mountain on which Paramount Pictures modelled their logo. Continue reading “Hill Towns & Cloud Forests – Saluzzo & Pian Munè, Italy”

Leaving Lockdown – A Bit of a Scrape

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Big Blue & Caravan Kismet in the car park. Ready to Roll!

If we get there, it will be third time lucky.

Twice before, Mark and I have planned to go to Spain. The first time, temperatures soared above 50°C. People were dying from the heat, so we turned left and went to Romania. Then, last September, two days before our ferry, a tenant gave notice, which forced us to stay and sort out the re-let.

This year, coronavirus has scuppered our planned tour of Poland and the Baltics. Although lockdown has lifted in Italy and across most of Europe, the strict UK quarantine rules persuaded us to take slow road home via Northern Spain and Portugal. When we eventually reach the UK border, perhaps campsites will have re-opened and we won’t be forced into isolation with four dogs; an isolation so strict that unless we were about to starve, we would not even be permitted to leave our acommodation to buy food. Continue reading “Leaving Lockdown – A Bit of a Scrape”

Lockdown Life – Into thin Air: Hiking the Valle di Salza

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The Fab Four on our last ‘big’ (& dry) walk in Monte Rosa, with the Rothorn behind

“The Valle dei Principi (the Valley of the Princes) or the Loo Valley are both really beautiful,” Ezio from the ski shop Ambaradanspitz in Staffal told us.

He pronounced it ‘the Low Valley’, but, since I am childishly drawn to places with slightly rude names, Loo had already been on my radar for a while.

Although lockdown in Italy had lifted, a relentless fortnight of heavy rain put paid to most of our more grandiose hiking plans. Continue reading “Lockdown Life – Into thin Air: Hiking the Valle di Salza”