Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Area Around Our Rental

Our rental was up the mountainside, above Camaiore, a pleasant small town not far from the coast.  Here we are in the town and I am sure you must wonder why I would include such a boring picture. Well, we were hanging out there to check Gary's ITouch (a mini computer) to find out if Rory had received our message to bus up to us, rather than us going to the Pisa airport to pick him up. At this particular spot we could pick up free WiFi, so we hung out there for 3 days in a row, checking email. I am sure people must have wondered....

Can you see read the name on the road? It says Lance. Any of you the least bit familiar with the world of cycling will no doubt associate that name with Lance Armstrong. This stretch of road was on a long winding hill and Gary knew that a bike race had been held here. The Europeans are crazy about cycling, and showed it by painting names on the road. And of course Gary needed to get a picture of it.

Our contact for the rental lived here, with this phenomenal view all the way to the coast. Can you see the Autostrada below? The Italians have gone all out to build their freeways. I thought our province (BC) did a good job building roads, but we pale in comparison to Italy!! The country is very mountainous and with the mountains often coming right down to the water, they have long stretches of freeway (between Genoa and the French border) that is almost exclusively bridges and tunnels. If you enlarge the picture below you will see that the stretch of the Autostrada is actually a bridge.

Olive groves and villas.

A day a the beach at Viareggio, a tourist mecca. Unfortunately Italy closes down from about noon to 3 or 4 everyday. Getting a group of 5 to anyplace much before noon was a challenge. So we often wandered around empty towns. By the way, just in case you are wondering, Gary has a vest shielding his head from the sun. It was nice and warm there and most of us wished we had shorts to wear.

A row of hotels in Viareggio.

Sound interesting, but it was just a small shop full of vending machines.

Rory sampled an espresso from one of the machines. I seem to have a talent for catching my family at the worst possible moment. Rory actually declared the coffee to not be too bad, though you would certainly not think that from the photo. And as far as I know, Liana does not normally sit like that.

Gary told us about a ride he got in one of these cars (a Fiat) in the early 70's. All the way through Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany. I hope they got out to stretch often!

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