Good bye family! We hope we can leave you alone the next 3 days in Verona and you`ll not doing too much roadies and black and stormies .
Have a good time in France and a safe flight back home. Thanks for a fantastic week.
Ursula and Pablo
After our opera night yesterday we slept in a bit and left Sant`Ambrogio later. It was as hot as the days before, but it seemed to get somehow used to it.
We cannot leave the Valpolicella without having visited Villa Rizzardi in Negrar.Of course we got a wine tasting and explanation about olive oil, agrumi and the famous Amarone. Because of a wedding we couldn`t visit the garden.
Finally we reached the Adige again which led us into Verona.
We made it.... nearly 500 km, 2 countires, uncountable cappuccinos and lots of new impressions and experiences.
Adventure Day!! A ferry - a gondola - an opera!
After having had a swim in Lake Garda we loaded our bikes on the ferry - criss-crossed on Lake Garda between Torbole-Limone and Malcesine.
Malcesine is an old town, worth to stroll around a bit and enjoying some pizza at the lake. Than we loaded our bikes into the gondola which brought us up 1.750 m high above the lake on top of Monte Baldo. What a view! We are flying down on the other side in the Valpolicella area. Villa Quaranto Tommasi, our hotel for tonight, is a seventeen-century villa wine hotel and spa in the countryside close to Verona.
And last not least James organized tickets for the opera in the arena of Verona! What a day!
good bye Riva
nice brise, beautiful view to the surrounding mountains and little villages
We leave the Dolomites behind us and dive into the Mediterranean landscape of Lake Garda. Palm trees, sun, and water - a place to feel good.
But there are 50 km to cycle and it is hot, hot, hot - 34 C in the morning, no shade on most of the parts on the Etsch cycling path - we were cooking.
But all are in a good shape and a shuttle was out of question.
Vineyards are now replacing the apple orchards. Wine as far as the eye can see, century-old cultures. The mountain valley opens up as we reach Trentino. The river Etsch guides us southwards. The Dolomites are framing the whole scenery. The landscape is extremely beautiful and attracts tourist in winter as well as in summer.
Also this are belonged before WW I to Austria and a lot of traditions date back in this aera. Italian is the official language, but in some side valleys Ladin is still spoken, as well as some old dialects like Zimbrisch and Mochenisch were kept alive.
We are in Italy. The locals would say: we are in Southern Tyrol. The whole area belonged to Austria until WW I. You can feel in eveywhere, History and the wars had a strong influence to the people until today.
The Vinschgau welcomes us with endless apple orchards, framed by the glaciers of the Ortler.
A stone quarry stands out featuring the finest white Italian marble - the Laaser marble is world famous. A lot of little, charming villages are along our way.
Bozen - the mediterranean, the medieval, the important trading post on the Via Claudia, the modern - the adjectives are endless - is our destination for today. And the Rosegarden massiv is framing the city.
We leave this meditative place and roll back down to the Inn. We follow the Inn valley further south and cross the Reschen alpine ridge. The Reschenpass used to be part of the Roman Road Via Claudia Augusta and one of the most important North-South connections in the Alps. You will be stunned by the Reschen lake, which ‘grows’ a church tower right in the middle of the lake. It is downhill from here on. Italy is calling! Cycling along the crystal blue lake we arrive in Vinschgau and in Italy's smallest town called Glurns. Medieval flair surrounds us and we enjoy the first Italian red wine or Cappuccino.
Many may ask: What is the Via Claudia? What is so special?
The Roman Empire sprawled from England in the North to North Africa in the South, from Spain in the West to Syria and Jordan in the East. It is hard to grasp the dimension of such an Empire with our knowledge of the world today, our means of communication our lifestyle and mobility. Communication was very important 2000 years ago and so the Romans built roads to connect the provinces, to exchange messages, to trade and also for warfare. So come and see what the road is like today....
From here we will climb up to the "Mieminger Sonnenplateau". The "Stöttlalm" is a must and a good example of Austrian cuisine. Schlutzkrapfen, Tiroler Gröstl, Apfelstrudel oder Kaiserschmarren and this unpronounceable "Apfelsaftschorle" are on the menue and provide the necessary power to continue.
Ruth from the office joined us, she is the one who booked all the lovely hotels and organised the tour
After the welcome briefing we did a walk through lovely Innsbruck.
In medieval Tyrol, its capital, Innsbruck played an important role in Europe’s history. The "Golden Roof" and the houses of the very attractive historic center are witnesses of this era. Over the last several decades, Innsbruck gained fame by hosting the Winter Olympic Games in 1964 and 1976.
the "Golden Dachl"