But more about that later,
So we decided to stay another day in Venice and visit a couple of the other islands in this area, so a seemingly normal leisurely Italian Saturday saw us catch the island ferry and head in the direction of Murano. This little island is the home to Venice’s glassblowing industry.
The history behind it is that the early “governance” of Venice itself removed glass factories from Venice onto Murano to ensure the safety of Venice itself from the risk of outbreak of fire that could have come from the open furnaces used.
As such this whole island is about the glass blowing and for those who like glass the canal’s are lined with glass shops and the odd museum.
We were on the lookout for a little glass momento that we had seen in Venice yesterday and finally found it.
A pleasant lunch and then joined the huge queue (or more correctly queue jumped the huge queue) to get back on the ferry for our trip back to Punta Sabbione. This ferry was packed, no idea what would have been legal loading but basically seemed as though keep pushing on until door wont shut.
Now unfortunately the timetable is different for a Saturday than advertised so our ferry only got us as far as another Island called Burano, this island is famous for its very bright multicoloured houses that line its canals. So spent a quiet hour here under a tree before catching the next ferry home.
Due to move on we decided that Sunday would be a good day to start journey through Italy towards France as Trucks are parked up for the day.
Trucks may well have been off the road but every other person in Italy was going somewhere today. Huge number of people heading onto the peninsular and across to Venice. As well as the holiday resort area around Ca Savio. Once out of this chaos Jacinda led us on a very weird direction towards Verona, and what should have been 1hr trip was at least double that.
Once we got past Verono, we began the lookout for camping thinking that Lake Garda would have some good opportunities, upon hitting the lake edge in Bardolino should have realised this may not be sound thinking. Huge Sunday crowds on the small beaches, the cafes, the roads, and the roadsides. There are also 3 sides to the roads here, a left and right for general traffic, ( narrowed drastically by all the vehicles parked wherever along the sides) and the middle which is a free for all for motorbikes and scooters.
The scenery is stunning around this lake with mountains rising straight out of the lake edge. Any free camp site is well and truly filled with cars today and the campgrounds are incredibly expensive so on we travel up the lake towards Trento.
Arriving at the head of the lake in a village called Arco, a decision was made to change the original plans of driving through the mountain roads and instead head back down the other side of the lake towards Brescia. What roads we can see through these mountains are very steep and until we get the 100% on our brakes will give that sort of a risk a miss.
The lake side road back down the otherside of Lake Garda is mostly tunnels and lots of warnings about the height and width of some of them along with a 70km/hr speed limit.
Heading into about our second tunnel, the unexpected and unwanted happened, a red VW camper coming the other way just out of the tunnel was way to fast and sharing our side of the road.
An almighty bang on the drivers side saw Miss Stella’s drivers side mirror disintergrate into a million pieces and the frame left hanging. Oh Crap Dam and blast, amongst a whole heap of more unsavoury words. Heading straight into another tunnel nothing we could do about it so just carry on now with a completely blind drivers side, not at all comfortable.
This part was the worst part of the trip for me as driver so far and did not enjoy it one bit, which was a pity because it was a stunning drive.
Eventually made it down to Salo where we freecamped in a carpark beside the lake and chilled the night away. Thank god that day is over, ended up travelling for just over 6 hrs and 350km.
Monday morning rolled around and number 1 priority is to get a new mirror. A bit of #8 wire mentality gave us a bit of rearvision as well as Susie having to run to the back of Miss Stella and report on gaps in traffic when joining traffic from the right. Only tooted at once.
Made it to the Fiat commercial division in Castegnato just outside Brescia and through, pidgeon English, disjointed Italian and pointing, they can get us a new one, should be here at 3.00pm.
We have time to kill so head back into Brescia and park up (free carpark about 10min walk from city centre). A pleasant couple of hours here wandering around, amazing buildings and history here, unfortunately the castle is closed on a Monday.
Lunch in a café today as a treat, including my first coffee since been travelling. “When in Italy”.
As per our luck in this country so far, the new mirror wasn’t the right one so after sitting in the garages guest room for 2 hours we have to head off for the night and come back tomorrow. They have however replaced the vanity mirror and cable ties with a bigger car mirror and gaffa tape. Still not quite right and Susie continues her gap in traffic commentary from the back window. We head back into Brescia and spend the night in the carpark.