Our Journey to Tuscany part 2

9 Aug

After breakfasting at Les Sapinieres, we continued our journey to Italy. Our journey destination for that evening was Lucerne in Switzerland. We had booked a hotel opposite the Kapellbruecke, strangely named the Mr Pickwick pub. The journey was longer than anticipated as traffic was very slow. However we arrived in time to book into our hotel and find some dinner. And what a beautiful place, well worth paying the ridiculous prices for the dinner and hotel. Jess and I picked on an Italian restaurant with only pasta left on the menu. As the currency is Swiss Francs, but we were not staying for long, we did not acquire any currency but just used the credit cards. By this time I was ravenous so attemped to order a large dish of pasta with seafood. Paul and Jess went for the small portions, but in fact mine came as a small portion too. Even so, each dish cost the equivalent of about £20. We have decided not to have a longer holiday in Switzerland before we have made some serious money. We walked over the bridge after dinner, which was fascinating. It is a wooden construction with painted panels on the inside.

It was not a peaceful night, as we left the windows wide open onto the balcony, and there were loud conversations and much drinking outside until about 5:00am. Then an hour later the market traders noisily came to set up their stalls on the pavement below our balcony. It is worth noting that if ever you consider staying at the Mr Pickwick (which models itself on an English pub), breakfast is not served until 11:30, so we decided to press on with our journey and have coffee en route.

The journey over the St Gotthard pass when we finally reached it through painfully slow-moving traffic, was fantastic, and I shall post some pictures and videos of the journey on here. I forgot to mention that we managed to find the most wonderful place for breakfast, over-looking a lake. The traditional wooden houses we passed looked as if they had been placed there for the benefit of the tourists, so numerous were they. There was a sense of wealth and well-being everywhere. We could detect few signs of poverty.

We arrived at Londa in Tuscany soon after 7:00pm, and at this stage I rang our villa owner, Maria Luisa. As it turned out, she spoke fantastic English, albeit with an American lilt. We had enormous difficulty in finding the villa, mainly because the address was a road in Londa, whereas in fact the properties are about 4 miles up a winding mountain road out of the village. We have no sat nav and I am not convinced that it would have helped. What we needed was good directions, good brakes and a head for heights, plus the hope of not meeting too many cars coming in the opposite direction! At last we arrived, and it was worth it. Suffice to say that our villa was in a perfect position, 30 seconds walk from the swimming pool, and set in beautiful gardens. I’ll give more details about the villa later, but strangely it did not seem to be set up for self-catering, with no work tops or cupboard space, and several blunt knives. Anyway, on that first evening we had dinner in the village, which was very pleasant after a long day. Looking forward to shopping for food though!

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