2nd. October 2016
29th- 30th. September
A trip into Trieste by bus proved more interesting than I was expecting. Having got lost round the docks 4 years ago when trying to avoid entering Slovenia on a motorway and having to buy a vignette for the 16 mile journey across to Croatia, and not being impressed at the time, our expectations were not high. However, Lonely Planet describes Trieste as possibly the most underrated destination in Europe and they may well be right. We spent a very enjoyable few hours mooching aound the streets full of very grand buildings, which although a bit faded in places, are really quite stunning....main square especially. The cathedral is wonderful,also a Greek orthodox basilica. I have one of the best pizzas ever for lunch by the Grand canal.
The city was preparing for the Barcalona next Sunday (2nd Sunday in October ) which is a 15 mile yacht race in the Gulf of Trieste and attracts over 25,000 sailors...the pictures on Google look spectacular and I'm sorry we shall miss it.
Next day we walk to find 2 caches and start to prepare for the journey home. 5 weeks away and I haven't worn a jacket,fleece or long trousers but I'm sure it will be colder through the alps and into Germany. We eat in camp restaurant and plan to leave at 7. 30 am with a fairly long 250 mile drive to Merano at the start of the south Tyrol.
Leave at 8am eventually as no real rush as we will use the toll motorway. This being Italy the toll road will take 4.5 hrs against 7.5 hours on the others. A nice drive up the Trento valley and when we finally exit the toll road at Bolzano the damage is €30 which is bearable for 4 hours of good roads. We comment on the number of German vehicles heading north and conclude it is the end of the holidays ad they're all dashing home. Arrive Merano at 1pm and find campsite. When I try to book in it is full and am told we'll be lucky to find anything as 3rd.Oct is a German holiday and the Tyrol will be booked solid. We head north and run into huge traffic jams coming south from the Fern Pass, nose to tail Germans. We scour every book and website for aires and campsites and everything we try is full...not that there is a huge number of either without going well off the road and up mountains. By 4 pm we have reached Glorenza, site full and big aire inaccessible as the local marathon is on and all roads shut till 8pm. Track another site 5kms away at Mals and get there at 4.30pm. Site full but guy offers us a small pitch just outside the camp with water and hookup, one of 2. We grab it thankfully even though it's going to be expensive. 5 minutes later the other pitch goes. We go for a walk and when we return 3 more vans have bee allowed to park opposite us and until 7pm a constant succession of vans and caravans arrive to be turned away. No room at the inn tonight. Decide to stay Sunday as well as trying to find another pitch will obviously be a nightmare and we don't want to go any further north especially as it starts to rain and Sunday is forecast rain all day....we are now 2 days ahead of ourselves . The views from here are brilliant, surrounded by mountains and there is a local train that trolls through them which looks interesting.