So, my plans to blog everyday…ha!
Unexpected time spent with RAS’s friends, two unanticipated stops in places NOT the Berner Oberland (where I originally thought we were going), poor internet connections, and even worse train connections all added up to four days off from my last post.
As a result, I won’t add links to this post, as it just takes too long to look them up due to slower internet connections here.
We are currently in Radda in Chianti, a beautiful region of Tuscany and kind of off the beaten path. Tomorrow we’ll be in Siena, a much more popular town for tourists and therefore a place that makes my neck hairs bristle. But it likely won’t be anything like Florence, which we just left today.
So yes, we started our Tuscany bike tour today, and pedaled in the 80+ degree heat for roughly 40 km (about 28 miles). And here I am to tell you that I’ve survived, even though I had to hike the last half-kilometer up a not-that-steep hill.
But more about that later.
I’m hoping that during these leisurely evenings after our strenuous bike rides up, over and down these Tuscan hills, I can sit down and drink some wine and write here, just like I’m doing now. So the aim is write about Florence tomorrow, and being on the tour of this awesome, God-blessed country on Friday or Saturday. Then it’s on to Rome the next day.
To give you quick rundown of where we’ve been:
Montreux – really, a town called La-Tour-de-Peilz, on the northeaster shore of Lake Geneva. This area is in French Switzerland, so for one brief moment, I got to practice some French with the locals (even though they spoke English).
Because we hadn’t made reservations, all the less-expensive places we looked at were booked. We finally ended up staying at a four-star hotel on the lake shore, Hostellerie Bon Rivage. As seen from these views from our hotel room, I can get used to this kind of luxury, but really shouldn’t:
Vegetation fluorishes around here:
We then headed to Zermatt, at the base of the Matterhorn. Appparently, it’s a hit-or-miss proposition to see it due to frequent overcast weather, even in the summertime, as it was here. I’ll probably get to see the replica at Disneyland before I’ll ever see this one again. The mountain is the faint outline of rocks and snow in the background:
This picture was taken as we left for the train station and Italy. Notice all of the people out with us…at 5:45 AM! RAS and I think they were Asian tourists who just arrived. Or were just early risers.
After all of the overcast and cold in Switzerland, we finally were rewarded with blissful warmth and sunshine on the Cinque Terre, specifically in Monterosso, the northernmost town of the five clinging to the rocky Mediterranean shore:
Look at how crystal clear the water is, and the crowd of beachgoers enjoying it all.
The Cinque Terre sparkles in the sunlight and feels like a soul-renewing place after being in cloudy areas like Zurich, Zermatt and Montreux. I just wanted to have the place more to myself and RAS.