Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Italian Break

I'm now back from my Italian adventures. I can't believe how knackered I am. Well, it was a pretty fun packed weekend.

A brief run down of events (pictures and GF Pinarello report to follow) :


FRIDAY NIGHT

Arrived in Verona airport @ 9.15pm, picked up car and headed for our b&b. After alot of spinning around Verona and a phone call to the proprietor for directions (including an offer from him to come down and meet us) we made our way up the steep and winding road to reach Villa Beatrice in Valdonega. The drive was a bit of a white-knuckle ride, but the lovely panoramic views made it worthwhile !

Simone, our host was very enthusiastic to meet us, and very welcoming - even though it was late, he had loads of time to chat to us about life and the universe - well, actually about London !


SATURDAY

A bit tedious to start with.

After a hearty breakfast and a stroll around the gardens, we drove about 2 miles down the road to Grezzana for what should have been a quick spin up and around the valley to Romagnano, Lumiago, Azzago and back to Grezzano.

Unfortunately, Stanley had a technical problem with his derailler. I carried on without him while he fixed it. He would then ride the opposite way round the circuit and we would meet at some point back near the car. But then I punctured twice. So, not wanting to take any further risks we then went off to find a shop and get my tyres changed.

We didn't leave for Treviso until 5pm. The drive there was very hot - we weren't used to 30degree heat, considering the dreary weather we'd been having in London. Matters were made worse when we had to queue for 50minutes just to get through the motorway toll gate at Mestre. The air conditioning was put to the test as the mercury went up to 36 degrees.

Finally we arrived at the sign-on desk for the Gran Fondo, at Treviso just before they were closing. We got a generous goody bag - a GF Pinarello ruck sack, energy drink and bar, plus pink flip flops for the ladies !

We checked into our b&b at Treviso, had dinner in a delightful restaurant off the main square, and got to bed pretty late. By then it was almost 1am, and we'd have to be up 3.5hours later to tackle the 200km race !!


SUNDAY

Race day - hot, very hot and extremely hot - completely KO'd at the end !

Celebratory meal at the Piazza dei Signori.


MONDAY

Drove back to Verona, and spent the day taking in the beautiful sights - Juliet's House, the Arena, Piazza delle Erbe, and various churches - then lounging in a cafe on the Piazza Bra.

Flew back to London at 10pm.

It was great to get away for a few days - especially to Italy. I wish I was still there now !
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