A week's rest and Julia was ready to test the knee once again. Once again, the key was to stay on the route, avoiding wrong turns. 5 minutes outside Cremona, we were not where we were supposed to be. Thankfully, after a bit of gravel, dirt and barking dogs, we were on the right path, with only a minor diversion. Believe it or not, we are getting better at this map reading stuff. It is still mind boggling how, when you do not need a directional sign, one is there and when one is urgently needed, nothing in sight.
Another beautiful day cycling along the argines and bike paths of the Po. We decided not to go all the way to Mantova, but stop at an intermediate town, Casalmaggiore, so that we could take the train the next day and visit Parma.
One thing is for certain, all the tourists go to Parma and skip Casalmaggiore. But there we were, happy as could be in Casalmaggiore, with our Pizzeria and a friendly Chinese run Alberghi. Julia found a fantastic trattoria full of locals in Parma, no thanks to the grumpy people in the tourist office (maybe they are fed up with tourist season) and we had a fantastic lunch. Spinach filled ravioli, salad and red wine. What a treat. And that was after a mini baguette of parma ham and cheese, with olive oil of course. We forgive them for the poor road signage when our bellies are so blissfully content!We left town full and headed back to Casalmaggiore in our 'tiny little train that could'.