Thursday 22nd September 2011 Weather:-28degrees/Sunny
Herman and I are holed up in the Ibis hotel 7km out of Padua tonight. This hotel is in a large industrial area and we are not inclined to drive the other 7 km to get to the middle of the town and then have to look for a parking place. This stop was booked at the last minute and all the other hotels closer to the centre of town are booked out but in any case the intention was just to get a little closer to Venice so that we can arrive early enough to our pre-booked car park at the Passenger Terminal in Venice so that we have time, before boarding to do some more sightseeing in Venice.
It was a little bit hard to tell Tom-Tom today that we did not want to drive to Venice via Milan—the route that most people take I imagine. Cheryl, our landlady in Tremezzo had warned us that if we left Tremezzo too early we would strike traffic jams when bypassing Milan and that puzzled me as we had always thought of catching the car ferry across the lake and then bypassing Bergamo. Herman beat the system by programming the GPS in stages therefore going the way we wanted but as usual Tom-Tom showed us why it had suggested the other route: - About 30 Km before reaching Bergamo we hit some very narrow, steep and winding streets but before long we hit the ‘Autostradde’ and then it was on—a race to see who could reach Venice first—all at 130km an hour. Many cars thought their blinkers were unnecessary accessories, pulling out to pass the car/truck in front of it all at the last minute, it was all in today’s amusements anyway it kept my driver on his toes. Herman tells me that we have a translation problem because as we passed some 50kph signs and we were doing 95kph (road works were in progress) all the Italian, Dutch and English number plated cars were passing us doing at least 130kph. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though; we were so glad that we were not driving in the opposite direction because from Bergamo to Padova there was a bumper to bumper traffic jam that did not abate. Tomorrow we will try to get some of our photos on the net, we will have to go to an internet cafe’ but after that logging stories will be a bit more complicated; while on the boat getting ‘on air’ is extraordinarily expensive so logging stories will have to happen while on shore, otherwise at the end of the cruise—we will see how it all pans out.