Wednesday, October 04, 2006

SUMMER HOLIDAYS, day 11: good start, unhappy ending

thursday, 24 august. even though we don't get up too late, alex has already left for work. we finish packing, have some breakfast, clean up, and by the time we leave marling, we have a plan.

sir archibald takes us south towards bozen, but we don't stop there. we drive on towards lake garda (lago di garda) - at first it is still apple orchards all around, then there are vast vineyards (near kaltern, famous for its wine), before the landscape changes yet again; the mountains look very different from those around merano, more forbidding. the dolomites rise at sharp angles, clouds cover the peaks - quite stunning.

we leave south tyrol, entering another italian province: trentino. our destination, for now, is lake garda, where we have never been before. we stop in riva del garda at the northern end of the lake (which is huge: 370 sq km with a shoreline of about 125 km). i've actually pictured it a little differently. although i have of course seen pictures, i never realised that the mountains on its western shore are that close to the lake, practically rising from the water. very beautiful.

we take a walk along the promenade, the water looks inviting, the famous wind is blowing, people are sunbathing and swimming, children playing. it is quite the holiday resort, of course, and seems to be particularly popular with english tourists.

we consider staying the night and driving on to the adriatic coast in the morning, and in retrospect it would have been much wiser, but we could not know it then. so after a quick lunch and some more sun, we take the scenic route along the lake's eastern shore with gorgeous views of the area, past hundreds of cypress trees, and then we direct our archie towards verona, padova, venice.

the final destination for the day is supposed to be cáorle, a little town on the adriatic coast, just north of venice. sepp has never been there, but i spent many holidays there with my family between age 7 and 16, so it holds a lot of memories. it has been years since i have visited, and therefore we thought it'd be nice to stop there for a day. however, we don't quite make it that evening.

just after venice, the traffic comes to a halt. nobody knows what is going on. nobody knows how long it might take. there isn't any information. there is no chance of getting off the highway. so, all we can do is sit and wait. the annoying thing is that we are SO close. of course we don't really have anything to eat either. i think i have not been in such a traffic jam since about the mid-eighties, on some family trip to italy. it takes us about 2,5 hours to cover less than 7 km. apparently a section of the highway is closed off. the crazy thing is that there has not been any warning, or we would have taken a different road. by the time we get to that next exit, it is getting dark. we are near jesolo, another holiday resort, and decide to drive down to jesolo beach to look for a hotel for the night.

we do find something, and as soon as we've got our bags in the room, we head off to the main street in search of food - we are starving. jesolo is totally different from cáorle. quite frankly, i fail to see the attraction. the place practically consists of an overcrowded main street lined with tacky shops, ice cream parlours, restaurants, and souvenir shops. it is incredibly noisy. most people seem to be young couples (the guys often weighed down by what seems like tonnes of gold chains and gold rings, the girls by similar amounts of make-up), and there are hardly any families with little children, or older people. i don't feel all too comfortable, being pushed and shoved by the throng.

but we do get us some food, even an ice-cream for dessert, and we get two thunderstorms that night, yay!

pictures of day 11


Arlene said...

tsk. you went over to jesolo and didn't call me?!!! that's like only a hour's drive from my place... less time than commuting to venice. i could've driven over!!

hah. the husband would agree with you about jesolo, too. he, too fails to see the attraction. it's just the "in" place to go for italians... and they have totally illogical ideas about what's in and out.


michi said...


yep. jesolo sucked. all these weird people. cheap, kind of. not my crowd. all done-up little ladies with their little bags and gold-laden boyfriends. perfumeperfumeperfume. noisenoisenoise.

and no did not call you, because it was all so short-notice. and i was scared about getting too close to venice because of your driving. *L*

and anyway. you --> vienna. right?
some time soon. hm? spring?