24 May 2015

Grimaud to Chioggia

Motorway dashing across the top of Italy today we pass by Cannes ( no time for films), past Nice and Monte Carlo (no time for racing). The big race not due to start until 2 pm and we have no time to spare - it would have been nice to hear the exhaust noise from our motorway vantage point. Through the many tunnels along this stretch several exotic motors pass us by in the fast lane.  The sound they made was incredible. A pair of white Porsche's in close company, growled at one-another, throttles floored. Now there is something quite musical and certainly thrilling to hear in the song a couple of engines make, together like this;  and in a tunnel, quite special. 

Before Genoa the route takes us north towards Tortona, Cremona, Brescia and across to Verona, Padua and then south towards Chioggia. 

7 hours in the driving seat puts 480 miles behind us. The Toblerone bars melt to a sticky goo and Helen stays brave. Its ok for me - I have the wheel to hold and that's getting a bit sticky too.

The first impressions of Chioggia surpasses all expectations. In the hour before sunset the place is a buzz of activity. Worshippers are emerging from the church after evening prayer, bicycles and scooters are ridden erratically often overloaded with small dogs and / or children squeezed between two. One solo rider comes to grief at a pedestrian crossing but rises up unhurt from the tarmac.

The  Pizza cafe we select from a large number of open cafes;  Leo's Pizza's has a long stream of patient patrons waiting outside and inside. After half an hour of people watching the fascination grows. Our wait is eventually rewarded and we hot-foot it back to the hotel. Two days supply of delicious pizza and the best Helen has ever tasted.

 This culture is quite unlike that which we just left behind over the invisible border with France. Here we see a distinctly eastern Mediterranean people. Their features sometimes quite striking, lifted from some Etruscan vase.

At first light Monday morning I wake to the droning sound of a boat engine from across the water.

One of the reasons this venue was chosen was to see the subject of paintings by Australian watercolourist and author Joseph Zbukvic .  Hopefully we shall find a quiet corner to make our own marks on paper. (The above link is to a YouTube video of this artist demonstrating his method of working, but fast forward through the first few minutes to reach the actual demo).

Motorway station above Monte-Carlo

MonteCarlo on race day at 11am was too early to listen to the buzzing engines - not due to begin 'till 2 pm

A queue for the best Pizza in town at Leo's

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