Ruth, out for a hike near Salto de Bordones, Colombia. Photo taken November 25, 2015.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Cabri Regional Park, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Where are they going next? We're here at the park until late September!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I drive like I'm in a Ferrari...

First order of business yesterday was to get us some wheels. I had booked a super cheap car rental, but we had to go to Bergamo airport to pick it up. We were prepared to take the bus to get to our 10:00am appointment, but our Airbnb host Fernando insisted on driving us.

I booked the car through a rental car reseller...in this case, www.economybookings.com. They don't have a good reputation because they are very strict on the rules when you book. And, you have to pay in advance and there are fees if you cancel.

But, if you follow the rules, and you don't need to cancel,...you can get a great deal!

In our case, it was €92 ($134 CAD, $100 USD) for two full weeks. Including insurance and unlimited mileage.

We went to the Alamo/Enterprise counter, and sure enough they had our reservation. The process was fast and efficient. They put a €1,000 hold on my credit card which they cancel when you bring the car back in the same condition that you rented it.

Only one minor scam involved.

At this time of year it is mandatory in Italy in this region to carry snow chains in your car. The rental car company rents them to you...at a cost of €5 per day up to a maximum of 8 days. But, that's not included in our fantastic rental deal, so we're stuck paying another €40 ($58 CAD, $44 USD) for that! Oh well...it's still a good deal.

Kevin, and our brand new Toyota Aygo.

Ferrari red!

Fancy cockpit!

This is the first time I've been in a car where I can wirelessly hook my phone into the car's computer screen. So when I receive an email, it's automatically displayed on the screen. Very cool!

And off we went. We decided to drive over to beautiful Lake Como near the Switzerland border. Didn't take many photos along the way because Ruth was using the maps.me program on the phone for guidance, and I was busy driving like the locals drive. Fast, and with no turn signals!

Good thing the car is Ferrari red, because I have to drive like I'm in a Ferrari.

I figure the locals don't use turn signals because it's every man for himself here in Italy. And using your turn signal would be like giving information to the enemy!

No highways for us...we're taking the back roads.

The main four lane highways in Italy are all toll roads, so we're going to avoid them as much as possible even if it takes longer to get somewhere. You see more that way anyhow.

The town of Como has a lot of cars! Too many cars for the number of parking spots. So when we arrived, we drove around looking for a spot. And of course cars and motorcycles are zipping around everywhere, and we don't know where we're going. Finally, we saw a sign for an underground parking right near the waterfront, and we zipped in to that. We figured it would be pricey, but it was convenient.

Beautiful Lake Como.

Some kind of water bird.

We watched this big boat being moved.

One of the reasons we wanted to see Lake Como was because my father had been here in his European trip back in 1954. So we wanted to once again find one of his photo spots and duplicate his photo from back then.

1954

And yesterday. 
Now, there is a seaplane base in the spot he would have stood!

With that out of the way, we went for a 5 km walk up and down the side of the lake.

Ruth, and Lake Como.

Scenery along the way.

All of the large old homes on the lakeside have their own drive up boat storage area.

View from the luxury Hotel Villa Flori. 
Only €209 ($303 CAD, $230 USD) per night.

This guy way up the hill has a nice view too!

More scenery.

People out enjoying the day.

There is a modern statue near the marina.

Our reflection!

A shrine to Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the electric battery! 
Volta lived his entire life in Como, Italy.

We went back to get the car at about 5:00pm. The bill was €7.20 ($10.50 CAD, $8.00 USD) for the three hours we were there. We figured it would be pricey.

It took an hour and a half to do the 65 km (40 mile) drive back to Bergamo. Lots of traffic at that hour!

And today we've got a long drive ahead of us. We're doing 350 kms (217 miles) to Rimini and we're going to try and do it without getting on the toll road. We'll see how it goes!

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And in Canada...





26 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Other than being really busy it was beautiful! We would hate to see it in their high season.

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  2. Very nice. Like comparing your dad's picture with your pic. Neat reflection photo at the statue, too!

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    1. We like to see how much things have changed or haven't changed in Kevin's dad's old pictures. In this case not a lot seems to have changed, there are definitely a lot more houses on the other side of the lake though.

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  3. You are right about every man for himself. We about lost our life trying to cross the street in Naples. No traffic lights at all.
    Other than the change in weather and the plane, that is a near perfect photo of your dad's.

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    1. It's funny we haven't had a difficult time crossing the street but we have noticed driving that they seem want to drive fast in the slow zones and slow in the fast zones! Can't quite figure that out. It hasn't been the most relaxing for driving, at least not yet. Italy seems to be way more built up than we thought it was going to be, when you leave one town right away you enter another.

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  4. Zooming around the countryside, have too much fun.

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    1. I don't think "zooming" around the countryside is the right word especially after yesterday's drive! We are however, having a great time.

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  5. Replies
    1. It was a great day, with many more ahead of us. :-)

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  6. Very pretty area. A slice of "how the other half" lives.

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    Replies
    1. It is a pretty area. We would like to have driven to a few of the other towns on the lake but we didn't have time so we just spent more time enjoying it there.

      Yep, you definitely have to have money and lots of it in order to leave there.

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  7. We had the most amazing chilled white wine and bruschetta while sitting in the sunshine watching the world go by.

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    1. That is what a lot of the people do there and it is a great place to do it at! The scenery is wonderful and lots of people there for people watching.

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  8. Lake Como is very popular! I had to look twice at Dad's picture to find the buildings. I'm sure there are more now.

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    1. Yes, very popular. We would not enjoy being there during the summer, it would be a total zoo and way too much traffic, as it was there was too much traffic.

      Dad's picture is a bit dark so it isn't as easy to see the buildings and there weren't quite so many as what there are now.

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  9. I don't think I would want to drive there -- sounds a bit hairy! Be careful and don't be reading your emails while driving, please. :-)

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    1. I am glad that we had two months of practice in Spain with the motorhome, plus some practice in Romania and Moldova in November to help prepare us for the driving here. It wasn't quite as bad as what people had told us but it certainly isn't relaxing. The roads have more traffic than we were expecting and it is all very built up. We haven't yet been on a quite "country" road.

      I do the reading of the emails in the car! :-)

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  10. Ruth is so photogenic. Oh, and you are too Kev!

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  11. Beautiful area, would love to visit there!
    Karen

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    Replies
    1. Yes very beautiful and we can't wait to see more. Hopefully one day you will be able to visit Italy too.

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  12. I still love the fact that you can re-create with a lot of accuracy, the photos your father took in 1954. It is like a walk through a history book. Don't get a ticket with the Ferrari Red.

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    1. For quite a few of his pictures that has been possible but for some of them it has been impossible because some are just of scenery while on the road and it would be almost impossible to find the correct road that he was on and the exact position. I got lucky with one of them a few weeks ago of a mountain outside of Malaga. While we were driving I thought it looked similar to his dad's picture so I snapped one from the motorhome and it was the same one, although I wasn't able to exactly recreate it but it sure was close.

      We will try not to get a ticket, sure don't need that extra cost! ;-)

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  13. I think George Clooney, the movie star, has a home but not sure...it sound familiar.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, apparently he does have a house on Lake Como but we didn't have time to stop by and have a chat with him, maybe next time! ;-)

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