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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,100

    Our Italian Adventure begins

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    No cycling involved, but still an adventure. Flights went well, we arrived in Milan at 6.30 AM. Got the rental car and headed for our apt. In Torino, about 1 hr 20 min. away. Freeway seemed very quiet; we know it's vacation time, but when we got here, it was apparent it was a major holiday. Nothing was open. Walked around and found a cafe, had coffee, and went to get in the car. It was dead and burning up. After some nice people tried to help us, the apt. owner and his wife came and saved us. They helped us get a tow truck, deal with the agency, and drove us to the Torino airport to get a new car.
    By later, restaurants were open, so we did have a nice lunch and dinner. Just survived grocery shopping as an illiterate. Not a good feeling, but people are patient with the few words of Italian I know.
    Off to have more coffee and shop. Hiking tomorrow
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Have fun! I'm jealous!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352

    Re: Our Italian Adventure begins

    Enjoy! Sounds like a great vacation.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
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    2013 Electra Verse

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Have a great time, Crankin! Be sure to share some photos when you return!
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    478
    OMG sooo jealous. I am part Italian and dream of going to Italy one day. Please, please, please post photos--looking forward to hearing/seeing some more of the trip.
    2012 Trek Lexa SL
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    2016 Trek Lexa C
    2016 Specialized Hellga-Fat Bike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,825
    Have fun!!!

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    Posting photos might have to wait until I am home. The Internet in our apt. is slow.
    We spent all day yesterday eating, walking, and went to the palace royale and the archeological museum. Much more is open as far as stores go, although some small shops and many cafes are shut. Had 2 fantastic Piedemont style meals and the bottoms of my feet feel the walking.
    Today we ate going to do the cog railway in a city park, with great views at the top, and then hike down. Tomorrow we are visiting all day with someone who works for DH here, up at their vacation home in the Alps, about an hour away. Monday is wine touring.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    The railway/hike was quite an experience.
    It's on the outskirts of the city, but not too busy today, as Italians are all up in the mountains or in Cinque Terre. We got some stares, as we were in very casual outdoor clothes and mostly everyone else was dressed up. Some men in shorts, not
    women. The ticket seller looked at us like we were absolutely nuts when we said we were hiking down.
    The ride up was quick, about 20 minutes. We stopped in the visitor center, walked up to the Bascillica, and then found the trail. It was quite challenging, rocky with switchbacks in about one half of it. I have my light hiking shoes here and I made the mistake of wearing some Tekko running socks, instead of my hiking socks. My feet were sliding around and the constant descending did not feel good. Let's just say my hamstrings are feeling it! I think it was about 5k, with the last 1.5 on the sidewalk of a road that looked like one you would see on the Giro.
    Tomorrow is the real hiking!
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    Nice place to go for vacation, have fun! Looking forward to seeing pictures whenever you are able to post them

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    Well, the last 2 days have been busy. The drive to the Alps was not far. To sum it up, we drove to our friends' condo, then went to Sestrierre and took the ski lift to the top of a mountain. That in itself was an adventure for me. It looked like Alp Du'Ez. We hiked down the ski trails, stopping for a picnic lunch our friends had prepared, complete with a tablecloth. Further down the trail, it became a paved road, where of course, there was a bar/restaurant. Had an espresso and some kind of liquor, supposedly good for digestion. Another 2k and we got to the village, where I bought a sweatshirt that is really a jacket. Saw lots of crazy downhill mt bikers and several riding up the roads. Then, back to the condo for beer, dinner, wine. I think the hike was 10-11k.
    Yesterday we went to LaMorra and Barolo and had the most awesome tour of a family owned winery. Just one other couple and the woman giving the tour. We also had a little adventure trying to put gas in the car!
    Today we are staying in Torino and shopping. I swear, I feel huge compared to Italian women. There will be serious food restriction when I get home... I haven't had so much pasta in years. Of course, we get home Sat. and leave Friday for 3 days in CA.
    Last edited by Crankin; 08-20-2013 at 01:00 AM.
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  11. #11
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    1,677
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I swear, I feel huge compared to Italian women. There will be serious food restriction when I get home... I haven't had so much pasta in years. Of course, we get home Sat. and leave Friday for 3 days in CA.
    Wow...Italian women must really be tiny then, if you feel huge in comparison!! Yikes.
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    Jolt, they are skinny with no muscles. You don't see women riding here, only as transportation. Well, just a couple, compared to lots of men. Same with runners. I think most exercise gets done by walking and in gyms.
    We are in Milan now. I can't find any clothes that fit me. Pants are too skinny (and I wear skinny jeans) and too long and the dresses are huge. I don't know where the people I see buy their clothes.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100

    Photos

    OK, here's the link to all of our pictures. Unfortunately, they aren't in any order or labeled, but they still came out well.
    My favorite ones are the juxtaposiiton of what we saw when we went to the Armani Hotel cafe. It was written up as a "must go to" place in Milan. We got there around 5 PM, and it was quiet. There was one other couple (I think they were having a business meeting) and a family with 2 adult sisters, a very newborn (one-two weeks old, by my estimate), the grandmother, and husband having drinks, all looking very stylish as the mom interspersed her sipping her drink with visits to take the baby out to nurse, I think. Then, two men walked in with a dog. Not a teeny dog, as you sometimes see in the US, but a medium sized one. Dogs go everywhere in Italy, even restaurants. All of this, with a view of the Duomo from 8 stories up. When we left, there was a parade of very large, black cars bringing patrons to the hotel. They looked like people you'd see on the society page of a newspaper... enough to give me the creeps! But, the mojitos were were awesome and we were treated nicely.
    I'd say my favorite 2 things were the visit to our friends and hiking in Sestriere and the winery tour/visit to La Morra and Barolo. I did buy 2 pairs of shoes and a leather winter jacket, with a wool lining. It's probably the most expensive piece of clothing I've bought, and it was about 40% discounted. I never found any pants or dresses that even remotely looked like they would fit me, though.
    Of course, the eating was in a category of its own!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevema...57635222485923
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Great photos, Crankin. I like that crepes-cocktail bike sign. It's a combination one doesn't normally think.. I love going into some of the cathedrals, etc. to see the architecture and artwork.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 08-25-2013 at 12:05 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    How lovely -- your photos are gorgeous, crankin! So glad you had a good time. Love all the clothes you wore and can't believe you felt huge (though I know the feeling -- I felt huge in Tokyo!)

    Thanks for sharing....
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

 

 

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