09 May 2012

Back in a flash

Well, since my last trip had been delayed so long because of work, within a couple weeks I was on my way back to Italy over the May holidays.  I landed in Milan on April 29, and had the bike delivered to the airport again, which is super-convenient.  Soon I was on my way to Verona, where I stayed at Hotel Accademia this time.  Kinda boring, still looking for a good place to stay in Verona.  

On the morning of the 30th I left Verona for Riva del Garda and fought traffic all along the lake roads to there.  I got to Riva del Garda and found a hotel by early afternoon, but I was not that crazy about the town.  Kinda modern and touristy.  And it was raining.  meh...

I didn't have any definite plans from here on, but on May 1 I left Riva del Garda for Merano, up in the mountains. I thought I'd stop on the way in Bolzano, to check out the town and to see the archeological museum, where they have the Iceman, the 5000 year old man found dead in a glacier.  The museum is only closed two days a year:  Christmas, and yes, you guessed it, May 1st.  Not good timing.  The weather wasn't great, and I decided just to head to Merano. In Merano I found a decent hotel overlooking the river, not bad. Here's the view:

The next day (May 2) I decided to go back to Bolzano to see the Iceman.  It was pretty cool. The Iceman himself is just sort of a brownish lump, but seeing all of his gear--backpack, books, etc. was pretty cool.  I was back in Merano by early afternoon, and it was sunny, so I went up the chairlift in town to have beer in the cafe on top of mountain, but you guessed it, the cafe was closed.    Again my timing was not great.  

On the morning of May 3rd I decided to spend my last night in Bellagio.  I had hoped to go via Stelvio pass, which I think is one of the highest in Europe, but according to the webcam, there was still lots of snow up there and in fact the road was still closed. Therefor I rode via Passo del Tonale, which was open.  Here are some pix.

Somewhere along the road:

 Lots of snow up by the pass:

Here's where I had a picnic lunch; kind of an uninspiring spot, but I had been looking for a place for quite some time and had already ridden through Passo del Tonale, so I was ready for a break:

So I got to Bellagio, got a room at the Metropole, and tried to go to dinner, but my usual restataurant was closed..aargh, I'd really been having bad luck this trip.  

On May 4th I got up, had the usual nice breakfast at the Metropole, and rode back to the airport where I dropped off the bike. 

Here's a map of the trip:

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