Strong winds continued through night. Off to border with Italy this morning, with a brief stop at Divica to look at the ancient church dedicated to St Anthony the Hermit. There was no desire to find the supposedly attractive Snake Cave, once we had heard it was the site of a mass grave from WWII, but more importantly because it was still inhabited by snakes!! Goodbye Slovenia - you certainly surprised us! What's not to "love"??
Crossed border at Gorizia into our 18th country for this trek - immediately green neat crops, corn, tomatoes, small "plantations" of tall thin stemmed trees, somewhat like poplars.
Tolls again (missing our vignette already) first one gave out ticket, then paid by card down road OK, second did not produce a ticket, after pressing button numerous times for assistance with no answer or no one arriving, and sign saying do not get out of vehicle, barrier finally opened by itself, so we drove out. Sign on some lanes say "telepass", so will have to find out if it is like a vignette, and how to buy. Churches now have stand-alone bell towers/ carillons, mostly in red brick. Orange tiled roofs on houses. Rivers flowing, clean and green. Came to next toll without ticket, man would not listen to our explanation of no ticket, or take 20 euro note, or our credit card, GirlRob went to get out of car closer to explain, but he said "no get out", "no get out", he looked up computer and finally gave me a receipt/invoice (?) that said we had 15 days to pay €70 fine! GirlRob said no, no, and went to get out again, and he waved her away furiously, shut his window and turned his back. Damn - will have to find out how to follow up. Drove away with dampener on day. Fortunately beautiful scenery soon took over, stopped at lay-by for lunch of canned tuna and bread roll. The mountains became increasingly more beautiful.
|First tantalising glimpse of Dolomite mountains|
|And finally - snow!!!!!|
Arrived Bolzano, in South Tyrol, after 300+kms today. We were turned away from two campgrounds, fully booked. Tried a “pay by ticket” EuroSpar carpark, with 15 motorhomes already parked, but no one home at any of campers and couldn't see any sign indicating Stellplatz (what if they are only off on tour today and using pay by hour carparking?) Found another carpark on edge of town with one well-shut mobile home, but same problem - where would you go in dark if someone moved you on? Or how get out if locked up at night? In the end we booked ahead over phone for campground at top of Dolomites highway - 60kms more than we wanted to do today. We’ll have to do Dolomites loop road backwards tomorrow. On arrival at campgrounds we booked for second night to prevent going through same search tomorrow. Bought a Bristol card for free public transport and cable car ride, discount off museum entries. Made creamy tuna pasta "surprise" for dinner, listening to rushing water in channel right behind our site.