January 4th 2010.
Olive Oil distributed to family and friends, Christmas and New Year behind us, it was time to start the long drive home.
We had decided on the journey northwards that this trip we would take an extra day and not have to cover so many kilometers each day, therefore making the journey not so tiring.
Having booked hotels in advance we did the journey in reverse, in easy stages Calais- Nancy-Como. We left Suffolk mid morning and were in our hotel in Calais before it got dark that afternoon, leaving us with time for a walk, then relaxing in the bar for awhile before supper. We both had the days special some deliciously tasty lamb chops, a meat we do not eat much of these days, as here in Italy it only tends to be available at holiday times such as Christmas and Easter.
On Tuesday morning we did not leave until 10am and with plenty of stops during the day we were in our hotel in Nancy by mid afternoon. On our way home at this time last year we had the most horrendous journey as there was rather a lot of snow. Luckily this year it seems we were just a day or so ahead of the worst snow northern France has seen for some years.
There was evidence of snow hanging around all the way, no wonder it had not melted it was bitterly cold and remained below freezing all day.
There is a stretch of motorway in northern France that has roadside art, which I have always thought rather interesting, so this year I actually took the time to take some photographs.
Northern France also thanks to its vast acres of space seems to have in recent years embraced the idea of wind farms. There are certainly many more than we first started driving this route. I think they are rather impressive.
Once again we ate well in the hotel restaurant in Nancy, both enjoying buffet salads followed by a steak dish with rice, green beans, a stuffed tomato and one of those rich sauces that the French have a way with!
On Wednesday morning we had an earlier start as the journey from Nancy down to Como is a more mountainous one, the first part from Nancy was a rural cross country route before re joining the motorway then through Switzerland, through San Gottardo Tunnel then on past the lakes to the hotel just south of Como, back in Italy for our last night on the road. I will gloss over that nights meal as we were very disappointed, not for the first time at this hotel, but we had decided to give it another chance because of its convenient location on our route. Last chance we will not be staying there again.
More photos of that days journey through France and Switzerland for those of you that are not yet fed up with snow photos, just joking not all snow by any means! The first one is of flooding near Metz, presumably after the snow they had earlier had melted.
Mistletoe was in plentiful supply in that part of France
Snow in Switzerland
This next photo is of a power station we always pass on the way from the San Gottardo Tunnel and every time I wonder why such a building comes to be decorated in such a way.
Afternoon light on the Lago di Lugano
We had an easy journey home on Thursday, snow still hanging around until near Firenze. As we drove south and on into Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio there was more and more evidence of excessive rainfall over the last few weeks causing flooding. We were unable to come home via our normal route through the village of Bormazo ( must visit the monster park again so that I can Blog about it) as the motorway exit at Attigliano was closed due to flooding. I managed to get some photos, it was pretty serious.
The final photos are of the flooding between Orvieto and Attigliano.
Finally Madonna at Attigliano Motorway Exit
We were home by mid afternoon as anticipated, generally everything was fine considering how much rain had fallen while we were away. The house was unsurprisingly very cold and damp in places that this time last year were not even habitable rooms.
Since getting home just over two weeks ago we have been busy getting ourselves organized and settling back into routines after our twenty-six day road trip.
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