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September 16th 2013
Published: September 16th 2013
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Wed 11thSept Bled to Lido di Jesolo 202 miles

It rained all night and was still raining when we woke up at 8.00am with more rain forecast so that was time for us to move on.

Took the wrong road out of Bled (I didnt want to put us inadvertently on a Motorway and incur a fine! – well – thats my excuse!!) and went via Spodnje Gorje to the main road where we then headed, in error, towards Radnovlica instead of Kranjska Gora! Its not easy when you haven’t got a Sovenia map, there is no sun for any sense of direction and the names are just soooo difficult! The only good thing was that it stopped raining as soon as we were away from Bled!!

But it was gone 11.00am when we crossed into Italy at Tarviso before heading off, once again into the edge of the Triglavski National Park and Slovenia on the 203 road. A very pleasant drive up and over the Passo del Preil, past a lake and through a short tunnel (with no lights!!) with glimpses of snow on the mountains and surprisingly clear views. Stopped at the top (1073 m) for an early lunch – it was absolutely freezing cold as we were nearly up at the snow line! Dropped down into Bovec and then followed the River Soca along the valley.

Stopped at ‘ Slap Boka’ (Boka Waterfall) which was an incredible 106 metre rush of water coming out half way up one of the mountains! Had a walk / scramble over the rocks and boulders to see if we could get to the bottom of it, but it proved impossible!

Time was ticking on now and we still had quite a way to go, so after getting some diesel at Kobarid we made our way along the 103 road until we got to Nova Gorica where we were straight out of the mountains and into a busy Italian border town.

Got lost (again!!) and ended up on the S55 road heading towards Trieste. We were hoping to get to Jesolo via the S14 but gave up and went on the motorway which was probably a good decision and only cost 6 euros in tolls!

Arrived at Cavallino at about 5.30pm, found the huge campsite, pitched about 50 yards from the sea and watched a magnificent sunset and a lightening storm out at sea. (ACSI Camping Cavallino)

Friday 13th Sept

After our chill out beautiful sunny day yesterday where we did very little except wander into Ca’Ballerin for a coffee and catch up on the washing etc, we had a full on day in Venice today.

Up at 6.45am and got the 8.00am bus to Punta Sabbioni and then the ferry across to Venice (2 euro bus fare each way and 18 euro “day rider” ferry/water taxi pp), where we arrived before 9.00am hoping to beat the crowds! Wrong! It was already heaving with people! Walked from the ferry stop to St Marks Square (via the “Bridge of Sighs”), where we thought it may be a good idea to go up to the top of the Bell Tower (8 euros) as it was the shortest queue and we managed to get some good views of Venice and the Islands from the top! And we had the bonus of a lift up and down!!

Walked across the town to the Rialto Bridge and watched the chaos of the working boats, water taxis, speedboats, gondolas, ambulances etc on the Canal. Chris then wanted to find a church that he had researched where the marble had taken 15 years to inlay in the walls and curtains ( Gesuiti Church) so we had a couple of pleasant hours just wandering about the narrow alleyways and waterways, across the bridges, watching the gondolas, trying to find it! Managed to find it eventually where we duly admired the ‘jaw droppingly impressive’ (according to the Rough Guide to Italy) marble curtains around the pulpit. Not sure it was worth the walk!! Had a picnic lunch overlooking the water nearby.

Decided to walk back to St Marks Square and get the water taxi up the Grand Canal! This proved easier said than done and it took us a good hour to find our way back! We kept bumping into the same people who were also wandering around , trying to find their way out! Its a complete maze of back streets and very easy to lose your sense of direction! Made it in the end and caught the No 1 water taxi up the Grand Canal and joined the array of other boats! Good fun and some absolutely amazing old buildings. You could see where the flood waters had risen to, and it appeared that the lower level in most of the buildings had been abandoned and people were living on the 2nd or top floors!

Had to get off just past the train station, where we hopped onto a No 2 water taxi and continued, past the cruise ships and the Dorsoduro area that looked quite nice.

Back to the Water Taxi terminus and then hopped onto another Boat that took us out to Murano Island, where they make the Italian Glass. Loads of shops tempting us to buy and a pleasant enough wander around the island! Bit like a mini Venice!

Another boat took us over to Burano Island which is a very pretty island, where they make lace. The houses are all different colours and it has a leaning church tower! Lots of little waterways and alleyways and much quieter! Had something to eat and watched the setting sun, before getting the boat back to Punta Sabbioni. Got the 8.00pm bus back to the campsite – well we actually got off the bus after the campsite as we didn’t get off when the bus stopped at the right bus stop, so we had to walk back !! Enough said - A 13 hour day of sightseeing.!!

Sat 14th September Lido de jesolo to Peschiera, Lake Garda 176 miles

Another lovely sunny day and after we had checked out headed to Castelfranco Veneto where Chris had read that it had a walled city built in 1199 and was also the birthplace of Giorgione a famous painter (never heard of him!!) The town itself was quite buzzy – this could have been because it was a Saturday morning – and the walled town was very small, neatly preserved and with a moat around! There was also a handsome statue of Giorgione!

Moved onto Bassano del Grappa where we wanted to see the old covered, wooden bridge, designed in 1568 that spans the River Brenta. Nardini, a grappa distillery, founded in 1779 stands at the end of the bridge – unfortunately it no longer does any distilling here but the original shop is like a bar / museum! It was a fine old bridge, surprisingly quite wide, and made quite a striking feature on the river, with the old town behind it!

Drove on towards the Motorway, where we also passed Marostica castle, standing on top of the hill, castle walls trailing down the hillside to the Castello Inferior. Didnt have time to stop to explore but looked quite interesting (next time!!)

Jumped onto the A31 Motorway at Dueville and off the A22 at Affi (toll 6.70 euros) where we drove to Garda and headed north to Torri del Benaco. Beautiful old village, which in the old days went right down to the lakes edge, but there is now a promenade that you can walk right along the front and past the old castle remains and the harbour. Strolled back past all the old houses and tourist shops, had the obligatory ice-cream before heading south on the S249 driving back through Garda, Bardolino and Lazise (another place thats looks like its worth exploring!) towards Peschiera del Garda where we were hoping to stop at the ACSI Camping Butterfly site. Unfortunately it was full so went to ACSI Camping Bella Italia that has 400 places! That was also full but we were able to stay in their Stellplatz or Italian equivalent!

It was pretty dull and cloudy by now but we walked along the lakes edge back into town (10mins) where we wandered about and took photos of all the fortifications and moats etc before having a lovely meal overlooking Lake Garda! Hoping there is a thunderstorm tonight to clear the air!

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18th September 2013
Grand Canal

Great photo!
You both look very healthy and relaxed. Gorgeous view.

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