I’ve had this conversation with myself before. To travel happily, I need to have decent spaces in between travel days. I need a little immersion. Chances are if I stay in a place for less than three days, I may not even remember I have been there. If I stay a week I remember.
Moving day routine:
1 Get up. Get organized/pack/repack/breakfast. Out by 10. Passport- check. Credit cards- check.
2 Move. This is the stage where you heft your possessions to your mode of transport. It’s either fast and furious or the situation requires time filling. Sometimes it’s great to just stop, wait and watch the world go by. Sometimes exciting and sometimes its just dull, as it was at Ancona airport railway station. I can always fill my time. I did my nails.
3. You’re on your way. This can be wonderfully relaxing if you are on a train or boat or seriously taxing if you are driving on the wrong side of an unfamiliar road, heading to an unfamiliar destination.
4. Arrive. Most places don’t allow check-in until mid-afternoon so if you have planned your travel day perfectly you should arrive with plenty of time to freshen up and relax until hunger strikes and you need to hunt for food.
If these stages are repeated too often and too close together all the fun goes out of travel. If I can organise to spend five to seven nights in one place, I get to enjoy myself. Well we were about to do a three, three, one. Ummm I wonder how this will go.
Val had suggested we locate ourselves close to the Arena as Verona isn’t too big and that way we could easily walk everywhere. John nailed it! We were fifty metres from Piazza Bra and the Arena. It was wonderful. It was enormous. New, high tech, a lift, concierge, amazing! Oriana Suites.
I had a couple of gifts to purchase for grandchildren and a few odds and ends. Verona is a shopper’s heaven. We had some memorable interaction with sales staff who were both happy and helpful. As a trans-slender person- chubby but delusional, I find it daunting to shop for lingerie – they have mirrors and extremely unflattering lighting in those cubicles! But it had to be done, so into Yamamay I ventured. What a saleswoman! I walked out happy and with way more than I needed, all while John was contemplating undies by CR7 and his incredible likeness to the champion. Umm maybe ‘delusional’ is a symptom of our age.
While we had a kitchen in the apartment, the wine bars, bottegas, trattoria and restaurants were just too tempting. We indulged, again. I have no excuses.
And then we went to Compatsch and Alpina Dolomites! The food!! It is easy to skip lunch when breakfast is a banquet and dinner a five-course cordon bleu feast. We drove from Bolzano to Alpe di Siusi at 2000m. It was interesting, especially when Google took us the fastest way again-this time along a walking path. Some of the hikers we came across were not really impressed and frankly I was terrified. Fortunately we met no oncoming traffic.
Half-board was a great idea. We relaxed around the pool and spa areas and wandered down into the tiny village where we found Paul. He has a taxi/guide service and offered to drive us around the mountains and give us some insights into the history and general information about the area.
We just happen to be here for Transhumance- the welcoming of the cattle. This is where the farmers take their cattle from the Alps into their home farms and warm stables for the winter. These festivals are held all over the Alps. This one begins at Compatsch and ends at Castelrotto. There is Goaslkrocha whip cracking, musical entertainment, beer, mulled wine, soup, sausage and pancakes. Hundreds of people made their way by bus and cable car to the tiny village to partake in the festival and then of course go for a hike in the mountains- as you do. It had a lovely atmosphere and we felt very privileged to be part of it.