Between northern Italy and mid eastern France, computer/internet connections have been a disaster. I think it is because I am high up in the Alps. Whatever.
I could not blog yesterday. Today is a double header. Every word worth reading!
If I had been able to do the blog yesterday, my opening comment would have been…..The last 48 hours have been amazing! Absolutely amazing! Hard to believe!
Here it is…..48 hours ago I was in Athens, Greece. Yesterday Novara, Italy. Today Chamonix, France.
How about this…..Athens a boiling 90 degrees. Novara’s humidity a killer. It snowed last night in Chamonix and is presently 29 degrees Fahrenheit.
The trip caught up with me in Novara. The humidity unbearable. Italians have electrical power problems. Ergo, little air conditioning. I slept in Novara that one night with no air.
Fortunately, only one night in Novara. Then to Courmier. Courmier is the area in northern Italy immediately before France. I am staying a couple of nights in a condo there.
The drive from Novara to Courmier took 2 hours. The speed limit was 85. I was the only one doing it. They were passing me at 125 miles per hour. Each time a car went by, I did not see it for long, but heard it loud and clear. A long swishing sound.
I stopped at a super market before going to the condominium. Needed breakfast goodies. The parking lot was an eye opener. The parking spaces were all half the size of those in the U.S. The cars small also. No big cars here. I was driving a Fiat. Stick shift.
Italians pay $12 a gallon for gas. They learned q long time to conserve. We have not when it comes to cars. I doubt the American public ever will. The desire is for big and more big.
Courmier looks like a Swiss movie. Makes sense. Switzerland is only one hour away. Old stone homes. Hundreds if not a thousand or more years old. Stone with wood trimming. The stone is gray, the wood brown.
There is a lot of renovating going on. Huge cranes all over the hill sides.
Courmier is in the Alps. So is Chamonix, France from where I am writing this blog. The Alps are big. No question about it. I had never seen anything so big anywhere. Majestic.
Mont Blanc is huge. As far as the eye can see in any direction. Higher than anything I have ever seen.
Mont Blanc is not one peak jetting upwards. It is a series of peaks. Eleven peaks sitting on top of an already high broad miles long mountain. The whole thing is called Mont Blanc. One of the peaks is specifically named Mont Blanc. The biggest of the big. Four thousand eight hundred ten m. I do not know what the m means. Suffice it to say, there ain’t anything bigger!
Mont Blanc is beautiful. Breathtaking.
The condo I am enjoying was two bedrooms. The building all stone. Two private balconies.
My intent was to drive to Chamonix the first evening and have dinner in France. Only a half hour away. I was too tired. It was bed for me.
Courmier is a valley. About two thirds the way up Mont Blanc. I was glad I had jeans. It is cold that far up.
Many power lines run along and on the mountains. Italy has a power shortage. France does not. France has nuclear reactors producing electric power. The Italians buy much of their electricity from France. At a premium price. The Italians voted at one time to ban nuclear reactors in Italy. A costly decision dollar wise. Whether health wise is another question. I make the observation because France and Italy are so close. Any French nuclear disaster would pour down on the Italians.
The drive from Novara to Courmier was interesting for a number of reasons. One had to do with castles. So many. Each built high on a hill. A small one. Apparently making it next to impossible for an enemy to scale the walls.
The castles were about a mile apart. I recalled that way back when there were many Italian kingdoms. Each with its own king. They warred constantly. It was easy. They were each a mile distant from each other. One hour’s walking time. Less on a horse.
Churches everywhere. Apparently each castle had its own church. The church was an integral part of each kingdom.
That is the end of Day 35. I had intended to go on to the next day. Day 36. A rendition of my first day in France. However, I am too tired. I apologize. The trip is starting to get to me. I will pick it up here tomorrow. You will love the glacier and snow stories, the dramatic drop in temperature, and the high quality of Italian roads and bridges. And more.
Enjoy your day! I am mine. I know this is the trip of a lifetime and one I will never do again.