Day 69

Start:  Rovereto

Finish:  Lavis

Distance:  19

Total:  1051

Today was an easy walk, if 19 miles can be easy in 94 degree heat. That’s unusually hot for this part of Italy. The average high is 80 for this date so I guess I’m just lucky. 

I saw on the forecast it was going to be hot so I left the hotel this morning at 7:45 to beat some of the heat. That worked because it was in the mid 60s when I left. I only walked about a half mile on Hwy 12 when google maps directed me to get onto a bike trail. Little did I know I wouldn’t be back on the highway again until I’d walked 15 miles. The trail was very nicely paved and marked and shady in some spots. And I’ve never seen so many bicyclists in my life. Over the course of five hours I must have seen at least a thousand people riding their bikes on this trail. There was everyone from large packs of 20-25 racing bikes to families with kids out for a morning ride, to what looked like a group of senior citizens in a club all riding together. The trick for me was staying out of their way. It sure beat dodging cars and trucks. 

By lunchtime I’d gotten to the edge of my original destination, Trento, where I found the Bici Cafe. It tailors to bike riders as it literally sits next to the trail and was the only business establishment I saw for 15 miles.  The food was great and the break was better. 

By 12:30 I had made it into my destination of Trento and decided it was too early to call it a day. So I looked on my phone and found a hotel another five miles down the road in Lavis, a suburban town north of Trento and right on tomorrow’s route. Even though it was really heating up by then, I decided to press on and knocked out five miles of tomorrow’s walk today. That means I’ll probably change tomorrow’s plan and stay in a different town farther down the road. 

So all in all, it was a very good day of walking, in somewhat of a heat wave, and I’m 19 miles closer to Oslo. Thanks for reading and stay cool wherever you are. 

I walked this amazing bike trail for 15 miles from Rovereto to Trento.

Lunch break at the Bici Cafe just outside Trento.

Categories: Updates | Leave a comment

Day 68

Start:  Borghetto

Finish:  Rovereto

Distance:  19

Total:  1032

Today was a very straight forward 19 mile walk down Hwy 12 through more vineyard country. It was in the 60s early this morning but heated up to mid-80s by the end of my walk. 

The day got started when I woke up at 6:00, after planning to sleep in until at least 7:00. Breakfast at the hotel started at 7:00 so I headed downstairs right when they opened. As you recall, I took the train from my ending point yesterday in Borghetto to Rovereto to spend the night. So this morning I needed to backtrack to Borghetto by train to start today’s walk.  Yesterday I found out the train leaves Rovereto once every hour, at :47 minutes past.  I originally planned to take a taxi to the train station, but decided since I was ahead of schedule this morning, I would just walk. When I was ready to leave the hotel, I put my route in Google Maps and it had me arriving at the station two minutes before the train was scheduled to leave. Since I didn’t have a ticket yet, I decided after I’d gotten about 10 minutes down the street that I might not make it on time. So I saw a gas station ahead and I walked up to a random car as it was driving out of the station going in the direction of the train station.  I motioned to the gentleman driver to roll down his window and in a strong Texas accent I played my “stupid American” card and said “train station???” and pointed down the street in the direction I already knew was to the train station. The guy said yes in strong Italian. Then I boldly followed with “can you take me there???”  He really didn’t understand so I went into my charades routine motioning to myself, his car, the train station, etc, until he gestured for me to get in. So off I went with a random nice guy to the train station, got there in plenty of time, and caught the 7:47 train to Borghetto. 

Since the walking today was pretty uneventful, except for the amazing mountain scenery all around, I’ll tell you about another adventure that happened that livened up the day. First, I pack very light because I don’t like carrying unnecessary weight in my backpack. I have two pair of Northface convertible pants that I can zip the legs off and they’re then shorts. Suffice to say, I’m not wearing the legs on now. Anyway, almost every night, I do laundry in my hotel room so as not to get behind and have to do twice as much laundry the next night. So while washing out a pair of my almost brand new Northface shorts last night, I noticed there was a very large hole in the back where the seam runs horizontally along the bottom of the wasteband. The hole was about 4-5 inches long, and I gave it a little tug and it got even longer. So here’s where all you comedians are probably saying “Bahahahaha!  He split his britches!”  Well, technically I guess I did, but the opening was not in a location that would qualify as a true classic “splitting of the britches.”  

So to address this problem, I decided to take the shorts in my backpack and look for a shop along my route where I could get the problem resolved. After searching on Google, it just so happened there was a sewing shop called Dossi Marta in a very small town I would walk through around lunchtime. I put the address from Google into my phone and when I got to the town, it was very small; like one block wide and three blocks long; population maybe 100. I found the address, but it looked more like a  house than a sewing shop. I knocked, rang the doorbell, but no luck. A lady came walking along pushing her baby in a stroller. I asked her about Dossi Marta. She didn’t speak English, but understood enough to say she knew nothing about a sewing shop, and had no idea what Dossi Marta was.  So I thanked her for her time and headed on down the road to my final destination of Rovereto. 

Once I got to the edge of town, I searched Google again for a sewing shop. I got no results but decided to take a longer route through the heart of the business district hoping I’d find a shop by happenstance. As I was about to give up, I saw a Paul Mitchell hair salon and thought to myself there’s a place where you find young people who speak English. Maybe someone in there knows where there’s a sewing shop.  So I walked in and sure enough, a young girl who worked there looked on the computer and found just what I needed; the Confezioni Paganini; i have no idea what that means in Italian but off I went a mile out of the way looking for it. 

After several zigzags and u-turns, I found Confezioni Paganini to be a very nice little mom and pop alteration shop. I walked in and met Michela; seamstress extraordinaire. I told her my story, pulled the shorts out of my pack, and in broken English, she said “you split your pants.”  WHAT!!!  Are you kidding; that’s almost like “split your britches.”  I laughed, though I don’t think she got it. Anyway, 30 minutes later, and 15 Euros poorer, I was out of there with my repaired shorts.  

So it was just another uneventful day on the road here in beautiful Northern Italy. My day was great; I hope yours was the same. Arrivederci.

More wine country between Borghetto and Rovereto.

This honeysuckle is everywhere and smelling it just makes my day.

Clear mountain springs are plentiful in Northern Italy; this one in downtown Rovereto.

Meet Michela; the hero who fixed my split britches.

Categories: Updates | 2 Comments

Day 67

Start:  Corrubbio

Finish:  Borghetto

Distance:  19

Total:  1013

Today was my first full day on the road walking since the 90 day break and it was good to get back in the swing of things. It was a good day overall with a little chaos thrown in at the end just so I don’t get too complacent. 

With missing a full nights sleep flying over from the U.S., you’d think I would have just fallen right to sleep last night. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. After a good meal at the hotel restaurant I got back in my room about 9:00 and was wide awake until after midnight. That was only 5:00 in the afternoon back home so I’m going to be adjusting to the time change for a couple of nights. After I did fall asleep I got some good rest and was up and ready to go this morning. I hit the road at 8:00 with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s. 

Today’s route took me through many small towns and the road was two lane with no shoulder. Luckily, the traffic was not very heavy and drivers were good about sharing the road with me.  There was a bike and walking path along my route all day. Unfortunately it sometimes wandered away from the road by quite a ways and was very crooked which would have added considerably to my walking distance so I stuck with the main road most of the day. 

Today I got started into the Alps where I will be until near the end of the month.  The road I’m taking follows the Adige River. The Adige is the second longest River in Italy, beginning near the Italy-Austria border and running to the Adriatic Sea. The locals take full advantage of the river valley as this area is known as the Lombardy wine region. For miles and miles I saw nothing but vineyards and wineries. About mid-morning I was joined by three retired Italian Army veterans who I happened upon during my time along the walking path. They were out getting their exercise and spoke very little English but I was able to understand their passionate insistence that THIS is home to the world’s finest wine. Funny how everywhere you go that grows grapes has the finest wine in the world.  Another point of interest; this region is also home to some major Italian marble and granite producers. You can see the mining locations in the mountains and there are factories that turn the rough stone into the beautiful finished product used for floors and countertops. 

My walking day ended in the small town of Borghetto. It has one hotel. That one hotel was closed, and it’s just as well because it didn’t look so hot. So I went to plan B. Borghetto has a small train station, and the train stops there hourly enroute to all the other towns through this valley; or at least the ones lucky enough to have a train station. Because I had already anticipated the possibility that this hotel closure might happen, I knew I could walk another mile and catch the train 15 miles north to the town where I’m walking to tomorrow.  So off I went to the station.  When I got there,  there were two teenage girls standing on the platform so I asked if the train going to Rovereto was coming soon. They said yes, in three minutes. I went into a panic because the train only runs once per hour and I didn’t want to miss it. I asked them about a ticket and they said the ticket machine is broken.  Now this station is so small it has no ticket office so the machine is the only option. So the two girls said just get on the train and take your chance. OK.  So the train comes right on time, I get on, and immediately the conductor comes by asking for my ticket. I said “I don’ta havea onea because I just got on in Borghetto and the machinea, it’s brokea.  He said no problema, I could buya one from hima. So now I know. 

So I rode the train 15 miles north to Rovereto. This is a much bigger city; big enough that their train station has a ticket office. When I got off the train I checked with the ticket office attendant about the schedule for tomorrow morning so I can backtrack to Borghetto and pick up where I left off today. Of course, the train departs hourly at :47 minutes past the hour. I’ll be there. 

Next I headed to the hotel I located on Google Maps here in Rovereto. They have two hotels, 50 feet apart on the same street. Unfortunately, both were full tonight. But wait, the desk clerk said there was another hotel two miles further north on the edge of town. She called and they had a room available. Good!  But it’s two more miles and I’m dead tired and I’ll already have to walk to that hotel tomorrow because that’s where I’ll stay again tomorrow night. So, I took a taxi to the hotel and will walk two extra miles to get back to this hotel for a second night.  So tomorrow, I get a ride to the Rovereto train station, take the train back to Borghetto, walk back to the hotel where I’m staying tonight and spend tomorrow night here as well. Then I’m back on schedule. 

So it was a good day overall; just a little crazy at the end. Thanks for reading. 

P.S. I published a new video on YouTube. See it there or select the video tab on the website.

My route along the Adige River north of Verona.

Amazing Italian marble on display along my route.  

Three Italian Army veterans joined me for a few miles.

Vineyards are everywhere in the Lombardy Region of Northern Italy.

Looking north through the Adige Valley.

Categories: Updates | 2 Comments

Day 66

Start:  Verona Train Station

Finish:  Corrubbio

Distance:  6 miles

Total:  994

It’s back on the road again for Part 2 of the walk across Europe. Today was a very long day. But I’ve made it back to Northern Italy and have picked the walk back up where it ended in March. 

The day started with a 5:30 AM wake up, Monday morning, Texas time. Wyn, Karla and I were on the road at 6:30 for a drive to Austin to catch my flight. Of course, my family can not drive past a Buc-ee’s without stopping so we made it to New Braunfels before our enroute stop. After some sniffles and a hurried “let’s get it over with” goodbye at the airport curb, I caught my flight from Austin to Miami right on time. Unfortunately, the Miami-Milan flight was delayed 2.5 hours, so I had six hours to waste in the Miami airport. Luckily the crew made up a half hour enroute so my arrival into Milan was only two hours late. So after the nine hour flight, it was onto the express train for the 50 mile ride from the Milan airport to the central Milan train station. We were one stop from the main station when the train broke. No one knew how long it would take to fix, and since I had a reservation on the next train to my destination of Verona, I decided to follow the lead of most of the other passengers and made a mad dash for the subway station to try and make it to the central train station before I missed my train.  After taking the subway and running through Milan Central train station, hoping I was going in the right direction for my platform, I made it to my Verona-bound train with one minute to spare. 

The 1 1/2 hour train ride from Milan to Verona was relaxing and gave me a chance to catch my breath and get my plan in order when I reached Verona. When I stepped off the train it was a steam bath. The weather was hot and very muggy. So off I went walking through the city of Verona; first stop, the Vodafone Store to get my cell phone re-activated with the Italian SIM card I had bought back in January. It only took five minutes to switch out the cards and 10 Euros later I was back in business. 

So now that I could navigate my way around, I headed out of Verona on some backroads for  about six miles to a little hotel I had picked out near the town of Corrubbio. By walking a little ways today, it makes tomorrow a more manageable 19 miles. I got to the hotel around 5:00.  It’s an OK place with a pizzeria. 

Tonight I’ve got to catch up on the night of sleep I lost flying over here. Then tomorrow I start a gradual but steady climb into the Italian Alps. If the haze will clear out maybe the scenery will be nice. I’ll post some pictures. Thanks for reading. 

P.S. I posted a new video today. Watch it by clicking Videos on the website or go to YouTube and search The Walking Aggie.

The little train that couldn’t in Milan.

Familiar scene; where we stopped walking in March and I started again today.  

Bike and walking trail for as far as the eye can see.
My home for the evening after a very long Day 66.

Categories: Updates | 1 Comment

May Update

It’s been two months since Dave and I flew back to the states from Italy to take a break from our walk across Europe. I thought it would be a good time to give you an update on what’s been going on during our hiatus.

First, both of us had uneventful returns to our respective homes; I to San Antonio and Dave to Tallahassee.

The day after I returned, I went straight to the doctor with a very sore and painful left foot. Basically, I had been walking on the side of my foot for the last 500 miles of our walk due to a sharp pain when I put weight on the ball of my foot. The podiatrist diagnosed my condition as Morton’s Neuroma. It’s basically an inflamed nerve that shoots a pain into my third and fourth toe when I put weight on the ball of my left foot. It’s fairly common for runners and heavy walkers, and very difficult to heal. The first step was to take steroids for five days. That didn’t seem to do any good. The next step was a cortisone injection into the nerve. That has helped some but I still am not completely back to normal. The next treatment option was to have a series of 4-5 alcohol injections into the nerve which would basically kill the nerve. I considered doing that, but after discussing it with the doctor, I have elected instead to have another cortisone injection about a week before I return to Italy in early June to resume the walk. The doctor believes this has the best chance of fixing the problem. So I’ve been giving my foot plenty of rest and I’m confident I’ll be ready to resume the walk on schedule.

In April, Wyn and I along with daughters Jessie and Karla and several family friends, had the great honor of presenting an Aggie Ring to the third recipient of The Walking Aggie Endowed Ring Scholarship, Johnathan Gillispie. Johnathan, a career Army Reservist, is a senior from Caddo Mills and will be graduating from Texas A&M in December. Johnathan’s family was there to share in the excitement and we were honored to present the ring on behalf of all the donors to the scholarship.

Aggie Ring recipient Johnathan Gillispie and his mother from Caddo Mills, Texas.

And speaking of the Ring Scholarship, I am very pleased to announce the return of the fund drive for The Walking Aggie Endowed Ring Scholarship. As you probably recall, on my walk across America in 2015, I solicited donations to establish an endowed Aggie Ring Scholarship. 350+ gracious donors donated over $27,000 to help establish the endowment. As mentioned above, we presented the third recipient his ring this year, and this scholarship will continue to be awarded annually to a male or female Aggie student who is a veteran of our armed services. However, there is still much that can be done to continue to grow the scholarship. With that in mind, I have re-inserted the donation link to The Walking Aggie Endowed Ring Scholarship on each page of The Walking Aggie website. A simple click on the “Donate Here” tab will take you directly to the Texas A&M Association of Former Students webpage where you can donate to the scholarship. Contributions will help grow the scholarship and ensure more deserving Aggie students receive their Aggie Ring in the future.

I’ve spent most of the last two months catching up on time lost. I’m chipping away at a list of honey-do’s and spending plenty of time with the family since I’ll be gone the entire summer. In late April/early May, Wyn and I took a motorcycle trip to the West Coast where we caught a ship for a week-long cruise to the Pacific Coast of Mexico. We went through Las Vegas on the return ride and were gone most of three weeks. The weather was perfect on the ride and cruise and we had a great time.

Cruising off the Mexican coast in Cabo San Lucas.

In closing this update, I’m sorry to report that Dave Alcorn will not be accompanying me on the remainder of our walk across Europe. With that in mind, I’ve bought my return flight ticket to Italy for 10 June. After traveling overnight to Milan, I’ll catch the train back to the station in Verona, Italy where the walk stopped on 12 March. So the trek will resume solo on 11 June with nine walking days remaining to the Italy/Austria border. From there, it’s over the Alps, across Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and finally to the finish line in Oslo, Norway on 5 Sept. So I hope you all have a great spring and summer and I look forward to communicating my walking experience to you via on 11 June. Thanks for following. John Ball ’78

Categories: Updates | 2 Comments

Part 1 Epilogue

This posting will be an attempt to summarize some of our experiences on Part 1 of our walk across Europe. In writing this, I hope to give you a feel for how the trip has progressed up to this point and also cover a few topics not discussed in our daily posts. 

First, a few facts and figures.  Up to this point, we have walked 988 miles.  We began walking from Athens, Greece on 7 January and ended on 12 March in Verona, Italy, just as planned. We spent 18 days in Greece walking 298 miles. We had planned to take one day off while in Greece, but due to weather, we elected to took off a second day. After taking the ferry from Igoumanitsa, Greece to Brindisi, Italy on 25 January, we continued our trek by walking 690 miles in 47 days through the heart of Italy.  We took four days off in Italy, one each in Foggia, Cassino, Rome and Florence. In total, we walked 988 miles in 59 days, averaging 16.7 miles per day. Our longest day was 23 miles, and our highest climb was a 2753 foot climb on a 14 mile day just north of Florence, Italy. 

Now a few comments about our experiences thus far. First, this trek has been all we had envisioned it would be, and more. The people of Greece and Italy have welcomed us in every way and we have never felt threatened at anytime. Instead, the people of these two nations have been cordial and have always been interested in what we were doing. This has been despite the obvious language barriers we have encountered. While most people we have interacted with have spoken a little English, everyone has gone out of their way to be accommodating.  So our experience with our Greek and Italian hosts has been amazing. 

Second, it’s only fair to set the record straight with respect to experiencing the culture of Greece and Italy. Yes, we’ve had an amazing time going from one little town to the next, staying in the full spectrum of available accommodations, eating Greek and Italian food three meals per day for over two months, and just having the privilege of seeing these countries literally one step at a time. However, with respect to “seeing the sites” as a tourist might do as we work our way through this walk, that just doesn’t happen. Yes, we took a day off from walking in the larger cities like Rome and Florence, and we took advantage of that time to do some site seeing.  However, when you are literally walking 15-20 miles per day for many days on end, going to see the sites at the end of the day, or worse yet, going off route during the day to see something that might be of interest, usually just doesn’t happen. During the walking day, we’re focused on one thing; getting safely from point A to B in the least number of steps as possible. That’s just the nature of what we’re doing. We’ll have to save the major site seeing excursions for later when our wives can accompany us. 

Third, I’m sure some of you are wondering about health issues. As was true on my coast-to-coast walk across America, I’ve personally had my share of problems; specifically, foot problems.  As you can imagine, averaging almost 17 miles per day on hard pavement will take its toll on your feet. I had blister problems on both feet for the first month, and still continue to have a blister every now and then. On our day off in Rome, I had to go to the doctor with an infected blister on my left heel.  With the help of some antibiotics, that got well. However, my main concern has been a constant burning sensation in my left foot; specifically, my toes.  For the last month, I have been unable to put any weight on the ball of my foot. To get through the day, I have had to walk on the inside or outside of my foot. Of course, walking unnaturally causes other aches and pains in your feet and knees. So during our pause in the walk, I’ll be nursing my left foot back to health.  Interestingly enough, Dave also has a gimpy left foot. His foot takes a while to get moving ever morning and starts to give him problems at the end of the day. With all that said, we don’t think any of these ailments will linger and we should be ready to resume our trek on schedule in early June. 

So with all that said, I can assure you Dave and I are ready for a break at home, but are enthusiastic about what lies ahead. We’ll be spending 90 days of quality time with our families in Texas and Florida, doing a little traveling with our spouses, taking care of some honey-do’s, and getting ready for Part 2 of our adventure. We’ll return to Verona, Italy on 11 June and continue from where we left off. Part 2 takes 85 days when we’ll walk through the remainder of northern Italy, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and finish in Oslo, Norway the first week of September. We so much appreciate all of you who have followed along with us over the last two months. Your encouragement motivates us to live out this dream of walking across Europe. So please check back in on 11 June for more of the adventures of John and Dave. 

With Part 1 complete, we’ll be back in June to walk through these beauties.

Categories: Updates | Leave a comment

Day 65

From: Nogara

To: Verona

Miles: 19

Total: 988

We had a good nights sleep and were up early on our final day of walking to grab breakfast and then get on the road. We decided to do a bit faster pace so we could make an earlier train.

Once we stopped for lunch we had gained a half hour so we decided to slow the pace back down. It was flat farmland again so the walking was fairly easy although our road was busy with truck traffic. For the most part we had a decent shoulder along the road to walk on.

The walk was uneventful and we arrrived at the Verona train station at about 1:45 pm. We noted there was a 2:03 train heading to Milan Central Station so we went to the ticket office and they said we had plenty of time. We also bought our express train ticket to the Milan airport. Once we get to the airport we will grab a shuttle to our hotel. We are on the train right now to Milan Central Station and relaxing from today’s walk.

Walking into Verona

John is going to do a wrap up of the the first half when he gets back home in Texas. Be sure to check out the latest video that he did today as well. Thanks to everyone who has followed along as well as your thoughts and prays and to those that donated to the Red Cross and Gary Sinese Foundation. I appreciate it!

Categories: Updates | Leave a comment

Day 64

From:  Mirandola

To:  Nogara

Miles:  22

Total:  969

Today’s walk was pretty basic; though it was long and on a busy road most of the day. 

We left the hotel in Mirandola at 8:30 after a good breakfast.  The morning was crisp with clear skies and light winds. The forecast said it would get more wind after lunch; more on that in a minute. Because we got started a little earlier than usual, there were a lot of cars on the road, probably headed into town for work. Also, the truck traffic was heavy all day. 

The area of Italy we have been walking through for the last couple of days is all farm land. It reminds me very much of the area of Texas around Lubbock. Very flat with miles and miles of crops. After walking a few miles along a two lane highway, our route took us down some dirt roads through farmer’s fields. We even saw an occasional dairy. Of course, with the farm operations everywhere, you also get that lovely natural smell of manure. Brings back old memories. 

By lunchtime we were about 11 miles into our 22 mile day and ready for a break. We were lucky enough to be in a small town that had a cafe so we sat for about 30 minutes and had a sandwich. Shortly after our lunch break, the winds started blowing really hard. The forecast was 10-20 mph from the north. They were more like 40 mph from the west. That made it a crosswind for us. At times it was very hard to walk a straight line. And since we were walking through cultivated farmland, there was rarely any tree cover to break the wind. Also, there was some blowing dirt from the fields. Luckily, as we got closer to our destination of Nogara, the wind started to die down a little. 

So we’re now at our last hotel before we finish Part 1 of this adventure. Tomorrow will be a long day. First, we walk 19 miles to Verona.  That marks the end of this part of our trek. We walk  straight to the Verona train station and take a two hour train ride to Milan Central train station. At Milan Central we transfer to an express train to the Milan airport.  From there, we take a shuttle bus to our hotel near the airport. Wednesday, Dave and I both have flights leaving around 9:30 AM to take us home for 90 days. We’ll meet back at the Verona train station on 11 June to start walking again. Hopefully this will all come together tomorrow and we’ll get home on time Wednesday night. 

So basically another successful day of walking. One note of interest; this afternoon we could clearly see the Italian Alps off to our north. We’ll get even closer tomorrow but will not start our climb through the mountains until we return in June. 

We spent some time off-road today walking through fields.
The Italian Alps lurking in the distance. We’ll tackle those beginning in June.

Categories: Updates | Leave a comment

Day 63

From: Crevalcore

To: Mirandola

Miles: 17

Total: 947

After a light Italian breakfast, not a lot to choose from, we headed down the road again. It was Sunday morning so early on the traffic was light in town and we were on crosswalks. It picked up a as we left town but a couple of miles after leaving town we turned off the busy road onto the countryside. The road went from paved to gravel and then to grass across a farmers field, but it was dry and we could see the connecting gravel road ahead. After about half a mile we turned off the gravel road onto a single lane paved road with absolutely no traffic. It was nice walking.

We knew from going over our route we would have very little chance for lunch. We came to a town at about the four hour mark. Our route ended up not taking us through town, but John recommenced taking a detour and heading into town to see if we could find a lunch stop. We were glad we did. The first place we checked out was by the village theater and it was closed on Sundays for lunch. We knew there was a cafe up ahead and it was open. We had our usual hot sandwich, chips and a coke and gave our feet a much needed rest. Leaving town we were able to take a nice walking and biking trail for about a mile. It was a picture perfect Sunday and there were lots of people out walking.

Bike and walking trail

We tried calling our hotel, which was on the opposite end of town just before we got to town but there was no answer. That was a bit concerning since there was only one other hotel in town and it was closer to the side we were entering town. We decided to drop by that hotel first in case the one on the far north side was closed. The first hotel was open and had rooms so we got a number from the receptionist there to call a taxi in case we needed to go back to that hotel.

When we got further into Mirandola, our stopping point for the night, there was a big flea market going on downtown where you could probably buy almost anything. People were everywhere.

We finally got to the outskirts north of town and behold, our hotel was open. The people running it were just busy running the hotel restaurant at lunchtime and didn’t hear the phone. We considered going another 3 or 4 miles down the road and have a taxi pick us up and take us back to the hotel and drop us off at that spot again in the morning, but we decided it was easier to just stop at the hotel for the night. Although the hotel restaurant is closed tonight since it is Sunday, and there are no other restaurants close by, the receptionist said we could order a pizza and have it delivered after 6 pm. That was great with us since we don’t even have to leave the hotel or walk anywhere.

Two more fairly long walking days left before we hop on our flights home on Wednesday. The anticipation of seeing everyone soon will help us get through those long days. Thanks again for following along!

Categories: Updates | Leave a comment

Day 62

From:  Bologna

To:  Crevalcore

Miles:  17

Total:  930

Today was a straight walk from our hotel on the west side of Bologna to the small town of Crevalcore. Gone are the mountains of central Italy. Today, the highest thing we walked on was an overpass. 

We left the comforts of our nice hotel this morning about 8:30, but not before we had a good breakfast. When we got on the road we thought for sure the traffic would be light since it was a Saturday morning. That was not the case. Seems everyone outside of Bologna wanted to come into town, and everyone in Bologna wanted to leave. Suffice to say, the traffic was heavy most of the day. 

Our route today was literally a straight line with one little turn about halfway through the day. We found a good place for lunch at about noon and made it to our destination city around 2:45. Crevalcore is a nice little town with limited options for lodging. When we arrived at our desired hotel, there was no one there and the outside door was locked. We rang the doorbell but no reply. There was a phone number listed on the door so Dave called and a nice lady answered and told him there would be someone there to help us in 40 minutes. While we waited, we walked down the street to the only other hotel in town and it was also locked up. We couldn’t even raise anyone on the published phone at that hotel. So we went back to our first choice and waited, hoping someone would arrive to help us soon. Sure enough, a nice gentleman walked up right on time and checked us into their very adequate lodge, the New Europa Hotel. 

Tomorrow we continue north another 17 miles in the general direction of Verona where we’ll arrive on Tuesday.  We hope everyone had a good Saturday. Ours was fairly uneventful. Thanks for reading. 

Our home for the night, the New Hotel Europa.

Categories: Updates | Leave a comment