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Report 137: Alps, Alba, Bologna, the Appenines and Orta

By Robert Rainey from California, Fall 2003

Trip Description: Stressful start to a great vacation

Destinations: Countries - Italy

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Day Tours; Foodie Trip; Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Wine Trip; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 3: Our Challenging Start

I decided for this trip that we should see some new areas, so with the exception of Lake Orta that is what we did. I also wanted to have some challenging days physically as my wife and I both run trail marathons and ultramarathons, as well as visiting many US national parks for hikes. I also wanted to include Piedmont for Wine and food. It was very hard to leave out Venice where we had visited on each of our previous three visits to Italy.

I already described our arrival day in a previous post. It was just a little stressful .We never sleep on planes, not even a wink ,my strategy is to keep blood flowing, so I do laps up and down the aisles until I drive the flight attendands crazy. We had a 4 hour flight to Chicago, then a 8 hour flight to Malpensa. This worked out better than a 12 hour flight to somewhere in Europe, layover, then flight to our destination.

We took four bags to check in which in the end worked out well. My wine case worked perfectly all 18 bottles were intact and we took home about 12 pottery items; I figure this saved us 300-400 dollars in shipping.

As you would expect we were exausted after our flights. Then we piled our bags on a cart and finally found the way down to the rental car location; I looked in my pack and no passport. After alot of stess and running around the very efficient police had already found it and were calling all the car rental locations, all the US money was still there, over $100!

It was a mistake to schedule one of our long hikes for Sunday, we were way too tired. The 2 hour drive turned out to be more like 4 when we nearly drove to France before turning around.

I couldn't sleep so I went for a hard bike ride climbing the long hill back up to our hotel, then the blackout that night!

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