Once upon a time, having constant access to the internet didn’t matter. In 2009 I went to the USA for three months. I took with me a cheap phone and a cheap SIM card that allowed me to make calls and send messages. I couldn’t receive them, or vice versa, I can’t remember which. I didn’t even consider having internet. Our last few holidays have been to France, where even if we didn’t have internet in the house we stayed, we always found a McDonalds nearby to go to. Staying in Italy, in a house where Internet on your phone is patchy and there’s no WiFi is more challenging this time around than I thought it would be. It helps that I have a deal on my phone, £3 a day to get my UK tarriff. But having that little access only makes me want to have more. It’s hard to remember a time before, a world where Tweeting frequently and staying in touch was a given. It’s been four days of patchy internet and I’m already missing my stable connection.
Today we took a ride up Monte Baldo, right to the very top, all 1760 feet in the cable car. It was crowded and unless you fought for your place by a window, you got to see the backs of people’s heads. The view from the top was nice, but you couldn’t see everything the way you could on the journey. It’s like the people who set up the cable car decided that the destination was more important, when we didn’t stay long, the thing we paid for was the journey. As in life, it matters more than what’s at the end.
What we did see, however, was interesting. We spotted a flock of sheep running down a hill like it wasn’t the top of a mountainside. We saw paragliders running off the edge of the mountain. We also saw a small herd of alpacas living up top. It was a bizarre little world. Our car struggled to get less than halfway and yet there were vehicles, restaurants, and even a beaten up old property for sale. I wonder what life is like up there, for the people who have to drive, and anyone who would ever consider buying property there.
It is a shame we didn’t know more about the world above, because if we had we might have come more prepared. We let our sandwiches in the car at the bottom of the hill, and we came down early. For many, they made a day of the top of the mountain. They walked, they ate, they drank, and then they came back down.
But, the journey was worth it, no matter how short a time you spent at the top.
After the cable car, and our lunch, we went for a ride to another town. It was small and charged more for parking, and it was far inferior to the towns we have already been. We walked along the lake side hoping to find somewhere to go and have an ice cream. The walk was long and we saw little more than hotels and people sunbathing. We’re not sit by the pool sunbathing all day holidayers, so that was not an ideal location to be. Then we had to walk back again. Even less enthralling as we walked along the road.
I was glad to finally get some ice cream, however. They don’t do strawberry ice cream in the UK, not really. They do strawberry flavoured ice cream. It is not the same as ice cream made with strawberries. It’s such a refreshing taste, and I have not regretted one mouthful.
Here are some photos from the day:
(The view from the halfway point of the cable car route; our apartment is somewhere behind the trees behind the cable car. See how far we are from the town?!)
(Paragliders taking off from the top of Monte Baldo.)
(Another random translation – they mean machine to pay for parking!)