So today we started our journey home. We spent a few hours tidying up and washing stuff then packed up and began our long journey back to Beaune. As is the way, a long very uneventful, unconed, uncontrolled drive. No stupid “smart” motorways, no cameras, drivers who for the most part know how to drive. You need to have driven in France or even Italy, to appreciate how bad driving and in the UK is. We had a lovely stroll around Beaune, a pleasant meal with red wine this time, cafe gourmand for pud and said goodnight to Frosty, who was tucked up in his garage for the night.
It was a sweltering night and we both slept badly. A storm was forecast for late afternoon but it didn’t wait that long and we sitting on the loggia munching pizza when it arrived, dropping the temperature by a good 10C, but although it looked angry there was not much rain. More wine for lunch, Exception this time for old times sake,another sleep, waking just in time to greet the real storm ⛈ when there was a great deal of rain and lightening. And the day got better 😃. We walked out to Port Grimaud for a meal, only a mile or do up the road, what could go wrong? It was a miserable noisy place, the food when it came was cold and we were glad to get out and treat ourselves to an ice cream. We chose white chocolate and salted caramel just as a few spikes of lightening lit up the sky. A few licks later and down came the rain and didn’t it pour 😳. I’ve never eaten ice cream in the pouring rain before and we got home completely drenched, as did my phone, now liberatingly and permanently silent🤭.
We were starting to get weary of constant 30-34C heat, more especially as it didn’t seem to cool below 28 at night and we were now in the apartment with no air conditioning. We treated ourselves to croissants for breakfast, had a slow morning, a sit by the pool and a swim. Some wine with our lunch gave us the incentive for an afternoon sleep 😴. Then it was time to get ready for our meal in the hilltop village of Gassin which was a lovely cool relief from the blistering heat of the coast. Make no mistake, those profiteroles of mine were huge.
Well, today was the day I was beginning to think would never happen. The “raison d’etre” for coming at this time of year.
I SIGNED THE PAPERWORK and the apartment is now mine. So a little trip to Frejus to find the Notaire who was really quite pleasant considering how inept she appears to have been. Wearing disco shoes, a leather skirt and a Rolex, I could see where my money had gone, but she kept Craig amused while he waited. A frighteningly simple affair, why in God’s name I needed to go there and sign it electronically I cannot imagine. Never mind…it is done and now I shall put it up for sale. Any plans we had for the journey home were abandoned as it was by now 38.5C. So home, cold water, salad and a cuppa. The wine came later with pizza and a sunset walk.
We woke up quite sprightly this morning so Craig went off for a run at 7 while I laid in bed and had tea. We took it easy as it was so hot and went down to the pool for a swim and a snooze. We took Frosty into St Tropez late afternoon (he screamed like girl going down the ramp 😂- Craig, not Frosty) and chose a restaurant for a meal (for all round deliciousness and value for money went straight to the top of our league table). Then strolled around and walked up to the Citadelle to watch the sunset. It was still 32 at 9.30 but very lovely up there. As our Italian neighbours didn’t seem to understand the concept of a line we had to squeeze into our space in the garage with some help from security.
We were leaving Venice today heading for one night in Como. All very smoothly done except the bloke in the car park couldn’t seem to find the keys for a worrying while😳. 300 km of driving, this time very like M6 – middle lane hoggers, numpties doing 100km in outside lane. We learnt a few things about Frosty. First he can stop well in a crisis – the car in front wasn’t just slowing down, it had stopped in the outside lane. You can’t see much ahead when you are in a Porsche behind a massive 4WD thing. Second, he can turn 180 degrees in quite tight places, like one way streets. In fairness we had followed an Italian who was also lost and totally confused by a shocking junction, and by the number of no entry signs in the road it was a common occurrence. Our hotel in Como was lovely as was the town itself. A snug garage for Frosty, the oddest jacuzzi seat I have ever seen in a bath and a tasty meal in the courtyard of the hotel, but a very hot evening and swarms of bitey things 🦟 .
A lot of pictures today to cover everything we did. First we took the chance to pop into St Marks because there was no queue(😳) and got a view from the roof.We also heard a bit of Sunday Service while we were up there which was amazing and saw these beautifully restored horses who now live inside.Then time for an Aperol Spritz.Walked over the Grand CanalWalked across the pontoon bridge to the church of the Redeemer which is what this weekends fun is all about and saw St Marks Square from the other side.And ended our day with a lovely lobster tagliatelle to celebrate our Anniversary (and having done over 22,000 steps in 34C )
We treated ourselves to another lazy start this morning with a late Secret Tour of the Doges Palace first, a brief break then finishing the tour. So we were there for about 2-3 hours altogether and the rest of the afternoon we mostly got lost looking for a particular tea shop that I remembered.There were going to be fireworks in the evening not until much later, but we had been warned that there would be crowds. The best place to see them was a good way from St Marks, so we had a nap, then went out for dinner and walked to the far end of the island, with our little bottles of Prosecco and Bellini. We got back to our hotel about 1am, a late night for us but most of the rest of Venice were still on their boats in the lagoon. 🥰
It’s Friday so it must be Venice. A short journey this morning and we were in Venice by 11.30, where it wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be. Craig was not too happy about leaving the keys on the dash and walking away from the car park until he saw a Porsche GT2 parked up and decided he was being silly. (Look them up…£200,000..3…4?😮). The boat ride was easy, finding the hotel tricky, but we made it.This kind of holiday is a bit hard core and taxing to the best of relationships and I’m a great deal more used to it than he is. He’s picking it up well 🥰. It was very hot and we needed lunch, a drink and to find our way around. Even though this is my 6th visit I still get lost and confused. We were back out later to enjoy the evening.
Our first stop today was Villa Maser – we thought we ought to see a real Palladian villa as by now we knew so much about them.
There was a storm on its way so we sheltered in the carriage museum while it passed. Our next stop was Bassano Del Grappa where we had some lunch and stroll round. The last destination, Padua, was clearly where everyone went as it was a busy place with very poor parking and after 20 minutes or so of trawling round, we parked up in an odd underground garage marshalled by an odder little Italian man. As the car park shut at 7 we had less time to explore than I would have liked and in the end stayed only an hour or so. There was a spectacular sunset and Frosty quietly rested back at the convent overlooking Vicenza,
while we drank wine.