Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Roppolo to Milan July 1

                                                                              Current Day.                      Trip to Date

Distance walked - miles                                             16.5                                 654.9            

Gross climb- feet.                                                       650.                               54,394

Song of the Day:  Truckin by Grateful Dead

Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me; Other times I can barely see.

Lately it occurres to me What a long, strange trip it's been.

Truckin', I'm a goin' home. Whoa whoa baby, back where I belong,

Back home, sit down and patch my bones, and get back truckin' on.

Hey now get back truckin' home.

I think it's only fitting that we end with one of the all time great travel songs.  A long, strange wonderful trip indeed!  

We had a great breakfast with Lorretta from Roppollo before setting off on our last hike.  Lorretta sent us a couple of photos from the day before, and told us that what happens in Roppollo stays in Roppollo!  Sorry about that Loretta- I've already broadcast it to the world- we had a great time in Roppollo!

It was a very nice hike,  initially through hilly woods, then through flat farmland.  The area around Milan is the bread basket of Italy, with wheat, rice and corn being primary crops.  It's only fitting- We started this journey in Pavia, walking through cornfield and now we end the same way!  

Here is Linda walking through the wooded portion.  Note that Linda wore a skort yesterday, as well as earrings!  Our friend Dewey in San Diego had been complaining that Linda wears the same damn thing everyday, so Linda wanted to mix it up on our last day of hiking.  As you can see, she is also wearing a sexy knee brace!

When I was growing up in Iowa, we had a saying "knee high by the 4th" which basically meant that corn should be about knee high by the 4th of July.  I know there have been a lot of advances in crop science over the past decades, but the Italian corn is truly impressive:

After walking for about 11 miles, we came to Santhia, where we caught a train to Milan.  Our hotel last night was very near the central train station.  This morning, we will take a train back to the airport to fly home.  We have said it before, but the Italian train system is terrific.   The US is really a disaster when it comes to mass transportation, other than a few systems around major cities lik NYC, Chicago, etc.  

After arriving in Milan, we toured around and saw the major sites including the Duomo.  The Milan Duomo is massive- other than St Peter's Basilica in Rome, probably the biggest we have seen.  While in the Duomo, I was taking a few photos and a guard came up to me and said I couldn't take photos unless I bought a special wrist band!  Yet another business model innovation!  Of course, I managed to get a few photos, so I will show a couple of "smuggled" photos from the Duomo!

Last night, we went out for a good, but very slow, final dinner in Italy.  We then set out in search of a bar showing the soccer games.  When we were in Italy two weeks ago, World Cup fever was high.  However, since Italy got beat and is no longer in the tournament, it seems nobody cares.  We finally found a little place near our hotel and found two Americans there also watching the game.  The game lasted well past midnight, as the USA ultimately lost the game in an overtime.  So, we were definitely out too late last night.

This morning as we prepared for our trip home, and we both decided to leave our shoes behind.  Including the break in we did in California, they have over 700 miles wear and tear, under harsh conditions. They  served us well, but have seen better days, and it's time to say good bye.  Linda also left behind her hiking pants that she has used the past two years.

Fittingly, it was raining this morning as we approached the train station for the airport:

Well, this is the end of our journey.  I am working on a trip overview of trip highlights, as well as our future plans, which I will post when we get back in San Francisco (here's a hint- this was a great trip, we loved Italy and we are working on plans for a two month trip to Italy next year!).  Thanks to all of you for sticking with us.  This is my 51st posting, and as Edward Murrow used to say on the nightly news- "good night and good luck"!