Tuesday, 2 June 2009

My Giro day one

Great to be home to such sunny weather that prolongs my flipflops days and makes me happy. We had a lovely time in Italy with some wonderful Giro trips that I shall tell you about in stages, or tappa as we call them.
We arrived at the house in Tuscany quite late after a long drive from Bologna, it was getting dark and we had to open up as the property had been empty for about three months, turn on the electricity, water and gas, settle in and eat. We didn't get the boiler going until the next morning, then we had to call on a neighbour to ask her to contact the telephone company as the line was down, so it was a bit late or us to get down to Lucca to watch the boys fly by. We did drive down there but were obviously too late so moved on further down the route. We arrived at a nice little town that was displaying the 15 k to go banner but Mr FF felt sure we were too late there as well and that we should press on towards Florence, the end of the days stage. I was a bit reluctant to drive around such a large city looking for the Giro but Mr FF said he was pretty sure he knew where we needed to go.
Once into the suburbs I asked a smart business man at a bus stop if he knew where we could see the Giro and he directed us straight ahead. Sure enough we came to a road block manned by a policeman, I explained what we wanted to do and he kindly lifted the barrier and told us where to park. Mr FF said he would attend to parking arrangements and I should run up towards the hoardings where the boys were obviously going to pass by. I found us a great place where we would see the cyclists approach, turn a sharp corner and head downhill under the 3 k to go banner.
Mr FF eventually found me having parked outside a nice Pasticceria, cake shop cum bar, a perfect combination, where the lady had been really helpful and sold him a parking ticket for 70 minutes, which we both thought was a strange amount of time.
We stood waiting with a jolly crowd and a rather handsome policeman who kept us informed of progress, the riders were 20 k away so still had to pass through the previous town we'd visited. After about an hour Mr FF started to think he would have to go back to the car and buy another parking ticket though by this time things were hotting up, various motorcycle riders came by, sponsor and support vehicles, all sounding their horns and building up the atmosphere. Fearing the wardens he did run back for another ticket and mentioned when he came back that it was strange that he didn't have to validate it, usually you scratch off numbers to show the date and time you park. He asked me if he should perhaps have written something on the ticket but I said the nice lady would have given him a pen or shown him where to write and she didn't do that.
Then suddenly the riders arrived, we barely had time to cheer them and take photographs before they passed, all grouped together at this stage and obviously waiting for someone to start the sprint to the finish. In fact Britain's Mark Cavendish went on to win, his third and final stage victory in this year's Giro on the day after his 24th birthday.
We both agreed the drive and wait had been really worthwhile and happily wandered back down to the nice lady's shop for drinks, a panino for Mr FF and a pastry for me whilst we admired the smart Florentini ladies who called in for espresso and cake.
Then we went back to the car and I asked to see the parking tickets to solve the validation problem. There carefully displayed on the dashboard and easily visible for the traffic warden were two bus tickets and luckily no parking fine, Mr FF's many years of Italian lessons have really paid off.


  1. Thankyou for your comment, its always a bit of a thrill to see that i have a comment, and it amazes me that how small the world has become with the use of the internet.
    Its always exciting to be part of something such as a sporting event, we live at the bottom of Mount Panarama "a car racing mountain" and each and everyyear our town becomes a hive of activity, i love the atmosphere, not that i attend, you see much more on the tv, but we get the planes flying overhead and from thursday to sunday we can hear the constant sounds of cars which resemble bees, lucky i have a passion for bees, lol.
    Looking forward to hearing more.......

  2. Glad you had a great time in Italy savouring all sorts of delights and taste of summer. Fun to see your photos...look forward to more new. Great to catch up with you here. We are just returned ourselves from a two-week trip...Oh, the jet lag--LOL! Happy weekend ahead ((HUGS))

  3. Such an adventure.


  4. Your post has made me desperate to go back to Lucca, it is one of my favourite places in the world.
    Yay for a Brit winner!

  5. Hi Jenny!

    Thank you for leaving a commnet on my blog. It looks like you had a winderful vacation. I love Tuscany! Glad you did not get a parking ticket....it's so funny your husband bought a bus ticket and not a parking validation.

  6. Excuse, that I can not participate now in discussion - it is very occupied. But I will be released - I will necessarily write that I think on this question.