Going Postal

The last post was made so quickly that I forgot to relate the story of renting the car in Venice. We rented a reasonably new Lancia Ypsilon, which was sitting in the car rental lot. We put all our luggage in it, and then decided to go inside to check out their Michelin Guide. The windows were down, so to lock it I put in the key to turn the power on to put the windows up. Instinctively I took it out of gear, rolled up the windows, got out, locked the car, and started walking back to the office. That’s when it started rolling down the gentle hill (they hadn’t set the parking brake, and I hadn’t checked it.) There was only mild crumpling of the front bumper panel (and shattering of the taillight of the car it hit). Good thing CDW is mandatory for international rentals.

Anyway, it’s worked fine ever since. It took us to Bolzano as described previously, where we went on two intense 6-hour walks, and then it took us through Austria to Liechtenstein, where there is a big industry of selling postcards and stamps — presumably their only other industry is being a tax haven. Ray wrote a bunch of cards, I walked around, and then we resumed our trip, this time on a Swiss freeway. We exited on a very twisty little yellow road which went over the Passo di Spluga, an incredibly beautiful Alpine landscape, taking us down the hill on the other side to Chiavenna, Italy.

Chiavenna is a sleepy little town, catering to mostly Italian and Swiss tourists. There are nice paths to walk around, and lots of waterfalls. We didn’t bother with any of the palaces or museums.

Now we’re in Vercelli, another sleepy small city with no tourist infrastructure whatsoever. You can’t buy postcards here. Hopefully we’ll be able to send one with a Vercelli postmark to a friend at work whose family is from here.

More later — my Internet cafe half hour is about up. It might be a couple days, since the next place is pretty remote. But we’ll stay with real people in Oslo, who will definitely have The Internet.