At 12:50, Chiara, Nico, Lino and Christina put me on the train to Bolzano. Once again, I'm so sad to leave a place I've grown to love, yet excited for the next spot. There are worse problems to have, I know.
I spend the next 6 hours speeding through northern Italy. I get to Bolzano, and there waiting for me is Kathrina. It's been 4 years since we studied together in the Netherlands. She has a weekend of camping and hiking planned, and as she lays out our options I get really excited. There are castles and mountains and wine roads. Eeeeeee
At the campground we park our camper and get some pizza and wine from the only restaurant open.
Monday 21 July
I wake up to the sound of rain. Kathrina and I look at each other wide-eyed, then start laughing. We didn't even THINK about the possibility of rain. Oy. My second thought is about the leftover pizza that we kept on top of the camper. There is no devastation like ruined leftover pizza - and there went our breakfast. With no reason to get out of the camper, we sleep til 11.
Kathrina heard of a local organic farmer who sold his own cheese, meat, and bread at a little store on his farm. The rain can't ruin that for us, thank goodness. Thinking it was right around a corner, we parked the camper and walked.... And walked... But it was okay because it was only lightly sprinkling... (That will change) As we approached the farm I laughingly said "haha what if it's closed!" Then "OMG it's closed..." In typical Kathrina fashion, she says "well, we'll just ask them to open it for us" and rings the doorbell. Just then the farmer comes around the corner and welcomes us into the store. He then takes us into the cave where he cures the meat for some samples. He spoke no English so Kathrina was my translator.
He also forced homemade schnapps on us.... We really protested.
One hour and 10€ later we leave with a bag full of sausages, speck, cheese and bread. Unbelievably cheap.
It's now downpouring. By the time we get to the car were completely soaked through and freezing. I had seen a sign earlier for a hotel advertising their sauna... You can see where this is heading.
At 1:30 we asked the hotel about the sauna. The receptionist told us that it normally doesn't open til 5, but they'll make an exception and start it all up for us. There are three saunas: Turkish, Finnish, and bio. We can spend all day in there if we'd like. It was so warm and perfect AND for a while we were the only ones in there. Eventually other people caught on to our brilliant idea. We sat in lounge chairs and watched the rain in between sauna sessions. Not a bad way to spend a rainy day.
We tear ourselves away from the sauna at 4:30 and dive back into the rain. Back at the pizza place for early dinner, and THIS time we kept our leftover pizza inside the bus. Kathrina said that she couldn't handle the loss a second time and I wholeheartedly agreed.
We spent the night in the camper, drinking wine and talking. One of our neighbors asked us to please be quiet because his kids were sleeping. We tried I swear.