Billy the Bus's Blog

Monday, October 20, 2008

Big Billy Trip 13 - Bologna to Lake Maggione

Route – Bologna to Maccagno, Lake Maggione (Italian/Swiss border)
Distance - 311 km (2,747 km total)

Just another big day of driving really, with only the motorway for company.

I'm now quite excited about the week ahead, driving through new countries and seeing new things. Slightly bricking it about not speaking the language, but everyone tells me that most people in Switzerland and Germany can speak a bit of English, and by the time I get to Belgium I'm hoping my French will get me by.

The A1 north of Bologne is the first four-lane motorway I've seen in Italy. They seem to get by with just two lanes most of the time, and the occasional three laner. The flamboyant Italian driving style comes into its own on the four-lane motorway. Its as if the pent-up frustration of the two-lane road is set free, and all of a sudden this nut job drivers are set free on a race track (especially the A1 Bologne-Milan, which is basically a straight line for 100km). It's quite nerve wracking, being the guy on the inside, when 3 lorries are trying to enter the motorway from only 30m long sliproads, whilst a zillion drivers on the outside won't let you pull out. Add to that the fact I'm sat on the wrong side of the car, and half of my off-side view is obscured by a cupboard, and it's quite scary!

Every motorway service station in Italy seems to be this brand called Autogrill. I'm growing quite bored of them. They are all exactly the same layout, and sell exactly the same products. I want a bit of variety in my breaks. Can someone open a Welcome Break or a Moto in Italy please?

IMG_2211 The campsite by the lake is lovely. It's called Azur Parkcamping Maccagno, and seems to be entirely staffed and patronised by Germans. I suppose it is practically on the Swiss border, so that would explain it, but even all the signs are in German! I've started saying 'danke' already. It's right alongside the lake, with thankfully a mere chainlink fence separating us from the water, as opposed to hedges or tall fences at other places.

I swam in the lake when I got here. I got a few funny looks, padding out there in my wetsuit, but I figured what the hell. It was ruddy cold, and I had fish for company. Then I did some laundry, some more washing line engineering, and cooked up some yummy bangers and mash with kinda ratatouille gravy. Ok i'm getting boring now. Night night! Switzerland tomorrow.....

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