Having driven along a fair section of the Italian Riviera in the last few days, I can honestly say that I’m moved beyond belief by the amazing scenery to be viewed by following the coastal road from San Remo to Genoa.
We travelled the first bit on the motorway (as per Sandra’s’ previous post) and today we’ve just done a large section on the “old road” through the coastal towns/resorts from Diano Marina to Savona. Its only about 75km, which would be gone in a flash on the motorway, but by “going scenic” we took nearly 4 hours, being caught out at one point by a large detour through the mountains due to a long term road closure and missing the right diversion, took us about 20km through the mountains over some of those legendary “Italian job” type hairpin roads that you see in the movies!……. not really designed for Bella Vega coaches full of gold bullion……. nor campervans, however the views from the top were truly awesome.
Over the years, man has invested zillions and zillions into road and rail building around the world, I think most must have gone into building the links around this region! The motorway, often high up on the mountainside, crosses countless massive viaducts hundreds of metres above the ravines and often a kilometre or more in length, only to disappear seconds later into huge tunnels through the mountains. Its unnerving driving over the viaducts with the huge drops protected only by barriers no higher than the M1 central reservation armaco, then disappearing into the semi black of a tunnel…….. again and again.
However, its only when you start to follow the old road, which in itself was a remarkable feat of engineering when built, that you begin to realise the true engineering planning and design which must have gone into the motorway, as you travel along, occasionally glimpsing the motorway 100’s of metres up the mountainside above you – also the pure hard labour that must of been expended 150 years ago, building the main railway line along the coast from La Spezia to the French border……… all truly awesome!
Tonight’s campsite, chosen, for a change, by yours truly, is not as expected for €19 a night…… and we’ll be on the move again pretty handy in the morning…… its looked sooooo nice in the acsi book too, how deceptive a couple of strategically taken photos and carefully worded text can be eh? Look up 2292, then transpose to …… grey shingle/stone beach, buildings and foundations on beach side of railway (main line) falling or fallen into the sea, site predominantly quite old permanently sited touring vans, 3m high steel fence around site, looks like a concentration camp compound! Internet available extra cost @ €8 for 5 hours, site sandwiched between motorway 300m above (I thought it was pigs that flew, not 40ft artics!!) and main rail line (about 5m away from our van) with intercity express trains every hour or so.
Tomorrow, Sandra will be choosing again ……. thank God!