Train strike worked out ok & I made it back to Empoli. Up early for another train to Florence & to airport for flight to airport. Strangely a couple of flights were delayed due to bad weather in Florence – I couldn’t work this out as the sun was shining (admittedly it was only low-twenties, but that is hardly bad weather) & no wind to speak of. Thankfully my flight was ok, but late leaving – giving me only a 25 minute transfer in Munich. Ze Germans managed to get me on the plane in time – unfortunately my bike got left behind. After a 2 hour wait at Heathrow for the next Munich flight with my bike on it, it was time battle rush hour traffic back to Andrew & Shelley’s – great to be somewhere familiar after a couple of roundabout misadventures. At this point I had better mention (as possibly the only person to read this so far – Andrew – was not so pleased to not be mentioned in such an illustrious publication) the fantastic hospitality from the Patricks that I had for my week in London – great place to stay, very helpful travel & sightseeing advice & just great to stay with friends – even young Vittoria (6 or 7 months) didn’t always cry in my presence (incidentally, the Italians seem to know of this charming youngun – her name is plastered all around the place). Considering it was 7 pm this time, I’ve saved the 4 hour drive north to meet Mum & Dad until tomorrow night.
From the Italy files – don’t ever buy a Lancia, they have the consistently ugliest cars right across their range & if you want to present the weather on breakfast television, it seems you have to be a very high ranking air force general in full dress uniform. Friends dubbed in to Italian actually leaves Ross sounding a lot cooler than normal & Pheobe like a large Italian grandmother. Also, The Full Monty in Italian is still quite strange.