118 – Saturday 15.08: High on Hills
Some of our Clune Reunion group were departing today, so our numbers were somewhat depleted and they missed one of the best days out.
A slight delay as the coach had a flat and the driver had to fetch a different coach.
Our first stop was San Gimignano where we had free time to wander and have a coffee (wine in J’s case … the local Chianti was begging to be tasted!). The town has about 11 remaining towers and the view on the approach was stunning. Lovely mellow stone and squares. Views from every side. As it was the Feast of the Assumption, it was brimming with people and cars trying to park … again we will come back out of season.
We then boarded the coach to go to a Chianti organic winery for lunch. We were sort of wondering why leave San Gimignano, as it was so pretty … until we got to the winery. The view looking back to San Gimignano from the luncheon terrace …
After lunch we drove to Volterra, another hill town. Our guide explained about the Etruscans and we touched an upturned road sign cut in half from 2BC. The pix can do the talking.
We were running late back to the hotel for supper and delayed further as the Carabinieri decided to pull our driver over. Thankfully, we all had the sense not to whip out cameras thus antagonising the policemen and the driver was super calm. After 10 minutes of checking the drivers papers … incident free in 30 years of driving professionally we were allowed on our way. Ironically, our guide had just explained about Italian driving licences and the points system.
Back at the hotel and our last 4 course meal. Cake for David, whose birthday was tomorrow.
119 – Sunday 16.08: Back into Chardonnay … Home
We were the last of the Clune Reunion to leave and it was very strange not constantly bumping into family as we moved around the hotel. It is an amazing and generous gift Michael has given us all. Creating wonderful memories.
We collected Chardonnay and checked out. The staff were most helpful and checked that the big supermarket was open and gave us directions.
The iperCoop was overflowing with people. It was like they had emptied their cupboards yesterday with the Feast Day and needed to replenish. J stayed in Chard and did some unpacking. K braved the masses and food and booze shopped. Mindful of the volume and rich food we have been consuming, K set up the slow cooker with soya and dried veg for a bolognese!
Sally Sat Nav set for Pisa, just over an hour away. Whilst we usually shun campsites unless we have company, we were so weary after the week of festivities that we decided to set up camp for the two nights … Maddy joins us 🙂 on Monday evening. we erected Maddy’s tent, did laundry and had a quick swim. We were NOT late to bed!