Farewell to the orange bikes

to Vicenza to Padua
to Vicenza

 Oooh train
hell! Only a very few trains in Italy
have bike compartments, so it was absolutely imperative that we got on the
right ones. Mama spent ages yesterday sorting it all out with the nice man at
the train station. So there we all were, lined up and ready to go, with seven
minutes to make a change in Mestre that involved taking six bikes down the
stairs, through the subway and up the stairs again, and no idea which end of
the train the bike compartment was. And guess what? It all worked.

 So now the
bikes are all locked up in a bike rack at Vicenza
station and we're having iced tea and waiting for the train to Padova (which is
what Padua is
really called).

 We took a
group photo of all the bikes in front of the entrance to the very posh hotel
before we left today; they look wonderfully out of place, but somehow very
fitting. (Added later – my photo hasn’t worked out very well – I’ll have to see
if I can steal someone else’s and change it).

 Later: We
got a double decker train into Padova, so of course we all sat on top.


Padova was
hot, humid and sticky, and I'll confess I didn't really like it very much.
Hairy got very, very grumpy (too hot, low blood sugar). I spent most of the
afternoon attempting to keep him away from Handsome, occasionally I failed and
they snarled at each other. Temperature and testosterone – what a combination.

 Got a
double decker train back again, sat on top again!

 Vicenza, on the other hand, looks as though
it will be lovely in the morning – full of old twisty streets and different
levels, and interesting looking corners. We've got a couple of hours here
before we have to take the train to Mestre tomorrow. But we leave the bikes
here to be collected from the hotel. I’m quite sad to say goodbye to my orange

(and everyone else except Hairy) finally got to eat spaghetti with clams
tonight -  spaghetti alle vongolli – it was the one thing he said he wanted to
eat in Italy,
and this is the first time we’ve seen it on a menu. It was very tasty, if
spicier than I had thought it would be. No-one told me it had chilli flakes in

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