Archive for the ‘riva del garda’ Tag

Summer on the Water – Lago di Garda   5 comments

Onwards to our main destination. No surprise that we loved Lago di Garda so much that we decided on a second visit back to the same part of the lake and the same campsite. It was just the three of us for the first week but the Prof joined us for the second week

I don’t think I could ever tire of this view.

On our first morning it was a joy to see it again.

On our previous trip we had several long days away from the campsite so this year we vowed to spend more time in our local spot.

Sun-drenched selfie.

It was significantly hotter than last year so lazing on the beaches nearby and taking many swims was the order of the day(s).

Just lazing about and swimming with these views was always a pleasure especially at 36C!

TBF soaks up the afternoon sun.

Looking back towards where our campsite is. This small beach is about a 5 minute walk away and made for a nice change of scene. Other than the windsurf school it was always quieter than the campsite beach.

Long view down the the lake was another favourite.

Sunrise colours. We took a swim every morning before breakfast when the water was calm and the beach deserted other than the collection of various types of duck and a few geese and swans. They were always a delight to share the beach with and were very friendly and used to the people around.

Early morning wind-surfer.

Our pitch on the campsite.

And a view of our home from the toilet block balcony

This year we also made a habit of heading down to the beach in the evening. Mainly for an evening swim to cool off before bed.

It was always very quiet and peaceful and I came to enjoy it as much as the morning swims.

These two trees always made for a fine photo subject.

Night-time on the beach.

We spent plenty of time on the water as well as in it. Both in the kayak and the Paddle Board

TJF enjoyed just floating around on the inflatable ring.

Always quieter out on the water.

And gives a different perspective of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Further afield on foot we developed some regular outings. This on the way to Torbole, looking out over the lake from the bridge over the Sarca River.

And inland towards the mountains.

It was a regular afternoon post lunch outing for an ice cream.

This cute little family of white-breasted ducks were always around. The water-fowl become like regulr friends on our little walks around.

Our happy family enjoying the view.

One of our favourite spots was this set of steps built for the scuba diving school. In the morning before the wind turns and comes up the lake its wonderfully calm and clear and very quiet.

We had a favourite rock to sit on and just paddle, swim, chat and generally relax. We came here several times.

Happy family.

The Prof enjoys a swim.

View towards Riva.

Across to the mountains that tower over the lake.

We came back for an evening swim here a couple of times.

TJF enjoys the evening cooler air.

The night-time views gave a different perspective on those classic views.

The other worldly light of night divers exploring the lake.

We took a few wanders into Riva del Garda both for lunch and evening meal.

The main square and church tower.

The other towns around the lake are very busy with tourists but Riva for some reason is always quiet in the daytime. It comes alive more in the evening.

The ferry harbour.

Superb views across the lake to Monte Baldo

One of the gateways into the old town.

Evening views across to the mountains behind.

And along the lake.

And a night-time shot of the yacht harbour. Happy memories of a relaxing time at this most fabulous Lake playground.

Tour de France/Italy – Torbole and Riva del Garda   8 comments

Our campsite was situated between the two towns at the head of Lake Garda, Torbole and Riva del Garda

On our first full afternoon we took a wander along the lake-front (I had to keep correcting myself from saying “sea-front” as that’s exactly what it feels like!) to Torbole.

This is where the valley’s main river, the Sarca, enters the lake.

And looking back inland as it were. I assume the river must be be managed and controlled from upstream as there were white water kayak gates and a couple of times we saw it in a much more challschmaling state than in these photos.

Lake Garda is renowned for wind powered water-sports. In the main its wind-surfing and the water is always populated by huge numbers of them with rental/lesson outlets everywhere.

This is down to the fact that Lake Garda has reliable winds that you can pretty much set you watch by. In the morning the Peler or Vento wind blows north-south from the mountains to the lake, caused by the air moving from the colder mountains to the wbedürftiger areas to the south. It blows for a couple of hours and as the lake shore at the north is relatively sheltered the lake in the morning where we were was flat calm and crystal clear. Further down the lake the wind was clearly stronger in that morning period and you could see what looked like huge flocks of birds which were in fact Kite surfers. We never saw any at our end of the lake so morning in the central section must be peak time and location for it.

In the late morning and early afternoon the winds changes direction through 180 degrees and blows south-north. This one is called the Ora and caused by the same effect, strong heating in the mountains that draws the cooler air up from the surface of the wider expanse of the lake in the south. This is peak time for Wind-surfing and for this rather cool looking sport of Hydro surfing. This is a hydrofoil that once up to speed lifts the board off the surface of the water. The experts travel at speeds that I could only guess was in excess of 30mph. It does look hard to learn though and a huge effort to get them moving fast enough to “take-off” as it were.

A short and not very good video showing one in action.

As you can see the fact the lake is now choppy tells you its afternoon.

Great views down to Monte Baldo that towers over the lake’s eastern shore.

The town of Torbole.

Looking down the lake towards its much wider southern end.

Whilst we were enjoying the exploration, the real reason for the expedition was a search for the first Gelato ice cream of the trip. Italian gelato is the king/queen of ice cream and to say its become an obsession for me and TJF in particular is an understatement. The perfect combination in our humble opinion is a duet of Fondante ( a very rich and dark chocolate) and Amarena (Cherry Ripple). The shop we found in Torbole was I can report, very good indeed!

Afternoon light on the walk back, craving satisfied.

The next day we took the walk in the other direction to Riva del Garda.

As you can see, clearly morning with the lakes water calm, clear and reflective.

It’s a pedestrian walkway all the way which is very fine and offers superb views. However there are sections shared with cyclists who sadly became a real nuisance. The majority seemed to have little or no regard for pedestrians, rarely slowing down where it got crowded and seeming to think that just ringing a bell was merely a cue for you to jump out of the way and allow them to speed past.

Luckily for most of the way into Riva the cyclists have their own path and you can enjoy the superb views the rest of the way.

There is well over a mile of gorgeous, well maintained parkland with long stretches of beach.

Its pretty crowded as you’s expect but very well organised and there didn’t seem to be any boorish behaviour or loud music.

It was a pleasure to walk along and just enjoy the views.

Whilst Riva is a big place sprawling out behind the lake front it has a stunning old town. This is the Piazza del Brolio and the Fontana della Sirenetta-Mignon. I love fountains and water features so this was a great introduction to the centre.

The outside of the Parrocchia di Santa Maria Assunta was unremarkable but the inside was stunning.

The gateway of the Porta di San Michele.

Located in Piazza Cavour

We found a lovely little bakery with some shady tables outside for a light lunch and then, inevitably a Gelato (the best shop of the trip me and TJF reckon).

The girls went off shopping while the rest of us had a lovely wander through the narrow streets and into some of the food shops.

Before emerging on to the centre piece of the town, the Piazza Novembre III. I thought it was absolutely fabulous. One of my favourite places.

The sparkling blue water with the comings and goings of the boats, all backed by towering mountains

Focal point the Torre Apponale that I never did find out if you could go up.

Walking through a car-free town of narrow streets, historic buildings, open piazzas all situated on deep blue lake backed by mountains. What could be better.

The water was looking more and more inviting on a hot day so we decided it was time for a swim.

A chance to repeat the walk along the waterfront.

Past the Casa di Babba Natale.

I think it was a museum of some kind.

We picked a small beach for a very refreshing swim. The afternoon winds had arrived and the lake was really very choppy indeed, quite hard to stay on your feet and much like jumping in the waves in the ocean.

Our little afternoon swim spot.

Lake Garda was becoming a my new favourite place.

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