The day dawns dry, if not exactly warm.... we have a lovely French breakfast that consists mainly of croissants & bread, with very strong coffee & steamed milk.
getting the bikes out of the hotel garage and packed up
au revoir les Glaciers, you were a nice warm port in our storm
We head for the Col du Mont Cenis to get into Italy. According to wikipedia we are not the first to come up with this idea:
Being a pass in the Alps, the Mont Cenis was used in several notable incidents in history. One example is the descent of Constantine I to Italy, to fight against Maxentius. It was the principal route for crossing the Alps between France and Italy until the 19th century. It was also used as the main passage by which Charlemagne crossed with his army to invade Lombardy in 773.
Well that's OK, we figure it's a good idea anyway. Invasion of Italy underway!
At the top it is a bit foggy, and still chilly
but we are in high spirits when we see the sun shining brightly in Italy
Remember the handy thermometer I mentioned? What will those crafty Germans think of next?
After a good stretch of the legs we strike out for Italy. The water in the reservoir looks very cold!
Quite a dam!
Ever downwards off the mountains into Italy
This girl on a red BMW was always in my mirrors...
As we headed south in the lovely sunshine, we had the mountains on our right to keep us company
As we go further south towards Cuneo, we decided to see if Monte Carlo was within range for the day. It was somewhere we both wanted to see, from an F-1 point of view, if for no other reason... The GPS said it was easily doable, so we angled south-west into the hills around Parc National de Mercantour
Roads cut through steep gashes in the rock
We reached the top of the Col de Brouis in pretty short order. Lovely road with nice sweeping bends. did I mention no snow plus a large helping of sunshine?
Looking over the other side it seems like more of the same good stuff
We reach the Cote d'Azur in no time at all
We rode along the top of the cliff over Monaco and then looped down into the city. I have a video, but in essence it is pretty crowded & pretty slow moving traffic... It was also getting just a tad warm in riding gear.
Into the tunnel (from F1 fame) the wrong way though.
Out the other side trying to figure how to get out of town
The water really is that color....
So, after being stuck in the stop & go along the shore we bail out and head north away from the sea. We manage to go back over the Col de brouis (not a bad thing as it was a nice ride), and find our way into the town of Sospel. We grab a hotel get cleaned up, and set off in search of food.
Sospel's old stone bridge
Better picture here via the web: LINK
We settle on Le Picoun
, order some wine & food... and reflect on our day
329 km give-or-take for the day. We seem to be able to hammer along in the valleys without any drama. Not a lot of climbs, but plenty of cool memories. Tomorrow: more Italy!