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Maratona Tour – The Journey Home

Jul 12th, 2011 | By | Category: Blog, Travel

NOTE: Today’s photos will be uploaded in a few hours. Come back to see them!

Our van transfer to Bolzano was scheduled to leave at 9:00 AM on Monday morning, so we got the chance to sleep in a little bit before enjoying breakfast and bringing our bags down to the lobby. Enrico and Massimo were there to make the final arrangements, guiding us one last time on this trip, and to ensure that we got off okay. Everyone had a tip and a hug for each of our guides as most of us piled into the van for the two hour drive to Bolzano (Alex and Marlin headed off to Venice in a separate van, while Bruce stayed behind in Corvara to enjoy another two weeks in Italy with his wife Susan).

The shuttle trip to Bolzano was fun, not just because we talked and joked the whole way (which we did), but also because our route to Bolzano traced many of the same roads and passes we had taken earlier in the week, each summit, climb, descent, turn and town bringing back memories which we all shared.

Soon enough we were at the Bolzano train station. Once again it was time for hand shakes, hugs and farewells as well all went our separate ways. I last saw my companions on the curb in front of the station or in the station’s ticketing area.

From Bolzano, I made my way by train first to Verona and then to Milan where I picked up the Malpensa shuttle bus to the airport. Once there, I called my airport hotel to get their shuttle bus to pick me up. I arrived at my overnight hotel near Malpensa nine hours, three buses, and two trains after pulling away from the Hotel Posta Zirm in Corvara. I had dinner in the hotel’s good (albeit overpriced) restaurant.

When you do so much physical activity in such a short period of time, you get used to moving around a lot, so I just couldn’t stay cooped up in the hotel after such a long day of sitting on trains and buses. So after dinner I took a long walk from my hotel into the nearby town of Somma Lombardo where I took some photos of the Castello Visconti and the town’s church. The hotel’s Internet was down so I don’t know the back story of the town, the castle or the church, but I’m committed to finding out.

This morning I awoke, had a cappuccino at the hotel and took the shuttle bus to the airport. Upon checking in I learned that Delta had again upgraded me the entire way home (see what I mean about loyalty?). The upgrade and my status allowed me to breeze through security and gave me a day pass to the airport lounge so that I could have a proper breakfast. Soon enough, it was time to board my flight.

I’m now about halfway through my flight home, cruising at 32,000 feet high over St. John’s, Newfoundland. Coincidentally, I’ll be down there in less than a week for work (back to real life!).

After 7 days, 224 miles on the bike and 31,650 feet of climbing (that’s 141.15 feet climbed per mile), my Italian cycling adventure has definitely come to an end. It has been a wonderful seven days with Ciclismo Classico, the guides, and the other trip participants. I have memories that will last a lifetime, a commitment to return to complete the medium (or the long!) course of The Maratona, and a desire to return on another Ciclismo Classico adventure, this time with Mrs. FredCast (who will likely beat me to the top of every climb).

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my adventures on the road and that it has inspired you to take your own cycling vacation, perhaps also with Ciclismo Classico. It has been my pleasure and good fortune to have this opportunity and to share it all with you here and in the podcast. I can’t wait to get home to my family, my friends, my dogs, my work, the podcast, and my own bike. But for now, I think I need to get some sleep.

Buonnanote, amici!

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  1. Welcome back to real life! Great blog entries, really took me back to last year when I was in the Dolomites (got cold shivers from your last post describing them). It is true about really being in the mountains there, so spectacular. I say this as someone who was born and raised with the Rocky Mountains. Nice, introduce us to Mrs. Fredcast, eh?! Happy recovery & getting back to reality. =)

  2. David, Thank You So Much for sharing your adventures with us. What a Great Trip and your abilities to write in great detail are awesome.
    Thank You. Mark