Aquilea - Munich to Paris the Long Way Round - CycleBlaze

August 5, 2019

Aquilea

An ode to a Spanner

We went out to dinner quite late,  The passeggiata was in full swing.  beautiful people were parading the lovely old square (and then there was Ken and me). We sat outside to eat delighting in watching the passers by, just wish we had had a camera with us.  The vino Rosso helped our enjoyment but I have concern that Ken might eventually turn into a pizza as he seems to be enjoying them so much.  The que at the gelato shop was too long for us on the way home.

Ken’s tyre problem had continued to be on our mind.  The staff at the Astoria Italia had been sigularly unhelpful, it seemed that bike shops were not one of their specialties.  I had however located a tiny one thanks to the internet not far away that said it would be open at 8am.  The Astoria it seems is more into breakfasts and we had one up to German standards.  Off we went and it was open, google translate, Ken and the mechanic looked at the problem.  Just come back in an hour and it would be fixed.  Off we went to a bar nearby then in half an hour or so there was wild jesticulation from the door of the bike shop.  Ken paid the 15E and all was well, just one problem he didn’t have a spanner he could sell us and because it was Monday with most shops shut we were unlikely to get one - we had to keep our fingers crossed we didn’t get another puncture.

The first bike shop
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We wait
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Udine is a truely lovely.  The central Piazza della Liberta has Renaissance buildings including the pink and white marble Loggia del Linonell0 and a clock tower.  It would have been nice to linger a lot longer but it was about 9.30 and the day was really beginning to heat up.

Udine
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Udine
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The way on today was all flat although it did have some nasty long stretches of loose gravel.  After my experience a week or so ago I ride these patches very nervously.  

Veraison seem very early
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It is well irrigated
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All ready for when it gets dryer
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The old way of getting water
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Rather a lovely old bike
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As we were approaching Palmanova Ken said he could feel something happening to the ride of his back wheel.  I knew there was a bike shop there.  It was approaching midday and being Italy the shop was likely to shut at 12.30 but we found it.  A true ‘Angel of the Road’ owned it.  Ken explained the problem.  First he sent us back to a hardware shop to buy a spanner but said hurry it would close at 12.30 then come back and he would fix the wheel.  No appropriated spanner at the hardware so back to the cycle shop.  It appeared that the back tyre had developed a bulge in its side wall.  A new tyre and all is well but still no spanner if more disaster struck.  Then the crowning act of kindness he gave us one of his own high quality spanners.  Ken looked as if he had been given thr Crown Jewels and our saviour was able to shut his shop and go to lunch.

The gates of Palmanova
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Happy in his work
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We loved him
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In the centre of the star
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Back we went once again to the centre. The town of Palmanova is an example of a star shaped fort that was built up by the Venitian Republic in 1593.  To get in you must go through narrow gates.  We sat in the centre watching the market packing up and enjoying a sandwich and coffee.  With such a layout getting out in the correct direction is a challenge.  

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Tonight we stopped at the ancient Roman Town of Aquilea.  Our accommodation is in a small place called Break and Bike, it was swarming with cyclists when we arrived and we set about remedying our fluid balance.

It is a Roman Town
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This will be for us the end of the Alpe-Adria Radweg - it is only a few km from here to Grado.  We however will head for Venice and the start of our next challenge the Po Radweg.  I am so pleased that we didn’t chicken out when we were having trouble before Salzburg NO we are not too old to ride mountains and we are grateful for all the positive encouragement Suzanne gave us along the way.

If the Alpe-Adria is on your bucket list do it

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Mike AylingDon't loose it!
Looks like about 15mm?

Mike
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1 week ago
Tricia GrahamTo Mike AylingIt is 15mm - you would have thought we would have been able to buy one but they had every other size in the shop!
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1 week ago

Today's ride: 51 km (32 miles)
Total: 596 km (370 miles)

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Suzanne GibsonSo glad you enjoyed the Alpe Adria route! What's not to like, except for bad weather! I knew you could do it.
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1 week ago
Tricia GrahamTo Suzanne GibsonThanks Suzanne actually really it isn’t a difficult route at all except for the bit up to Bad Gastein. We have really loved it especially that special day on the wonderful rail trail
Tricia
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1 week ago
Jan HaywardWell done. Enjoying your ride as always from my orange chair 😄
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1 week ago