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TDI2020 – A few days at the sea

Our stay in Lucca was much too short. Today’s drive will take us to Massa Marina, just 80km from Lucca.

My family will enjoy the town for another few hours whilst I start bright and early. My plan for today is to drive from the coast inland up some hills and back to the sea again. Off we go!

1500m altitude is the goal for today!

1500m altitude is the goal for today!

Temperatures soar and I’m happy to climb continuously. Every 100m up means about 1°C less temperature.

Impressive mountains - cooler air awaits!

Impressive mountains – cooler air awaits!

A first pass at 1300m brings me to a plateau at around 1000m, complete with mountain lake and many, many people escaping the heat.

A lake high up in the hills

A lake high up in the hills

For me, however, today’s goal was to drive to the highest point at 1500m. The road I chose was barely as wide as the TWIKE – pure single-lane bliss.

Rural Italy - my favourite type of road

Rural Italy – my favourite type of road

My views got better by the minute. I really like to see the shore from such a distance.

On my way up to the hills

On my way up to the hills

The road itself stays single-lane all the way and there is no sign to show the highest point.

Not that bad after all

Not that bad after all

From there I’m recuperating back down to the coast and Massa Marittima.

1200m alt - fresh air ...and view of the sea

1200m alt – fresh air …and view of the sea

Back to the sea!

Back to the sea!

Back to the sea!

At the sea!

Our place for the next few days is Casa F.A.C.I.. A throwback to the 70’s and what I remember Italy to be in Summer. I briefly had an Italian Girlfriend and she and I spent one glorious summer week at this coast close by in the early 1990’s.

The special thing about Casa FACI is the fact that it comes complete with a chapel to pray in.

A throwback to the 70's

A throwback to the 70’s

Everything is well organized and just a few metres away from the hotel there are many really good restaurants which we start trying one by one.

As with most of the places we’ve been this summer – the only thing missing are the crowds. There is no-one here. The beachfront basically belongs to us.

View from FACI

View from FACI

Empty beaches

Empty beaches

Marina di Massa by night

Marina di Massa by night

I get to eat my daily dose of fritto misto whilst my family is either eating their own favourites or enjoying the very drinkable Italian reds being served at the restaurants.

Ah. This is soul food!

Ah. This is soul food!

Unlike other years where social interaction and many people sitting together was the norm, today the tables are distanced and we with 5 people are already a big group. The new normal, I guess.

Socially distanced tables - no fun

Socially distanced tables – no fun

A day before it’s time to leave I ask at the reception where I could plug in my TWIKE and was told that this would involve getting the technical person in who’s not on premise today. Tomorrow, maybe?

I don’t have time until tomorrow! I’ve planned on leaving early morning to enjoy my drive to either Turin or even France. My wife will return with the kids to have some last days at home whilst I’m going to use all my free days driving back to Switzerland in 4 days.

Sneakily, I set up a charge from one of the lower-level community rooms that are currently unused. With some creative cable routing no-one suspects a thing!

Stealth charging...can you spot the cable?

Stealth charging…can you spot the cable?

Parking lot behind our religious hotel

Parking lot behind our religious hotel

This was, again, a very enjoyable few days with the family. Our alternative vacation setup is working very well.

I’m looking forward to my drive next day. To be honest, I’ve not yet really researched where I’m going to go to…the only thing I know is that I’ve got a lot of time left and want to use it.

Short drive - long drive

Short drive – long drive