Monday, October 9, 2017

In Search of the Stelvio Pass

Waking up early on Sunday morning in Bormio, making sure we hadn't left anything in our hotel room, we took off for the Stelvio Pass.  This road links Bormio with Merano, and 2 weeks ago when we rented the Alfa we'd thought we'd be driving it but the weather wasn't cooperative.  This time we are in the rented Audi A-4, with seat belts! 
We drove out of Bormio, and began the climb to 9,000+ feet.  As we climbed I realized that I'd driven half of this side of the pass, and pulled over for Dr. C. to take over, after all this was his bucket list we were checking off. 

We pulled off for some photos and then Dr. C. took off to the top.  At each hairpin (and there are more than 60) there is a marker telling you which one you've passed. 

As we climbed the mountain, it began to snow, and the higher we got the snowier it was.  Although we grew up in snowy conditions, we hadn't been in them in a long time. 

This is the end of the Bormio to summit side, then we had to go down the other side to reach Merano.

The road has been described as lengths of spaghetti.  We saw bicyclists, motorcycle riders, and some antique cars while on the road.

Reaching the top, we made a pit stop, I looked for non-existent souvenirs (it was too early for anyone to be open) and then we got back in the car, hoping the snow would stop the farther down the mountain we went. 
I thought this was the last turn on the way down, but we had several more, before the road evened out.

This road cuts through some of the most majestic scenery, we felt blessed to be here. 
This is just a sample of the drive, and this was 1/2 way down the mountain.  We think that at this point we were in Switzerland, as you do pass into it and then out again to Italy.  So Dr. C. got to check this one off his list, and if truth be told when we mistakenly drove the Gavia Pass, it was worse, the Stelvio at least is a 2-lane road, with side barriers for most of the drive, the Gavia is a straight shot off the cliff, never to be heard from again.  I also got to cross off another UNESCO World Heritage sight with our ride on the Bernina Express.  It was a great weekend.  We are now back home in Spello enjoying gorgeous fall weather.  Ciao for now. 

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