Traffic free routes and cycle paths. Few nasty roads. Nice weather too.
The train left at 05:47. At last, a walk in the cool for at least part of the day. In fact the cool was pleasantly warm and sunny, later becoming hot. A cooling breeze blew from time to time.
The walk was a joy from end to end. It started with a really interesting crossing of the River Po. Then the route followed the river on a lane closed to all traffic except farmers. There were fields of sweet corn, wheat and a clover that might have been lucerne. There were poplar plantations at all stages of maturity. These were full of singing birds. There were lots of crickets and cicadas chirping and there were skylarks rising. A real bonus was ripe wild cherries waiting to be picked. You need to get away from the city crowds to find such delights. There were sweet yellow ones in a road-side tree and sharper pinkish red ones in a small hedge-row bush. What a pity the shops only have bog standard cherries. There are so many flavours out in the wild.
Back on the roads, there was not much traffic and there were frequent stretches with cycle and foot paths separated from the traffic with a crash barrier. The plague of stupid unnecessary signs has hit Italy too. Every driveway into a house or farm had and end-of-cycle-path sign followed four meters later by a beginning-of-cycle-path sign. There is a good photo of this stupidity above. No wonder Europe is broke if this is how we spend our money.
There was a well supervised school party on the train back to Milano. Unlike the French children who ran riot on the train near Cerbère, these children were so good, I forgot they were there.
Most expeditions have expensive trains at the start and end of the trip and cheap ones where the walk is close to base. This time, the Hotel Gamma in Milano, Lambrate was so much cheaper than the alternatives that most of the daily fares have been EUR 10 to 15. Every day there is an hour of train ride out to the walk and another home, except of course on wet days when the connections don't work. The hotel was fine. The room was small, well maintained and clean. There was air conditioning that probably would not cope with really hot summer weather. There were no breakfasts due to dining room renovations but with 05:15 departures from the hotel, 7 am breakfasts were way too late.
And finally when it's cold and tipping down with rain, why do you have to wait nearly two hours for a train? Today it was balmy and a quiet sit, to cool down and dry off the sweaty back from the rucksack, would have been most welcome but the train arrived in 15 minutes. Of course the train had vinyl seats to make matters worse. This is more evidence for the hypothesis of Quantum Inconvenience. Just as many classical quantum effects disappear if you try to observe then, so too with quantum inconvenience. So if you try to measure toast always falling butter side down, the quantum effect vanishes and the toast obeys the traditional laws of mechanics.
Train: EUR 11.90