Wednesday, 9 September 2015
The Alps - Day 21 - Chiesa (Hotel la Betulla) to Saverne (Hotel National - but we won't boast about that)
Another cloudless morning in Chiesa. But as we drove towards Lake Como it clouded over and even drizzled.
Coffee was taken in Porlezza - the view from the café is shown (top), then we headed on to Lugano.
Lugano is a large, ugly town, with dreadful traffic. We got in what appeared to be the right line but was in fact the left (wrong) one and spent a while touring the town despite TomTom's best efforts.
Once on the motorway to Basel everything went smoothly and the sun came out. We whizzed past our final views (middle picture) of the Alps before going underground in the 17 km St Gotthard tunnel.
Our target, Colmar, was reached by 4 pm, so we continued for another hour to Wasselonne. The good value hotel we wandered into had no rooms available. What a contrast to our experiences in Italy, where we were often the only guests.
We were told that all the rooms in the vicinity were booked for tonight.
Q: "Has a cruise ship full of migrants just landed?"
A: "No, a fleet of airliners has arrived with the European Parliament, and they need somewhere to stay."
So we continued to Saverne, a big place - we preferred somewhere smaller. A little further on was Phalsbourg, a nice town with a good looking hotel. Just the one. €160 for a basic room. We were beginning to wish we'd brought a tent.
On the advice of the nice lady in the expensive hotel, we returned to Saverne, where there would be "lots of rooms". The place is pretty quiet but the first two (large) hotels we tried were both full.
Beggars can't be choosers. Hotel National had a room for €58 which is actually a bit better than my room on Day 1 of the trip.
It turns out to be a nice town with a canal (pictured bottom) and a good pizzeria.
We should sleep well. We are 350 miles closer to home than we were this morning.