Monday, June 6, 2011

Lake D'Iseo to Passo Ghisallo

At Camping Covello, our campground at Lago D'Iseo we chanced to make two new friends, Steadroy and Anne from Great Britain. They are a wonderful couple and we spent the evening and into the wee hours talking and sharing. Unfortunately due to clumsy camera handling, we lost the one picture of them that we had. But we shall have the chance to replace it as they have invited us to their home in Leicestershire when we get to England and we look forward to seeing them there.

Saturday June 4 we left beautiful Lago D'Iseo and headed to Lago di Como. There was a lot of route finding challenges in addition to making our way through Bergamo. Everything went quite well through Bergamo, but the route finding after Bregamo was frustrating. Near the end of the day, we came to an obvious landmark on the map.

This bridge spanned an enormous gorge with a river.

We spent the night in Merate. The next day the route finding went much smoother. It was a rainy day but as we wound our way steadily higher into the mountains the scenery became ever more dramatic.

Near the town Canzo we saw this waterfall.

Later we passed this 12th century chapel.

We were making our way north, between the two lower arms of Lago Como towards Bellagio. One of the reasons we came this way is that at the town Magreglio, located on the Passo Ghisallo, there is the chapel of the Madonna of Ghisallo Patron Saint of Italian Cyclists.

It is filled with all sorts of significant bicycling memorabilia as well as memorials to cyclists. It's history is much older dating back to the 11th century. A Count Ghisallo was attacked by thieves while hunting in the area and prayed to the Madonna to save him. He was saved and a shrine was built on the spot. In 1623 the little chapel was built and the painting of the Madonna was placed in it. The pass became the end point for many important bicycle races in the early 1900's and in 1949 Pope Pius XII made the Madonna of Ghisallo a patron saint. The chapel sits in a spot with spectacular view of some of the mountains surrounding Lake Como.

We spent the night in Magreglio at a comfortable little inn alongside the road. Tomorrow it is all downhill to Lago Como. Ha,ha,ha...


Anonymous said...

Hey guys! Sorry I haven't been commenting much, I've been sneaking peaks of your blog in the slow moments at work! Still sounds like a great time, and the pictures are astounding, next time I'm putting a video camera in one of your helmets, haha. Jack gets pouty from time to time, but we've been trying to keep him happy with lots of walks and boxes, and I'm rolling my sleeves up to give him another bath right now. All three of us miss you a lot (especially Daniel, as I try to figure out how to cook meat without poisoning anyone), but all is well in Salinas. Will send pictures of the pup soon, if he'll sit still long enough! Cheers and lots of love, Betsy Jane.

Dave and Belinda said...

Betsy, thanks for the update! We really appreciate hearing those things from time to time. Sounds like you are doing a great job with Jack. Make Daniel BBQ the meat. I think he can do it. Daniel, just remember, underdone is better than overdone. We miss you all too. Wish you all could be here with us.


Diana said...

Only in Italy would there be a Patron Saint of Cyclists! The scenery gets better and better as you approach Lake Como. We awoke to snow this morning here in Truckee (on the ground and falling like crazy). The locals are pretty tired of the cold snowed every weekend in May! Our plans to hike/swim/bike are on hold as we await sunny skies.

mas said...

Oh Man, that Belgian Watou looked SO good, the campground at D'Iseo looked better, and the mountains are spectacular!
I've been worshipping cyclists and bikes most of my life, but never at a shrine. Of course my all time hero is in the process of going down in flames--poor Lance, almost got away with it.
Are you using the GPS in the iPad, or paper maps? Good luck with your routing.
Awesome photos as usual.
No doubt you remember Allison NYC--if you get a chance, check out her video from the Crossfit Mainsite yesterday. She turned into a REAL lifter.
Love, mas

Dave and Belinda said...

Diana, last night here in Como we raised a glass to the memory of your grandparents. We hope you are enjoying the snow. Maybe it's time to learn x-country skiing.

Dave and Belinda said...

Thanks Mark, we thought our campsite at Lago D'Iseo was a great site as well. I'm sorry to hear things are unraveling for Armstrong. I've been a fan of his also. We haven't been using the GPS in the iPad because the 3G network doesn't work well over here. Maybe it would with a sim card change. We have been using WiFi exclusively for e-mail and browsing.

Love to all