Day 22 – Friuli Venezia Giulia

We left the bed bug haven of Lake Balaton yesterday for a farm in Northern Italy. I’ve resisted the temptation of playing join the dots between the bites on Lorna’s body, but obviously not of mentioning them in this blog.

On our pleasant 5.5 hour journey yesterday, we were all astonished at the high quality of Slovenia’s service stations. Branded “Marche” (with an acute e that this blog app keyboard can’t find), the food was fantastic. The only better breakfast spread that I’ve seen is in high-end Asian hotels. Compare them to the saturated fat dispensers of the UK…well, let’s say that in Slovenia we did have a welcome break.

We are now staying at a farm in a village in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It’s a region we’ve not been to before, at the foot of the dolomites in very Northern Italy. The first thing that strikes you is the blondness of the people here. I knew – from Cinema Paradiso – that you could get blonde Italians but had never seen so many in one place at the same time.

The farm aims to be somewhat self sufficient. The food grown and the animals reared here are served at the table of the large number of restaurants (it seems that people must come from miles around to eat here). The farm has excellent horse facilities: three Olympic size training rings, 40 horses. It also has free bikes, cooking classes, wine tasting, pool etc. Tilly had a good time attempting to control a spirited 15 hand horse yesterday. Nancy and Lorna went for a more sedate ride on a pony and trap.

I’ve been impressed with the availability of free Wi-Fi on our travels in Europe. I’ve paid only once and that was for less than €1. The farm we are on has several Wi-Fi spots, but the bandwidth isn’t strong. Last night, I started to download a film and it was showing some 200,000 minutes until completion. In this morning’s lower usage timeframe, it’s gone down to 2,243 minutes. Either way, don’t expect a review of Green Zone in the near future.

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