Heading Home

We had arrived in France at the end of September and it was now almost November.  We had driven south through the centre of France, from Paris to the Mediterranean coast;  we had walked the streets of mediaeval towns, traversed gorges and  bridges; afternooned in Spain, tootled on the canal, soaked up the ambiance of numerous villages and seaside ports; we had survived the roads of Italy, dwelt in a small Tuscan hill town, lunched in a marble quarry, and dined on exquisite pasta to die for … and now it was time to head home.

We headed northwest from our hilltop village of Verrucole, and soon we were heading through the mountains … I mean through the mountains, as in tunnels.  Many tunnels.  There were 33 of them in the first 60 km from Aulla to Rapallo. Some so close together that only a hundred metres, or less, separated them. We popped out of one, had a few seconds of daylight and then entered the next one.  We eventually went through 106 tunnels on the way north to the mother of all tunnels – the Mont Blanc tunnel.

The tunnel took six years to build, completed in 1965, and runs under Mont Blanc.   For all that effort it reduces the route from France to Turin by 50 kilometres (31 mi) and to Milan by 100 kilometres (62 mi). We entered the tunnel from Italy, at 4,500 feet and exited seven miles later in France at 4,200 feet.   This is a shot of Mont Blanc.

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