As the 2008 riding season begins, it's time for advance notice of where to be, or not to be, to see lots and lots of Harleys on the road.
Sirmione hosts the annual Harley Owners Group rally between September 25th and 27th this year.
If you are a motorist in the area please watch out for extra numbers of bikes on the road. If you are visiting or local, give us a wave as we ride by!
Because of the supposedly rejuvenating thermal waters, Sirmione attracts a lot of eldery visitors.
I travelled with my Mum and my Aunt, aged 69 and 70 respectively. We stayed in the old town of Sirmione inside the Castle walls. Although it is incredibly beautiful I must issue a little warning - the cobbled streets make walking quite difficult for many, and especially those with walking difficulties.
Apart altogether from the older travellers, watch your step if you intend to wear those divine four inch heels you brought for that special night out. Cobbles seem to attract the heel.......
A warning tip in our hotel welcome letter was that we should not leave the hotel windows open when the lights are on as this will attract the mosquitoes and all other sorts of flies that inhabit the lovely waters of the lake.
This is a special pity when you have paid a hefty supplement for a lake view room, and is not something you are warned about before you book.
Even during the day the pools and gardens can be full of tiny flies and mosquitoes but you get used to them.
We stayed in the lovely Hotel Sirmione, perfectly positioned beside the Saligeri Castle and overlooking the lake inside the old walled town.
The Hotel has, in recent years, added a thermal swimming pool with both indoor and outdoor jacuzzis. The pool overlooks the lake and looks just perfect.
However, I had one or two reservations about this pool and similar pools (if any). Because this is a thermal pool with sulphurous waters it has to be heated to temperatures between 32 and 34 degrees for the full health benefit of thermal waters. From my own point of view (and that of many guests of the hotel) this was way too hot.
Please bear in mind that we were there in late September when the general air temperatures had dropped. If you were there in high season when it's both humid and scorching you would find no cool retreat in the waters of these pools.
Be wary and be sure to limit the time you spend in the thermal pools. Also, bear in mind that if you are looking for a hotel with a pool simply to cool you or for vigorous swimming, this is not the one for you.
One other thing - the sulphur waters smell of rotten eggs, as sulphur does. Sometimes the smeall is worse than others and I then found it nauseating.
The red light is at the 2nd arch (there are three arches at first). The sign says not only to STOP but to TURN OFF YOUR ENGINE as well. During this section there is only room for one car so this must prevent problems. On the weekends there was a policeman. When you get to a fork , stay to the right. To turn to go back down, you have to drive to the New Aquaria Terme Catullo, head left to go back. Or you can stay straight to continue on the the Grotto ruins. The town is very small but it is hard to see for the people.
If you, like me, do not like heights and especially looking down from it, do not go up the castle tower but send your kid up with the camera.
My eldest didn t mind taking the camera up and especially for me she took some photographs looking straight down.
Well, my tummy turned even when looking at the photographs haha, so glad I didn t have to take this photograph. It would have been blurry because of me shaking out of fear lol.
Parking prices are really expensive and here in Sirmione more than the rest. Parking can be a problem while travelling along Lake Garda, you want to stop in a village and a minimum of 1,50 euros up to 2,50 euros per hour of parking, and you do not have other options in most of the places!
Its a pleasant stroll along the lakeside ...and you may be tempted to sit down and take in the views for a while ...but take care..the ducks are messy birds and you may sit where they have been.......
If this happens a friend with a wet one is invaluable to save your blushes ;-0
A lot of tourists come to Sirmione for a day trip only. As you can see on the picture, it is very overcrowded here, looks like an "eden" for pickpocketing. When inside the old core of the town, watch on your money and documents in order to prevent the unpleasant situations.
If you are staying in the old town of Sirmione, you need to get permission from the police stationed in front of the castle to drive beyond the wall. The tricky part is 1) it's hard to tell which way to go because there is a lot of foot traffic; 2) there is one section of "road" that is used for both directions and is controlled by very small traffic lights. We were stopped by the local polizia because we didn't see the red light when we left our hotel, but they let us go with a warning. My advice - try to follow a local driver.
I guess Stace was jealous of Hansi one at Torrox, so he had to make one for himself ;-)