This afternoon’s cycle was mainly along a very straight canal than leads from the southern suburbs of Milan to Pavia and we arrived in Pavia a few hours ago. After a beer in the main square went for a quick tour of the town (part 1 – part 2 tonight!). It’s a nice provincial town teeming with crumbling buildings, some unfortunately more than others; a tower of the cathedral collapsed in 1989 killing four people who were unfortunate enough to be stood under it at the time. The bridge in this picture is actually a rebuilt version of the one that stood until it received a few fatal hits by allied bombs during the war. You wouldn’t know unless someone told you and clearly someone (Simone) told me. And most interesting all when it comes to my journey south is that, for the first time since leaving Dover, I have been reunited with the Via Francigena! I even saw some of the signs at the other side of the bridge. This is useful as William and Bronwyn’s cycling guide (see “route” section) is now relevant and I’ll be using it for a guide as to the upcoming terrain; I was spoilt in Switzerland by the profiles from the Swiss cycling website and I’m going to miss them as I travel down through Italy.
We are now back at Simone’s flat just north of the town centre and I have met Elettra (she has a mother fascinated by Greek culture!), his girlfriend and in a short while we are all heading off back into town for something to eat and the tour part 2.
The statistics by the way are as follows, from Como to Pavia;
Cycling time: 5 hrs 16 mins 16 secs
Distance: 96.26 kms
Average speed: 18.2 kms/hr
Maximum speed: 43.4 kms/hr
Eurovelo 5 distance: 1,840.5 kms.