We drove from Jera to Alba in good time, but didn't stop to take photos along the way. We hope this won't happen again; Shell GeoStar on-line maps *should* tell us how long any trip will take, but their engine is problematical ...
It rained. By the time we were driving along the endless, flat, commercial roads in Piemonte, where beauty was not to be found but only a succession of road gangs that meant irritating waiting for stop-gos, it was light but persistent.
There were many young prostitutes along this road; mostly African but not all. We saw neither hide nor hair of client or 'manager'; these little girls were very much alone out there, strung along the ugly roadside in the rain ...
Once reaching the turn-off for Alba, we were almost immediately within the old part of the town -- the new part is on the far side from the major access road. We found our hotel without difficulty and were delighted to have another glorious view from our window.
I loved Alba. It's not exciting in any way, and we were just a tad early (or was it late ?) for its famous truffle markets -- as if !!! ;-) But I would buy my La Gazzetta dello Sport from the little booth in the piazza (and practise my Italian) and it contained
good news for me, so I was absolutely happy. That short time has stayed with me, clear as crystal, in every detail.
We even visited a couple of churches ! -- CS was impressed by the ceiling colours of one, and the other contained a dried nun in a glass case. No accounting for taste. :-\
From Alba we planned to visit MANY towns in the area, but the day turned out to be so foggy that from the moment we drove out of the town we saw very little in front of us. We continued around the hills *very* cautiously, but had to abandon the big drive and settle for what little we could see of Monforte and then Barolo -- CS was very pleased we could see THAT !
When we left, it was to leave Italy, too. It took me a while to come to terms with that.
But the weather was glorious, and our drive through the Colle della Maddalena was awe-inspiring. And up at the border we stopped to let pass a shepherd with his flock; sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys, horses ... and one old dog, just being part of the company ...
So high, we all were, in that thin, thin air, with the blue, blue sky all around ... Something to keep in the heart forever.