Pumping Gas and a Sunday Ride ~ Romancing Italy

Oct 6, 2008

Pumping Gas and a Sunday Ride

I am getting used to things being the opposite of what I expect. When I think there will be rain, it is beautiful, so it came as a pleasant surprise to find another sunny morning filled with promise.

My friends had invited me to join them in a bike ride so I pulled on my thermals, a sweater that usually keeps me warmer than I usually like and my bike jacket and pants over those. I arrived at Bar Silmo a little after 10am and opted for a glass of orange juice instead of the normal coffee. There is some mysterious biological reaction that people (I) have sometimes with a nice warm drink in
the morning ... and I didn't want to run that risk on a long ride. Okay, moving on.

We went to the station to feed my baby her morning juice. I needed to have locals with me when I popped money into the machine because each time I've gone to a station that is not attended, like on a Sunday or during the lunch break, I fail to get the gas pump to work. Did you know that the pumps in Italy are not like those in the States where you can pull the pump, place it in your car, then put in your CC or cash, choose pump etc....and have it all work fine. Well, I used that same US mind some time ago and found the machine had eaten my 50 euro. Fortunately, after the alloted time for the transaction had passed, it spat out a credit form so I could come back at a later time for gas. More recently, I ended up on the phone with a friend asking for help because I still hadn't figured it out. So yes, I needed my Italian friends. And this is how it goes....Payment first (leave the pump ALONE), choose type of gas and pump number. Then lift pump, insert, squeeze. Simple enough.

We headed out for Gressoney which is one of the resorts that is linked by ski lifts to Alagna. I wanted to see what it was like. The valley was exceptionally lovely, even with my hands and feet turning numb in their winter gloves and shoes designed for "nail-biting" winter weather.

View of Monte Rosa from Gressoney

The ride back out of the valley was even more enjoyable as the day had become even warmer. There is something truly humbling about being surrounded by the things that make us realize how small we are. The pines in the distance were so large from where I was, I knew that they were enormous. The sharp cliff that rose in a majestic splendor made me feel like an ant at its feet. It helps put things in perspective. I am not as big or important as I'd like to think. There are other things, bigger than me and I am only a small part of it.

Lunch at Gressoney

Our next stop was Lago Viverone where we met up with another couple, sat in the sun and just let people, dogs and time go by. But all things come to an end, and watching the sun lower in the sky prompted us to rev the engines and head back home. It was a full day of beauty, adventure and companionship. A good combination for a Sunday.



  1. Beautiful photos!

    I haven't really any problems with the pumps. Once I had stopped for gas and had to tell a middle-age ITALIAN guy driving a Volvo station wagon how to work the pumps. Was thinking, ok he's a local and doesn't know how to operate the pump?!?!? Could understand if he would have been a foreign tourist, but a local?

  2. Well, Ann, you just made me feel a whole lot better. Perhaps all his life he's gone to the station when there was an attendant.

    But THANK YOU!! Whew!


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