First we started out with our own private van to take us to dinner. A large passenger mini-bus to hold 20 people. Hopefully this will provide a good mental image of our transportation. Keep this image in mind.
We began traveling through Riva well enough, however soon we began climbing up, up, up a mountain. The little narrow road had so many tight switchback it made the crooked road of Highway 8 seem like slight curves.
Next we made a quick stop to pick up our dinner guest, Lucy Ferrari. She is one of the benefactors of the Steger Center Villa where we have been staying. Mrs. Ferrari is so interesting and shared great stories about how the Villa came to Virginia Tech.
Then the true death-defying driving began. We came into this small mountain town. The tunnels and houses were just barely wide and tall enough to allow us to pass. BARELY. Imagine as you pass by a building, seeing all the scrapes and dings were previous travelers did not go through unscathed. We passed through and the walls were merely inches from my window. It was like the scene in one of the Harry Potter films where the double decker bus squeezed into the narrow passage between two other busses. I held my breath.
The view made up for it, especially at night. You could even see an Italian town in the valley. Dinner with Mrs. Ferrari was a joy and her stories were fascinating.
The trip down…well, that is another tale for another time. Nevertheless, we all returned safely.