Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Aosta and the Forte Di Bard

Today we decided to go north of Torino and check out the Aosta valley or Valle d'Aoste. We received recommendations from some of Dad's friends and colleagues, who all told us we should visit the Forte Di Bard before going to Aosta. So we got in the car and drove for about 45 minutes until we turned off the highway and onto a country road. The whole drive, even the part on the highway, had amazingly beautiful scenery. Once off the highway we saw some signs for the Forte and followed them. We had a little bit of confusion initially, but we figured it out, you could see the huge ominous castle from the ground easily. We drove into a parking garage where we managed to get the spot closest to the exit, we got lucky. We walked up some kinda musty smelling stairs and out into the sun. The weather was good so we had an amazing view of the valley and the mountains. We walked around a bit until we found an information office where the told us to go up the funiculars to get to the Forte. So we got onto one and went almost straight up, it was really cool and fun, we then took another further up, but after that we walked the rest of the way on the path, even though there was another funicular. By this point we were wondering where we would have to pay. We continued up, though, until we reached the castle itself.We walked in to find it empty. We walked into a courtyard where there was a small cafe. We went on and got ourselves some sandwiches for lunch. After Griffin grumped about being hungry while we waited, he only ate half his sandwich when it arrived. Dad and I ate the rest and we headed further into the Forte. We found that the only open room was one filled with TVs telling us about the the Valle d'Aoste. We read about its history for a while and then left the room because Griffin got bored. He really ought to learn to read. After we left we looked around for anything else. We had been told there was a kids alpine museum. We saw the outside but never figured out how to get in. We eventually gave up on getting in and went back out side to go back to the car. We went back town the path a bit and then went back down the funiculars (I really like them). We got back to the parking garage and drove out. We continued our drive in the direction of Aosta and after a little while we got there. As soon as we got into town we followed signs to the center and to parking. We found a parking lot with some spots and parked there. We walked to the Arch of Augustus, a Roman arch to (you guessed it) commemorate Caesar Augustus' victory over barbarians in the valley. We walked by and onto what looked like a street that led to the center of the town. We walked down it and looked in some shops. We continued until we found the tourism office, the man inside directed us to the roman theatre, which was right behind the tourist office. We looked around the theatre, and just hung out there for a while. One wall, a few arches, and some seats are all that remain. They still host events on a stage next to the ruins. Hailey and Mom said that they would want to hang a hammock between two of the arches. We left the theatre and Aosta behind and hit the road back to Torino. We had much difficulty finding a place to park and Dad eventually left us at our building and continued circling town looking for somewhere to park. Hailey and I waited for him at the door but eventually gave up and went inside and to bed. Little did we know that poor Dad had to circle until 11 at night. Sorry Dad!

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