The IDM is always a fun time, to catch up with explorers from around the world old and new and of course to visit new drains! An early flight to Bergamo the morning before the event was the plan, hire a car, see some sights before driving to Brescia to see the rest of the group.
On arrival, we met our first hurdle a €1000 deposit for the hire car, now being under 23 is a bit of a pain it seems, so we quickly changed the driver to Keitei for only a €250 deposit and we were on our way! Now the normal sites were seen, turbines and derps, alarms and gas holders a nice eclectic mix of urban exploration!
After arrival in Brescia, and at the bar where i had first met Andrea, Nina and Marco in 2010 now decked out with Brescia underground paraphernalia.
Soon the party was moved underground, there is nothing like the sound of a thumbing sound system in an underground tunnel to get your heart beat racing. This years IDM out did anything ive ever seen before, from a Dj booth, lights, and campari on tap, everything concreted my opinion that the Italians are some of the most hospitable people ive ever met. With a mixture of campari, wine, no food in 24 hours and an hours sleep on the plane my camera was soon forgotten and the more important activity of catching up with old friends was at the forefront of my mind
With the inevitable end to the night, and morning group pizza, we left Brescia as even more snow began to fall. With the prospect of another night sleeping rough or in the car, we booked into "flower hostel Milano" kids, NEVER go here. This hostel was simply a building site owned by gypsy mafia (well, something similar).
Glad to get back out on the streets we headed for the restaurant where we were meeting Luca for our last supper of authentic Italian cuisine and after for the most amazing Gelato i have ever had!
We said our goodbyes to Luca and the rest of our party that were leaving that night, and to the other that were leaving early the next morning and with my passport and wallet under my sack, we bed down for the night.
The entire of the next day was taken up with botched attempts at daylight train yards and a very long, very slow journey south in yet more snow.
Now the mountains in North Tuscany might not be hugely tall but I've never seen so much snow in real life before! With breaks in driving taken up with me perfecting my post holing technique for further mountain adventures it was a blessing to be greeted in Florence by a clear sky and full moon, perfect for drains! Drains and here then it was time for the age old explorer tradition of getting drunk and kipping in the car outside explores, this time, Non-plus-ultra was the failed objective....
With a quick call back home and some help from Gina Soden and Doug Forrest we mad our way in the mist and sun through the woods into this magical building, magical is simply the only way to describe it! We spent a couple of hours walking around in awe at the architecture, but as time was getting on, and our flight time nearing we decided to grab some food and make one last pit stop before going home!
Villa Sbertoli was such a let down after Non plus ultra, fantastic in its own right but still not to be partnered with something so unique.
The International Drainer Meet 2013 was such a huge event, amazing to see so many faces old and new, with thanks to all of the Brescia underground particularly Andrea and Giacomo and Luca for being as awesome as ever and organizing an amazing couple of days for everyone! See everyone next year?!