Archive for the “Austria” Category
We woke up in rainy Lienz at another almost abandoned parking lot by a athletic facility only open by appointment, another find from our guidebook (though, having lent the non-Germany volume of the guidebook to our new friends since we only needed it one more night, I was going by my notes – I’d noted down only the GPS coordinates, which turned out to be wrong and led us down a dirt road to nowhere in the rain – I’ll use addresses from now on, since that also happened to us on the way to Postojna, though that road might have gotten us there, if with a broken van. Luckily I’d also written down the name of the facility and a helpful gas station attendant helped us find it, so it worked out).
And, shamefully, we headed back to another McDs for breakfast. This was because, only because, I’d seen the night before that in Austria they actually have breakfast, unlike the McDs here in the Netherlands, and the one thing I really like at McDs is the hashbrowns, and I wanted some. As it turns out in Austria they call them rostis, and they are basically the same – yay for yummy fried goodness. Threw in some Egg McMuffins (just egg and cheese) just for fun and since it’s another thing we can’t get. Not that I ever eat them at McDs home, but I used to make my own (with veggie sausage things), but since English muffins are also not findable in the Netherlands haven’t had them in a while.
Then headed over to the Lidl for bread, pastries and juice – and again in Austria the baked goods are better at the Lidl than in our bakery. Sigh.
Another taste of America was to be found in the outskirts of Austrian cities, which in their strip mall planning looked like most American cities. It’s interesting because while in other countries, not the Netherlands so much, there are big box stores (and we’re talking huge) on the edges of cities, but they are situated differently than in the US and have a different feel. But in Austria we could have been back in anytown USA. I’m sure the centre was much different in Lienz though, as I just found out from Wikipedia that it is a medieval city, first mentioned in a deed in 1030, and that it received city rights in 1242.
Anyway, having apparently missed out on medieval goodness in favour of grease, we headed out on the road in the driving rain, through tunnels and mountains to the flatter German plain. By the time we got to Regensburg for a late lunch, the rain had ironically stopped (regen being rain in German). We found green space near the centre on the GPS and headed there, finding that most of it wasn’t actually accessible but a bit was, had lunch in a bandstand and let the kids run about:
Sprockette headed off at one point with her juice cup and the three tickets from Postojna in hand, looking quite satisfied with herself and making sure she had all four things every time she dropped one of them:
Then we headed into the centre for a very quick look as the kids were getting cranky (and, as I’ve just realized from the wiki article, I can now add another thing to my UNESCO list).
Sprocket actually likes going in churches, and was taken by this statue:
And I liked this business name:
More street scenes:
And another street:
And then Sprocket thought I should take a picture of him and his feather:
And one more street shot:
Before heading off on the road, heading to another free parking space in Mainbernheim, outside of Wurzburg, which was supposed to be very charming, we stopped on the way for our obligatory German supermarket stop, stocking up on veggie baby food jars (for over 12 months – still useful in emergencies and Liam likes them too), and a few German beers, including one that’s been brewed since 1119 and a relative newcomer, only brewed since 1412. And, something very close to English muffins, called toast bread, luckily vacuum packed.
Saw this interesting cloud formation on the way, rain just in a very definite area:
As it turned out, the baby food was a very good idea, as we had something to feed the kids. The idea was to get the kids to sleep and then go get food – the book said restaurants close by, and there were two of them, but I’d gotten scared by the menus on the first scouting mission (didn’t look like much we could eat and I didn’t know if they’d do take out), and by the time DutchBoy got back down, they were closed. We thought about eating other things, but fell asleep before we could act on it. Our last night sleeping in the van – we looked forward to exploring the charming town in the morning, after our first taste of its charms:
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OK, that’s stretching the alliteration thing a bit (which I have to admit started quite by accident in Strasbourg), but spelunking in the longest cave in the world is the main reason people, millions upon millions of them (34 million since 1817 as a matter of fact), come to Postojna.
Oh, and there’s a castle, but we didn’t go there. I would like to get there when they have their medieval days, with jousting and all, but for this trip it wasn’t a priority. And the kids would probably enjoy it more when they’re older.
Of course, can you really call it spelunking when you’re loaded on a train and then led quickly through on crowded tours, separated by language group, not a headlamp in sight? Probably not.
DutchBoy chose not to come, saying he’d been to enough caves and balking at the cost (€22 per adult and €1 for each kid since they’re under five) choosing to read an exciting document about spatial planning instead. But the rest of us headed in.
On the way in, I realized I’d forgotten my camera in the bus so DutchBoy went down to get it for me, rushing to make sure I’d get it in time to make the next train. This turned out to be a wasted trip as I got about one good(ish) picture of these guys waiting to board:
And then, on the train, the battery died, the spare one still in the bus.
The train was really the best part – it felt like an amusement park ride as we whizzed within inches of stalactites and stalagmites and other cave features, almost, but not quite, needing to duck our heads. Then we walked in a loop for about an hour, through lots of cool cave thingies, and up and down hills clad with an impressive no slip finish, then back on the train for another exciting ride (after giving us time to visit the gift shop before the train arrived, an opportunity we did not avail ourselves of).
My camera dead, I took a few pictures with my iPhone, some of which actually turned out quite interesting after a bit of tweaking.
This despite the fact that the guide said not to take any pictures, especially with flash (which I didn’t use), a restriction which was quite universally ignored and quite unenforced, even the frequent flashes and quite professional looking equipment. The Slovenians seem to not be quite into enforcing rules, as we’ve noticed in other places. So, I didn’t feel too bad about my few pictures, especially when I came out and saw the advertisement for special photography tours of the caves.
Then back in the train for another roller coaster ride:
Then, we emerged back into the light. The kids actually quite liked it, both the train and the walk. Sprockette made noises of enjoyment and looked about with great interest, and Sprocket was quite good and had no problem with the walk, and was also very interested in the various holes and waterways. Sprocket made snake noises most of the way through, while his friend tried to shush him the whole time so they were both making the same noise.
We then made our way to the campground, probably the nicest of the three we’d been to in Slovenia, and set the two vehicles up next to each other. After a shared dinner, we put the kids to sleep and stayed up late (almost to midnight!) drinking Slovenian wine and having a lovely chat.
In the morning, the boys played with another bilingual three-year-old boy (Dutch/Italian), running around hitting each other with big branch fans, until disagreements arouse and the Australian dad redirected them into making a “shelta”, as Sprocket still says with an Australian accent, with those branches as a base. For a while the boys were guided into finding branches and leaves for Ben to shape into his shelter:
And Sprockette tried her best to ride Sprocket’s bike:
Before long Sprocket and the Dutch/Italian boy, bored with shelter making, started riding their bikes down the quite steep hill as fast they could go, making my heart stop a few times, especially before we got his helmet on. But no crashes (this time).
And then, after Ivo took the kids for a swim as I packed up and showered, we had lunch, Sprocket decorating his face with chocolate/hazelnut spread:
Before we left I got some last pics of the kids and dad in the shelter:
And we said goodbye and headed off in our separate directions, we back home and them to Italy. It was a lot of fun hanging out together and we wish them the best in the rest of their travels.
Of course, we couldn’t just take the absolutely most direct home, electing to see a bit more of Slovenia on the way out. Here we’re still on the highway:
Then we headed off the highway for a bit of a sightseeing tour on a secondary route:
Through a lot of roads that cry out for a motorcycle – apparently they have a few accidents in the area (the sign is a good indicator for fun roads):
We did see a bunch of motorcyclists, including two pulled over in a speed trap, one in each direction. We also saw an accident, a flipped car, but we think the people were OK.
More lovely roads:
Before a last few shots on our way out of Slovenia on the highway:
Then through Austria, where after a dinner at the hated McDs (wifi for the previous posts and a playground being the main attractors), we drove into the rainy night, and discovered that our headlights really suck before our free camping of the night in Lienz.
This isn’t the end of the trip though, I’ve got a few more posts coming from our last two days on the road.
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Leaving Oberaudorf, we took a bit of a detour to avoid a traffic jam, and were treated to another random castle. OK, it probably isn’t random, it probably has good geographical and political reasons for being there, but we didn’t stop to find out:
Then back into Austria for the straight shot to Slovenia. The kids fell asleep, tired out by their morning on the mountain, but when Sprockette woke up she wasn’t happy. That is, until we went off the highway and onto a secondary route to try and find gas (not easy on a Sunday). She stopped crying as soon as we got off the highway, and loved this bit:
And then started again as soon as we got back on and it looked like this:
We ended up stopping at a reststop and eating and playing for a bit. Then onward to Slovenia! Of course, there are no borders any more, but the toll station for the tunnel under the mountains that separate Austria from Slovenia will do:
We paid our toll, and bought our vignette (a sticker you put on your car instead of paying tolls in a country – we now have Switzerland for 2011, Austria for 10 days and Slovenia for 7). And then through the tunnel to emerge in our 37th, 35th, 16th or 11th country! Sprockette picked up Luxembourg and Liechtenstein on this trip, but for the rest of us it was the first new one in a while.
Bled sounded nice, so we decided to go camp there. And it was beautiful, though the campground was pretty crowded by my tastes – DutchBoy thought it was totally normal:
And a panorama – spot the van:
The first day we didn’t do much. Sprocket made a new friend with a cheekily cute little 3-year-old English girl who was camping next door. They got on really well:
And Sprockette also got stung by a wasp – they were everywhere. At least we’ve determined she’s not allergic. She was fine after a bit of crying and sting stop.
And the kids played with their Papa:
And we tried to set up the tent that came with the van. Another thing we probably should have done before we left home, because as it turns out, the tent is made for a different kind of vehicle, one that has a rail that’s 2.44 to 2.55 m high, not the under 2 meter tall one on the van (I found this out when I went online looking for a user manual). It was sad, and I was sad that we hadn’t prepared well, so sad I didn’t even take a picture of it because it depressed me – but here’s a bit from the panorama:
At least it provided a bit of privacy, even if we had to move it out of the way to open doors and our heads hit the top of it. Sigh. Another thing to find and buy. At least I can make sure to get one I like.
The next day, we headed into Bled, taking the tourist train around the lake (I didn’t get a picture of that either – that felt like it would have elevated my cheesy tourist quotient just a step too high – but we’re talking about one of those trains on wheels that go through zoos and the like.) It was a nice way to get into the town and we had nice views of the lake the whole way. And the kids liked it of course.
Here’s a panorama of the lake from in front of the campground, taken while I was waiting for the train:
And the regular shot:
And the panorama from the other side:
And a couple of regular shots:
And then we saw what there was to see in Bled. Not much as it turns out – the attraction is really the lake and the outdoorsy stuff around it. The town is basically a shopping area built into a hillside with shops and restaurants for tourists. We did find a tiny camping store and got some more gas for our little stove, since we haven’t managed to get propane for the bus stove yet. I know, I know. No pictures from the town of Bled either, but it wasn’t that interesting. We had some crepes that were pretty good, and then Sprocket ran around and around while Sprockette slept in the stroller. Pretty exciting stuff.
Then we walked along the water for a bit, Sprocket fed grass to a swan:
And played with the relief map of the area, making trains go around the lake and things through it:
And we found our next fixer-upper project, now that we’re so good at it:
And we just missed a train going home, which made us get back too late, but while we were waiting for the next one, we got ice cream and then DutchBoy showed Sprocket things on a map:
When we got back, Sprocket was pretty wild, which really made us appreciate this van:
We chose for another day of doing nothing much. Sprocket’s friend left to go back to England and he was not happy. As soon as he woke up he was standing outside their caravan like a lovesick teenager, waiting for her to come out and play one last time. They were really cute together.
And Sprockette got a tick. The silly thing is I’d seen it the night before when bathing her, but I had no idea what it was. Ivo did recognize it, and freaked a little. The English couple were just leaving, and gave us the (bad) advice to scrape it out. I looked it up, and found out what to do and tried my best to do it. It seemed to get cleared up quickly but it’s still scary though.
We did have maintenance type plans, like doing laundry, but when we found it was €5 each for the washer and dryer, we decided we could make do. We got some maintenance type things done, but it was a hot, sticky day, and we finally decided to head down to the lake for a swim, of course, just after the clouds rolled in. DutchBoy was reluctant to come in, but the kids loved it, especially Sprockette.
Then I got excited by seeing something that looked like it could be perogies in the campground store, and bought some. After boiling them, I found they were more like dumplings (which is also what it had said in the English translation on the package but I was so hoping for perogies), and fried them too to make them yummier. DutchBoy and I thought they weren’t too bad, but the kids weren’t impressed and wouldn’t eat them – though they’d devoured rice and lentils the previous night. Funny tastes.
In the morning we packed up and left. One final scenic shot of the church as we left:
I was a bit sad that we hadn’t gotten out to the island and the church, but the options were paying €10-12 each for a tourist boat, or renting a rowboat for €10/hour – an hour would have been enough, but with Sprockette being such a monkey and Sprocket impulsive we didn’t think it was safe. Similarly, there was a beautiful gorge nearby, with a walk through the trees and over a stream and such, but with these kids we didn’t think it would be the best idea. Even with Sprockette in the back carrier, we weren’t sure about Sprocket not trying to run and climb about. But we did have a good time anyway, and the area around Bled is certainly gorgeous – and Slovenians are nice and friendly and most, at least in the tourist places we’ve been to so far, are happy to speak some English, even if they only speak a bit. So although we didn’t do much, we might go back to the area (maybe not to Bled itself, except to take a boat out to the church), especially if I can convince DutchBoy that the outdoors is fun.
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Many years ago, my parents hitchhiked around Europe with me and my sister, then almost 3 and less than 1. They hadn’t planned on hitchhiking – they bought a car in Amsterdam and planned to drive to visit my grandparents during my grandfather’s sabbatical in Nice. But the car broke down soon after they bought it, and being the early 70s, hitchhiking was the next best thing. At the time, my sister and I shared a passport and my father made a point of getting it stamped in Liechtenstein and Luxembourg – two tiny countries for two tiny girls. Three years ago, when we were camping nearby in Germany, we made a trip to Liechtenstein, paid two Euros at the tourist office, and continued the tradition by getting Sprocket’s passport stamped. We figured since we were close by, it was now time to do Sprockette’s. So we did.
Since we’d already explored the metropolis of Vaduz (it’s tiny) on our last trip, we hit the tourist office, got Sprockette’s passport stamped, and asked them where the playgrounds were. Stopped by the public toilets and got a quick picture of the kids in front of the same model of the castle we’d gotten a picture of Sprocket at three years ago:
Had to be quick, because a bus load of Indian tourists kept jumping in front of us for the same picture. Then Sprocket wanted to get a picture of us:
Then, while I availed myself of the facilities, I saw a bus load of East Asian tourists and thought to myself – oh, if we were there the kids would be being mobbed for pictures. Then, I really had to laugh when I came out and a woman from China was busy getting pictures of the kids and her with them. I did put her to use in getting a picture of all four of us, though Sprockette was more interested in being sure to hold onto the umbrella :
Then we went to the playground and ate lunch, continuing the tradition of playgrounds in small countries as in Monaco during our trip two years ago. Rather, we grabbed bites of it between the slide and the swings. Sprockette and her sliding – girl is crazy for it:
We were the only people in the playground, despite it being Saturday afteroon. Two thirds of the people who work in Liechtenstein don’t live there – they depend on migrant labour – though having Swiss and Austrians as migrant labour does point to a certain level of prosperity. A view of the playground, with the castle looming above.
Walking back to the car – here are public buildings in Liechtenstein (church is placed under the castle, as is everything else):
And DutchBoy with the kids:
And Sprocket wanted to go in the church, but it was closed, so I got him to try and look like a gargoyle.
Then we were off. But which way to go? We’d thought we’d go through Switzerland to Italy and then to Slovenia, but using the GPS, we saw that the traffic jams going out of Switzerland were more than an hour and a half, and we’d rather not do that. See, the delays getting the car fixed had put us in Switzerland smack dab on one of the summer’s Black Saturdays, when everyone in Western Europe heads out on vacation. And Switzerland, with its passes and tunnels, tends to get clogged up. Coming in to the country we’d already seen the signs warning of delays, but hoped we’d wait them out. No such luck and there were no ways around it. We decided to head through Austria and a tiny bit of Germany instead. This is why we don’t make reservations.
Austria’s always lovely, and has random castles on hilltops:
But where would we sleep tonight?
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Maybe buying a tent called “Waterfall” wasn’t such a hot idea. Maybe it somehow cursed us. Ridiculous idea maybe, but hard to avoid when Libertario tells you this is the most rain he’s ever seen in May in all of his 60 years.
The trip started well. We made it from DutchBoy’s parents’ house to Italy much the way we’d planned, with an overnight in Colmar, France. Around Lugano, Switzerland, DutchBoy remembered that his aunt and uncle had very much enjoyed their stay at a campground in the area, and we sms’d them for info. We almost went there, and then looked at the clouds and thought, nah, close to the mountains is not where we want to be when there are rain clouds coming, let’s go to the coast – it’ll probably be clearer there.
And it was. As we pulled into our campground in Deiva Marina (between Genoa and Cinque Terre) on Monday evening, it was clear and dry. We told Sprocket that we would go swimming in the morning and looked forward to a nice warm day on the beach, and giving Sprocket the beach toys we’d brought as a surprise. And then, in the night, it started. Rain. Vancouver rain. Steady, steady rain. The kind of rain brought on by clouds hitting mountains and emptying themselves out enough to lift themselves over them. When we woke up, DutchBoy said that it probably just sounds bad because we’re in the tent. I knew better. I’ve too much experience camping on the Wet Coast. This rain was bad, and it was nowhere near stopping.
DutchBoy asked the campground lady what the forecast was – she said it would be better tomorrow. We thought OK, one day of rain, we can take that. So, DutchBoy and Sprocket walked into the village and back, getting utterly soaked, and we hung out and then found a supermarket and had pizza in a (warm, dry) restaurant. It was good. But we talked to some Germans in the restaurant and they told us the forecast for the rest of the week was rain. We decided to pack up in the morning and seek a drier place.
In the morning, it became clear that this was a very good idea, as the water was starting to seep through the outer tent and onto the inner tent. With another day of rain, the tent would truly have resembled its namesake. We repacked the car and headed south. If we got to Pisa or so, we thought, it would be dry, since we’d be out of the coastal mountains. So, we decided to spend the night in a hostel in Pisa and look at the weather to decide where to go next. We hoped the hostel would have somewhere to dry our tent and wash our burgeoning supply of wet and dirty clothes.
Except, when we got to Pisa (which was beautifully dry and sunny – though it was clear that the rain had just left), the hostel we were looking for (based on info in our 8-year-old guidebook), was no longer there. After fruitless attempts to find the tourist info (well, it was found eventually, but by then had closed for the day), we started calling hotels from the GPS, since all the hotels in the guidebook were in the city centre, where we didn’t fancy leaving a fully loaded car overnight. We found one, they gave us a deal on the price, and we headed off, with no idea what kind of place we were heading into.
We got to the Villa Rinascimento and found a gorgeous building in a lovely hillside setting – probably even lovelier if it hadn’t been raining again. We had a room in the “annex” where the rooms were done in a style I’ll call affluent rustic. Perfect for our three-year anniversary, even if our celebratory dinner was pasta surreptitiously heated up outside over the campstove and eaten all together sitting on the floor of our room (it was very late by then, and taking overtired kids to a restaurant is a recipe for disaster). They even let us dry out the tent in the workshop area. Breakfast the next morning was great, complete with a waiter who called me beautiful. And everyone admired the kids. And, they had internet to use to check the weather forecast. That’s where it got bad again. Rain, rain and more rain, for most of the next week, and throughout all of Northern Italy. Sigh. We decided to do something other than camp.
We used the internet to look for agriturismo locations (places to stay on agricultural land) and called a couple of them, without finding a good match. But, as it turns out, our next door neighbours and friends from Utrecht were also coming to Tuscany later in the month for vacation, and since our time overlapped, had emailed us the location they were staying. We looked at the website, decided it looked good, gave them a call, and decided to stay there for a week. It was by Stabbia, a little village in between Lucca and Florence.
When we got to Corte in Poggio, we knew it was a good choice. It was a lovely hilltop location, with flowers and vineyards in all directions. We had a two room apartment and Libertario and his wife had a crib for Sprocket and a bath for the kids and absolutely doted on them. Perfect. While we were waiting for the apartment to be ready, it started to rain again, so we took off in the car to drive around aimlessly and let the kids sleep. We decided we liked the area. We saw signs for Medici villas and vineyards and then a place called Vinci – hmm, we wondered, I wonder if this is where Leonardo came from, and headed there. Indeed it was, complete with musea. The kids were still sleeping so decided to come back a different day, and we headed back to our home for the next week to get it all set up and have dinner. Having an apartment is much better than a hotel with kids since parents still have a place to sit after the kids are in bed and it’s easy to make them meals whenever it’s convenient.
Friday (overcast with shadows), we headed back to Vinci and went to the musea – cool models of Vinci’s technical drawings, but not much else – and the house he was born in – nice location, but just a house with nothing in it. Saturday (sunny!), we headed to Siena, along with lots of other tourists. Very lovely city. Sunday (sunny, with rainy bits), was Mother’s Day, and my present was getting to sleep in as long as possible. We didn’t do much – planned to go out to dinner, but I wasn’t feeling well, so I went back to sleep and DutchBoy got us (very, very yummy) pizza.
Monday (back to overcast with showers), we headed into Florence by train and wandered around. The way it’s written up everywhere I was expecting my socks to be knocked off a la Stendhal, and probably if we could do musea and old churches we might have been more impressed, but travelling with two small kids I didn’t find it awe-inspring, I think mainly because there were sooooo many tourists. Could also be because I’ve been spoiled by so many beautiful places or because of the weather. It was nice and all, but I certainly didn’t get dizzy from the beauty.
Tuesday it was raining steadily, so we decided to go shopping. We’d asked the tourist info in Florence for malls, but they’d given us a list of designer outlets – we went to one just south of Florence hoping to find other stores as well, but no luck, and we’re just not designer types. We did stop in Florence on the way back for dinner at Il Vegetariano (English review), which was extremely yummy.
Wednesday (overcast with showers), it was back to Pisa (which was lovely and sunny again) so I could take a look at the tower. We also went to the Carrefour there (I love going to supermarkets in other countries) and I stocked up on linguini (can only find it in one store in Utrecht, and it’s not especially cheap) and we got some wine to take home. On Thursday (sunny, with cloudy/rainy periods), we headed to Lucca to do a bit of shopping – it was more low key than most of the other local places, though there were still busloads of tourists roaming about. We also visited tourist info to get help finding a place to stay for the weekend – Corte in Poggio was fully booked as of the next day. While there, we saw that there was a wine festival in tiny village of Montecarlo, and as it turned out, the cheapest B&B they told us about was also there, so it seemed perfect. In the morning, we called, booked for the weekend, and then drove off to San Gimignano for the afternoon, which is a very picturesque little village with lots of tours and lots and lots and lots of tourists. We wanted to go to Volterra as well, but as we left San Gimignano, Sprocket fell asleep, so we drove there, took pictures from the outside, and then left, heading off to Montecarlo.
It was pretty late as we pulled up and we hadn’t eaten yet, but as luck would have it, just as we got there, two 60ish Dutch women staying there as well came back and offered to watch the babyphone after the kids went down so we could go and have a nice dinner. They were both mothers, one a grandmother even, and it seemed perfect. After a bit of struggling, the kids were asleep and we headed out for our first dinner out alone since Sprockette was born. It was lovely – good food in a nice restaurant – but we couldn’t completely relax and make dinner as long as Italians do since we were worried that Sprockette would wake up and need feeding. We partly chose the restaurant because we saw one of the big burly waiters taking a plate of food out to feed the cats in the square outside the restaurant, but it was a good choice.
Saturday morning it was raining again, steady, steady rain so we just wandered around Montecarlo after breakfast and then headed back to the B&B to let Sprocket take a good nap, since he was exhausted. He woke up much more cheerful so we headed back to the village to see the fort, which was open and free for the festival, and staffed by people in medieval costumes. There was no let up in the rain, and as we headed back to the B&B after dinner, we saw that the wine festival had apparently been cancelled, as none of the planned festivities were in evidence.
Sunday, our last day in Italy before heading back to sign the papers for the house on Thursday (we left an extra travel day to be on the safe side), we headed off to the zoo in Pistoia (where the pistol was invented) and met our neighbours from Utrecht there, as they’d arrived the previous day. Sprocket and their son really, really enjoyed the animals and playing with each other – and it was nice to see them here and have a lovely relaxed time together. After that, we headed back to the B&B and got our last Italian pizza for dinner. It was good – we had managed to find some pizza that was only OK during the trip, but were lucky this time. We hadn’t been so lucky with the B&B – there was nothing wrong with it, and the location was scenic, but the owner seemed over the whole idea of guests in his home and wasn’t very friendly. The last night we were there he even fell asleep in the room next to ours with the TV blaring.
Monday morning we loaded the car and headed back north, through Austria this time to avoid any problems with Swiss customs and bottles of wine. We found a nice guesthouse in Innsbruck for Monday night and then made it to DutchBoy’s parents by Tuesday evening, giving us a day to rest before signing the house papers on Thursday the 20th of May.
Despite the rain it was a fun trip and I definitely want to go back to Italy. The food (and wine) was wonderful and Italians are very friendly overall and love, love, love children. Walking around with our kids is like accompanying rock stars. I even liked the driving, though most people would say it’s insane. DutchBoy much preferred that I drive. The roads, however, are horrid. But they go through such lovely places that we can overlook that. And, although we stayed in a small geographic area, there’s so much more to see even there, let alone the rest of the country. Many Dutch people ask why we moved here instead of living in Canada as they’d all like to – being able to drive to Italy in two days is one of the reasons.
For the photo album from the trip, click here or on the photo below.
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