Harwich to Italy
Wed 4 May 2011 15:42
Hello All, We have survived all the way to Lake Garda where we have a hotel overlooking a marina and boats! (just in case we'd forgotten what they look like)
We had a super cabin on board the Stena Hellanica and a great view from the huge porthole as we arrived at the hook of holland early in the morning. We were off the ferry quite quickly and immediately into the right hand driving and tom tom giving us valuable instructions. It was a nice dry day and we made good progress south. Looking at the map we decided a first night stop might be in Wiesbaden. (Lynette used to live there and I knew it was quite pretty). Using the Bubbs trusty hotel guide we eventually found our way to the right place only to be told it was some sort of congress week and all the hotels were FULL. Doh! back in the car and a quick look at the map and book again and we went on to Darnstadt. (Sadly Darnstadt was not pretty but it did have a pretty good hotel rooom!) Also- next door was an Aussie pizzeria? We had to try one! In case you're wondering an Aussie pizza is not as good as an Italian but Huge! Had a lovely restful night with a good breakfast the next morning and set off towards the Brenner Pass and intending to stay in Innsbruck.
All went well with me doing some of the driving and coping (just) with some of the hundreds of lorries on the inside lane and the aggressive German motor cars steaming up behind us at speeds of over 100 mph. on roads no better than the A12.. Getting into Innsbruck we had a few arguments with the tom tom as we searched for the hotel. Graham did well in the end and dived into the underground car park of the hotel as he spotted it at the last moment. We thought we had it all sorted only to find that again Innsbruck was FULL! No room at the inn so back in the car and continued on to the Brenner Pass. We stopped at a rest station which was supposed to be a tourist information place as well. Wrong! just a lady selling coffee but we asked about places off the main road and she said take the next exit and try. That was a good move so we spent the night in a village in the mountains (see picture) and it was a lovely family run hotel and I managed most of my lovely home cooked wiener schnitzel! (It was almost as big as my Aussie pizza!
Next morning - after a continental breakfast - we said goodbye to the parrot (He lived in the hall) and set off back on to the main (toll) road through the Brenner Pass and Dolomites - at some point going from Austria into Italy. The weather got sunnier and warmer as we drove south and headed to Verona which we fancied seeing. Well we saw some of it but guess what - Verona was having some sort of festival and it was FULL. The lady in the hotel told Graham she would go to Peschiera. (?) We got back to the driving and just a few kilometers later we were looking at a pretty town on the edge of Lake Garda - see pictures. So here we are near the marina and have enjoyed a long walk along the lake and an Italian ice cream.
Tomorrow we set off to Venice where we know there is a hotel room for two nights with our name on it no matter what congress/festival is in town!