Trip to Italy, Part 1: Road Trip!
29 Tuesday May 2012
No tags :(
This Spring, two of my friends from Madison told me they were planning a trip to Italy with some other friends of ours to watch the Giro. They asked if Willow and I would like to come. My initial reaction was that I would like to join them, but I would not bring Willow. I figured if I brought her, I’d have to drive, and that would probably take forever.
As it turns out, according to Google maps, ‘forever’ is 750 km and 8 hours of driving. If I flew, the nearest airport was Milan, which was still a 3 hour drive from the place we were staying, so I’d have to rent a car or figure out some other way to get there. Plus, the plane ticket to Milan was expensive, and I’d have to put Willow in the kennel. So, the more I researched, the more driving seemed like a good idea.
I had planned to leave on Tuesday since I had a friend visiting from the states until Monday, but after I dropped her off at the airport in the morning, I was itching to get going, so I packed up the car and was on the road at 1pm. I plugged my destination into the GPS, and Garmin told me I’d get there before 9pm. Perfect!
Well, the traffic of Germany and mountains of Austria and Italy had other plans for me. Between traffic jams, slow mountain roads (made slower by rain in the dark), and potty breaks, I didn’t pull up to our cabin until after 11pm. After I got off the highway, I ambled up a dark winding mountain road for half an hour before reaching the cabin. I was thankful I had my Garmin and the help of my friends who had already arrived ’cause I never would have found the place in the dark otherwise. I would have been pulled over at a truck stop spooning with my dog until daylight! But really, other than a massive traffic jam in Germany and a credit card malfunction at a toll booth in Austria (where thankfully, the toll worker spoke English), the road trip went pretty well. I was pretty proud of driving that far all by myself.
After a good night’s sleep, I threw open the door in the morning to walk outside, and saw this. Amazing. I had no idea what was surrounding me when I was driving up the road in the dark of night.
Just a small jaunt down from our cabin, there was also a beautiful lake. We spent the morning hiking and exploring the trails near and around the lake.
Then we headed into town to watch the Giro stage go by.
So my first 24 hours in Italy were pretty great. A good indication of the remainder of the trip. More to come…