and their crazy drivers!
13.07.2009 - 15.07.2009 32 °C
Another quick update. The kids have got a bit slack on the journal writing so I thought I would drop a word or two instead.
We are currently camping beside Lake Maggiore in north west Italy. We arrived here today after two beautiful days in Pisa and Florence. But first the drive over...
After our two nights in Frejus laying by the pool and basically recharging for our next leg we packed up and headed east. We bypassed the coast line opting instead to travel by motorway all the way over the Pisa. The French side of the border the motorways were fine - wide lanes, considerate (to a degree) drivers, but this all changed as soon as we hit Italy. The lanes narrowed considerably and the driving standards dropped a thousand degrees. I'm sure I aged at least 10 years on the journey over to Pisa and I was just the passenger. Hats off to Ali for the amazing job he did. It didn't help of course that the road was windy and there were tunnel after tunnel after tunnel to pass through. It was a horrendous journey but one we made unscathed.
We headed into Pisa, parked up in the massive carpark and followed the tourists into the city to view the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Bibliotheque and Cathederal. It was exceedingly hot, but another one of those WOW moments for the kids. The obliquatory tourist photo was taken 'leaning up' against the tower, before gelato and the tramp back to the RV and on our way to Florence (Firenze) for two days.
We only had directions for one campground (of which I remembered it's location from 18 years ago). Unfortunately the GPS took us through and round the city at peak hour. Once again Ali's driving skills rose to the fore and we arrived unscathed. The location was magnificient. Just along from the Piazzo Michaelangelo where we walked up to and watched the sun set over the city with views to the Ponte Vecchio, the Dumos and Old Town Hall. Breathtaking.
Tuesday was spent walking around the old part of Firenze. We all climbed the 467 stairs up the Dumos for magnificient views of the city. Designed by Brunelleschi in the 15th century it marked the beginning of the Renaissance period and his dome was something not seen since the Parthenon in Ancient Rome. After a day spent wandering we headed back for camp for a quick drink and freshen up before a wonderful dinner was had out at a restaurant located just behind the Piazzo Michaelangelo. Sublime! Afterward we wandered over to the Piazzo to view the city by night.
Today we packed up camp and headed out of the city (an easier route was found by following signs!) and up to Lake Maggiore, passing around Milano on our way. An afternoon swim in the lake, an early tea and many games of Boggle before retiring soon for the night.
Tomorrow we are off to Switzerland. The kids are looking forward to it as at least they'll get another stamp in their passport as Switzerland is not part of the EU. Things have definitely changed since I travelled and having to stop at each border crossing to get your passport stamped. No more.
Hope this finds you all well and will try and update again before we head to Malta next week. The plan for the RV in the next 7 days is to head into Switzerland for a couple of days before heading up to Neuschwanstein Castle and making our way back to Frankfurt.
We're all well and still loving life on the road.