Thanks, Italy – for being you!

Aaah! What a great day. After a hectic and restless morning of juggling two kids and the organization of luggage in our van, we set off this morning for better conditions. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t like being at home. I like where we live. It’s just that this summer pretends to be something between a bad autumn and a wet winter. It just won’t stop raining. Our garden literally is a puddle of mud. Being outside is generally no fun in this weather, and well, being locked up inside a 70 sqm apartment with two kids is not too much fun either.

In the hope of finding better weather and more possibilities to be outside with the little muppets, we just drove off, direction South. From Freising we drove through Munich, then towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak, where we crossed the border into Austria. From Austria, we crossed the border to Switzerland. We didn’t really have much of a plan. I just put a no toll roads route to the French Mediterranean coast, which happened to I usually don’t know where we will sleep the next night. That’s how we always have traveled and camped. I (well, we) like it that way. And with our camper van it is even easier than before. After driving a while in Switzerland, the weather was still pretty miserable. Not much luck on that end. Luckily Heike was smart enough to check the weather on the Italian side of the Alps. It was good! That’s worth another 1.5 hour behind the wheel! And indeed, sooner rather than later, we saw light at the end of the valley from the Swiss St Moritz towards the Italian border. More or less where we crossed the border to Italy, the skies were blue. The sun however was already hiding behind the peaks. The view of blue skies after a very grey couple of weeks was more than worth the longer ride for the day.

The weather around Garmisch-Partenkirchen was actually alright.

In Switzerland, we had considered spending the nightbut noticed that this country is not too fond of campers. It’s pretty evident from the signs that forbid you to park, but the overall lack of campers on the road was a clear sign. This was another reason to push through to Italy. In one of the first towns in Italy, we found a wonderful parking lot, where several other fellow campers are spending the night. All welcome for campers. All for free. A huge difference. I guess the Swiss want their posh tourist clientele to drive a Porsche and stay in one of the enormous mountain hotels that must cost a fortune. Not for me. I’m a poor postdoc that needs free parking lots.

Cooking pasta in a Swiss parking lot. The views are probably splendid, if there’s no rain or fog.

Tomorrow, we’ll continue our way along Lago Como, which is supposedly very beautiful. If it is to our liking, we may stay a few days. I don’t mind at all spending time in Italy. I love good coffee, I love ice cream, and I love Italian food. I could live here.

And if we will ever reach the French coast, only time will tell. We might as well take a left turn.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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