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After collecting my passport, we headed south and spent a few days in Alsace wine region of Eastern France, crossed the border into Freiburg (for a few hours just to say we’ve been to Germany) & stopover in Switzerland, where we finally found some summer sun, a few weeks around the Lakes district of Northern Italy, Verona, Rimini, San Marino, Siena, San Gimignano, Lake Trasimeno, the coast of Tuscany & now Rome.

Switzerland is such a beautiful country; it’s just like a postcard.  It’s such a pity we couldn’t stay longer as we were just passing through but we have friends who live in Switzerland and we hope to catch up with them next year & explore this amazing country some more.

I didn’t know much about the Lakes of Northern Italy and it certainly is beautiful.  Lake Garda is the largest lake and Lake Como is considered the most beautiful.  We did the scenic drive from Como to Bellagio and it’s said if you can do this drive and survive then you can handle any and all road conditions in Italy.  It’s just wide enough for a car and certainly makes an interesting experience when you have to share it with oncoming cars, the local buses, houses built up the side of the hill & a sheer drop on the other.   SMAZING!  George Clooney wasn’t home, but next time we’ll make sure to drop in for a drink.

We were lucky enough to score a lake view pitch on Lake Garda so stayed for a week so & enjoyed some down time after a full-on couple of weeks in England and the epic drive through France, Switzerland & Northern Italy.

Next stop was Rimini (no sand on that beach, just deck chairs and umbrella’s) where we spent a few days in the calm warm waters of the Adriatic before heading inland to explore Siena (highlight) & across to the coastal region of Tuscany around Grosseto, Punta Ala & Monte Argentario – all I can say is WOW & SMAZING!  Most of this section of our trip has been ‘rough camping’ alongside lakes or on beach car parks and we’ve now got use to having  a cold shower outside and living 24/7 in our togs (Aussie term for a swimsuit – for all you Pommies out there!)

Since hitting Lake Sarnen it Switzerland to arriving in Rome, we haven’t had a day with temps under 30c or a drop of rain.  YAY! Most days are around 33-35c and most nights are 20-25c.  We are loving it!  Paul looks like a local with his lovely Mediterranean skin all tanned and I think I can say my Scottish skin is starting to look a little less fluorescent.

We’ve also fallen in love with Rome all over again.  What an awesome, AWESOME city this is and it would have to be right up there as our favorite European city.  We only spent 1 day/2 nights in Rome, so a lightening visit and enjoyed walking around the streets, reminiscing of our previous visit here in 2007.  I will never get sick of looking at Fontana di Trevi, Pantheon or the Coliseum.

We drove around on dusk one night, past the old city walls and saw things we didn’t see last time.  We don’t have many pics of Rome as it’s a tricky to find somewhere to stop whilst trying to keep an eye on swarming traffic at the same time, but the memories will live on.

I’ve also learnt to drive like a Roman!  Not quite sure who gives way, where and when, but I’ve come to realize that if you hesitate, you’ll be left for dead in a cloud of dust and smog, so just go for it, straddle a few lanes at a time and don’t look at anyone!

As they say – When in Rome…….

More Travel Blogs:

DAY 437 – the Royal run around
DAY 423 – all roads lead to London – via France!
DAY 414 – sun, sand, vino & aussie’s
DAY 407 – zig-zagging the Pyrenees – SMAZING!



DAY 481 - life’s a BEACH….somewhere in Italy
DAY 437 - the Royal run around
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