Day 56 – Innsbruck
It was our last day on our vignette so we really did have to go to Innsbruck today. We had decided to park at the park and ride as it was cheap and quite central allowing us to walk in rather than taking the bus. When we arrived the whole of the outside car park had been taken up by an outdoor skating rink, so being too tall for the indoor, we managed to find a spot just round the corner which was more expensive, but didn’t have any skaters in it.
We walked the mile into Innsbruck which has to be one of the most beautiful scenic cities ever. It’s towered by mountains all along one side, which looked incredible with clouds billowing over them.
The town itself is quite small but very beautiful and I had a list from one of my tutors at uni of things to see. Unfortunately due to our lack of money and now time we were unable to get the cable car up the mountain or eat any of the food she’d suggested, but we definitely understood why she said Innsbruck was one of her favourite places. We did however pop into the Swarovski crystal shop which was an experience in itself. I also saw the Cinderella collection which I had seen the drawings of while still working at Disney. We had lunch in the pretty park in the shade.
We did get an ice cream on our way out, because, well, if our budget doesn’t have an ice cream allowance there’s just no point! As in Bratislava, the queue was out the door, the portion and quality was great and it was still cheap! Anything opposite should just be banned when it comes to ice cream.
It was then time to get out of Austria and head to Italy. Jack had managed to find a whole list of tolls throughout Italy and France, so we found a route to avoid them and get us to another free parking right on Lake Garda. What we hadn’t factored in was the Austrian toll which then led straight through to the Italy toll. We checked with the woman when we paid whether we could get off before paying the Italian toll and she said no. She lied! There was, but by the time we’d noticed the turning we were travelling too fast and there was no way we were getting out of paying the toll. We ended up going all the way to Trento on the paid toll. It was pretty scenic and did cut our journey by about two and a half hours, but left a dent in our budget!
We had noted down all of the free spots around Lake Garda and decided that we would check out the one in the south first. It was still incredibly hot when we arrived and we went for a walk along the lake before returning to the van. Another motorhome had arrived since we’d left and they were just about to take their dog for a walk. I asked whether they thought the car park was safe, turns out they’ve been coming to this car park for years as it was such a good location.
At 10pm there was a loud knock on our door, I opened it and was greeted by 5 policemen with torches and clipboards. We were told that we weren’t allowed our levelling blocks out, had to move backwards as we were blocking the walking path and as we were too big for the space we had to move on the following morning. After completing the first two objectives I went to check with one of the policemen whether it met their specifications; they had moved onto making a caravan on the other side of the carpark leave. Just as I crossed through a Mercedes came roaring through the car park the wrong way, obviously he hadn’t seen the policemen or their big police van, but they definitely saw him. Out came the whistles and one flagged him down in the car park. They made him turn around and park up, took his driving license before half went back to talking to the caravan and half came over to check our van. We were then told to move to the other side of the car park where one of the two larger spaces had been emptied, so Jack drove the van round the correct way through the car park and we sat back to watch the show. One of the caravans left, the other got a note and the Mercedes driver got a serious telling off and a walk round the car park to show him where he’d gone wrong. His lady friend in the car tried, but failed to hide her embarrassment.
After the excitement had died down, the couple from the other motorhome returned so I informed them about what we said. They also moved to ensure they wouldn’t get caught out but were amazed as they hadn’t had any trouble previously.
Day 57 – Lake Garda
In the morning we headed down to the lake to set up our towels for a day of staying out of the sun! Well for me anyway. Jacks trying desperately to get rid of the hilarious hair line tan he’s acquired.
There was a small beach bar right by us which happened to have a free shower, toilet and wifi which was a nice little win. When I say toilet, I actually mean a Chinese style porcelain hole in the floor. Jack, who encountered them first came back in hysterics and made me go and check them out. I told him he should be thankful there’s cubicles! When I went to China, I encountered a lot of these toilets in various different shapes and forms, like without doors or walls, and I vowed I would never complain about a toilet again. When you’re doing your business and the lady right next to you, and I mean right next to you, is trying to talk to you while she’s doing her business, it kind of scars you for life.
The rest of the day we chilled and swam and chilled and swam. The water was actually warm so we’re definitely getting closer to the Mediterranean! Only we’ve decided we definitely prefer lakes to beaches. There was also a hilarious moment when 9 ducks came waddling towards us thinking we had food. Sadly for them, Jack was just throwing a stone up and down.
Make sure you out more of my posts on our Europe Road Trip across 3 months, 7,000 miles and 15 countries.
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