It was yet another early morning departure this morning as we left the magnificent city of Venice for the next stop on our European adventure. This was to be a marathon day with breakfast in Italy, lunch in Austria and dinner in Germany. It’s really no surprise that in the travel industry this is what is known as a pyjama tour (no time to change out of your pj’s before you’re off again)!
We spent the morning travelling through the picturesque winelands, mountains and villages of northern Italy before crossing the Brenner Pass into Austria and our lunch stop in Innsbruck. This was perhaps the most beautiful scenery we had experienced so far and each turn in the road provided a photographic opportunity more compelling than the last, the town of Innsbruck being a worthy finale.
Sadly, we only had two hours in the old town before being whisked away again, but we made the most of the little time we had by wandering through the medieval streets soaking up its history and architecture. We even managed to visit the home of Swarovski with its magnificent crystal staircase. Unfortunately, the Rand Euro exchange rate prevented us from indulging in any retail therapy.
All too soon, it was back on the coach and we soon crossed the border into Germany and made our way to Munich where the highlight of the day beckoned … a visit to the Hofbrauhaus! Now I don’t usually like beer all that much, but as when I was in Rome, I did as the Romans did, how could I resist acting like a true Munchener by indulging in a stein (or two) of their best brew and a huge accompanying pretzel? Needless to say, the party grew from there and we later found ourselves wending our way back to the hotel on foot with a group of our fellow travellers after having missed our last bus. Luckily it wasn’t far and our greatest danger came from the speeding cyclists who rang their bells in loud protest if we unwittingly stumbled onto their cycle track.
So in short, northern Italy and Innsbruck are amazingly beautiful and Munich is great fun … and now it’s upward and onward again.
Bucket List # 3 to be continued. Next stops Rothenburg, Bingen and the Rhine cruise.