July and August 2016
It is June 5th 2016 and I have arrived back in Introdacqua to finish packing. We plan to get on the road around the beginning of July. We are going to be camping, with a mixture of staying in cabins or hotels depending on the weather, or my state of mind.
Our schedule will go something like this:
4 days in Francavilla at Rose's apartment
4 days Barcelona
A few days in Locanda Asinomania to wind up our affairs, banking etc.
From there we are going to travel north through Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France then onto London. We are booked to fly out of Heathrow end of August.
Prior to going off on our road trip we had quite a few get together s with our friends and our adopted Italian families. A wonderful dinner at our Italian family restaurant. Pino cooked a delicious meal and later Eugene played the accordion and we danced the night away.
A truly memorable evening
at Clemente's with our dear friend Guido.
It will be so hard not to see my friends again for a few years
· Highlights of our road trip 2016
· 4 hot sunny days at our friend Rose's apartment on the beach at Francavilla, near Pescara.
· 4 days in beautiful Barcelona. Gaudi's work and biking around the city. Celebrated Bruce's birthday.
· 2 days at Asinomania Locanda near Sulmona
· 4 days camping at Lake Garda, Italy. Swimming, sunbathing, biking.
· Verona, 3 days camping, sightseeing, opera at the Arena "Aida", Juliet's balcony
Venice from Verona on the fast train for the day.
· Austria: Innsbruck shopping. Salzburg camping, sightseeing.
· Vienna: 6 glorious days, camping near the Danube River, biking, Klimpt at Belvedere. Schiele and Klimpt at The Leopold Museum. An evening at the Hofburg Palace, the Hofburg orchestra playing Strauss and Mozart. Hunderwasser, his museum and his works.
· Czech Republic: Prague: jaw dropping Old Town architecture, 3 cities in one, all different. Charles Bridge, art, camping then cabin for a couple of days. Bruce went biking. Lots of unique stories to find in Prague, John Lennon Wall, Pissing Statue, The Revolving Head Sculpture, the good food and beer.
· Bratislava: We drove to Slovakia for a day trip from Prague. Bratislava, another lovely Old Town. Bought some art pieces.
· Germany: 2 days camping at Dresden: very lovely. Met a Dutch couple, who we went on a river cruise for the day with.
· Bad Kissengen: Camped for 3 days. A beautiful city. One of the most famous spa resort towns in Germany, which we stumbled upon. Truly lovely. Tea shop encounter. An evening at the hot spa pools, biking around the city and out in the country. Such gorgeous parks.
· Bamberg: 1 night at a local pub. Drop dead gorgeous UNESCO city. Music night in the Square. Love Bamberg.
· The Rhine Valley: 4 days camping at Sonnerneck, on the Rhine, near the quaintest town of Boppard, which is situated right on the river. The Rhine is a working river, with huge barges of coal, scrap metal, and also many river cruise boats. Night festival of lights. Walks in the park, sketching.
· Burg Eltz Castle: An amazing fairytale castle in the middle of nowhere. Interesting tour. So lovely.
· Holland: Arnheim then onto Amsterdam. Scruffy, unkempt and beautiful all at the same time. Hip. So much to see, canal tour, fascinating architecture. 4 wonderful hours spent at the Van Gogh museum. So much to love about Amsterdam. Stayed 4 days at the IBIS in Westpoort (I am from Westport, NZ)....Day trip drive to flea market day at Edam. Such a gorgeous wee town on a series of canals. Yummy fish 'n chips at Hoorne.
· Belgium: 2 nights Bruges: Well, hello Bruges another UNESCO city. We biked, ate and shopped.
· Ypres...Ieper: 2 nights. Menin Gate, This is a long held goal of mine, to attend this memorial the Last Post at the Menin Gate. It is held every night of the year at 8pm. Flanders Fields Museum, Passendale Museum. The Western Front. So much New Zealand WWI history here in this area. We went to so many war cemeteries, Caterpillar Valley and Tyne Cot being the most important. Coming across the NZ Memorial near Fluers. Not having enough time to visit the Somme War Museum. Next time.
· France: Arras: 2 nights. Highlight of the trip a visit and tour of the Wellington Quarries Memorial. So much of our NZ history here, also. Arras buildings in the square so stunning. Saw the Giants in the info centre. Called into Lille, lovely buildings also.
· Lochnagnar Crater: impressive.
· Dunkirk: camped 2 nights by the beach. gave our tent and a lot of camping gear and stuff to a lovely French family.
· UK: Deal: 3 days: stayed at a lovely B and B. Gorgeous wee beach side town.