Day 8 - 12

Remember on the last post when we hiked our way back up a mountain in the South of France with no food or drink and the last hotel room left in the whole town? Good. Onto day 8.

We woke up early to get to the station and make sure Kevin got back to Paris and home before work in London the next day. Saw him off and waited an hour for the next train in the opposite direction. I squeezed onto the disgustingly packed carriage and prepared myself for another 11 hours on inner-city trains to go and meet my brother in Florence. That was day 8.

 

Day 9 Florence

Where ceilings are made of gold

We spent the day eating ice cream and exploring the many art galleries and museums scattered around the city...

One of the most relaxed days of the trip so far with no trains to worry about and the hotel pre-booked. The road trip begins in the morning...

 

Day 10 Pisa

Our first stop. Not gonna lie, there isn't much to do in Pisa. Parked up, wondered to the Leaning Tower to get the least cliche photo I could think of, drank some pretty good ice tea, and that was it. Moving on...

 

We drove, and drove, and then drove a bit more, before we reached this amazing view around the corner from our next destination.  

 

Cinque Terre

After driving most of the day we finally found the little cove on the side of a mountain we were looking for. We pretty much ran down the steps, hid our stuff in the rocks and jumped in.

The photo doesn't quite show it but the waves had been pretty huge and reaching about 20 feet high when they hit the cliff edge. But we dived in anyway. Everybody was sat over on the other side of the cove sun bathing and swimming where there were no waves, using their common sense basically. So you can imagine everyone looking up and watching as we walked to the rocks and waves daring each other to jump in first. After a couple of grazes and being slammed into the rocks when we tried to get back out we made it back met with a standing ovation. Ok, no standing ovation, but think we deserved one.

We got a little carried away with the beauty of the coastline and decided not to bother going to find somewhere to stay for the night. Not the best idea...

 

Day 11 

Take it from me, a Renault Clio is not a comfortable car to sleep in.

We woke up after what was apparently 6 hours sleep. I felt like I had been hit by a car and then it had reversed over me again. At least the view was good. We crawled out, stretched our legs, and got back in the car for another long stint to the Lakes.

 

Lake Garda

When this is your first view of the next destination, expect good things.

Views that apple screen savers are made of

Add Lake Garda to your bucket list.

 

Day 12 Venice

After another comfortable night in a hotel we woke up early to try and make the most of Venice before my train out of Italy at 9pm that evening.

Once you get away from the main harbour point, where you can hardly move, Venice is pretty amazing.

The highlight was definitely the small, quiet, bridges and streets that you find as you go deeper into Venice. An amazing collage of windows on the floating houses and the beautiful colours and textures of each building. You just have to get over the random smells that hover over you every time you cross the canals.

Last day with a car and hotels booked and back to the night trains and tiny hostels. Stay tuned for Germany!

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