Road trip from Rome to Munich

22 May

Well, this is very late, typing this on 2nd day of Phuket by the pool. The last day of our trafalgar tour of Italy has come and gone. The four of us are going to be on our own for some time now. We are heading to Nuremberg to get on our uni-world river cruise. We’ve checked out pretty early as we are changing hotels, the metro was easy except for the few flights of stairs to navigate with tonnes of souvenirs collected, hmmm too much at this stage. New hotel was down near porta furba, we got off one station too early and walked for what seemed ages, the next station would have had us walk maybe 200 meters only. It turned out we are in the burbs, a little bit seedy but we are on a budget now. The hotel was small but quite nice for 3 stars, breakfast included.
The weather is sunny and beautiful, let’s go back into Rome and looked at it dry. We are told go to the Spanish steps its awesome, metro rail right to it. Ticked it off the list, didn’t do much for me sorry. So the Trevi Fountain for lunch, guy that served us literally flew back about 2 weeks ago from working at the Lagoon seafood Restarunt in Wollongong for the last 2 years, it’s only 20 minutes drive from home. Go figure. We got really good service and he even gave us a card for a little restaurant back home to try that his friends have just opened.
A stroll through the streets to the ancient forum ruins for a good look around. Its truly a wonderful place to see, my photos don’t do justice. Little later we pit stop for gelato and a quick drink and back to the Trevi fountain. Found a bar to sit and wait for night time. Let’s order some drinks its hot as.
My wife says to the server, ” I’ll have a large beer please”. We all nod our heads in agreement with a look of awe and mild humor, my wife doesn’t drink a lot of beer. Oh bloody hell they’re the big liter steins. Woohoo we go, bottoms up, let’s gets used to it, after all we are heading to Germany. Order a couple of pizzas to top it off. After some time drinking its time to go for a look for a position at the fountain, seat obtained on top step of the fountain and not thousands of people round. We forget how long it takes for the sun to go down in Europe this time of year. The feet need a rest anyway. Lights go down and we weren’t disappointed. That’s a good tick I say. Let’s go see the coliseum lit up and catch the metro back to hotel. Once again this structure is amazing, the lights are beautiful. Few more photos and that’s Rome ticked off till next time.
The trip out of Rome was something different. As I’ve said previously Rome traffic is absolutely bonkers. I’ve never seen people turn 2 ordinary lanes for driving into six. It has to seen to be believed. First hurdle…. Yes we are going to drive, I went to the trouble of getting international license, I’m not going to use it. My good friend Tony is doing the honors. Why?? We booked the car rental pick up at termini. Where’s that I asked? Hang on that’s what they class as central on the rail, smack bang in the centre of rome. Geez ass, so hope there’s a nav man for the car. While we wait let’s go post off all the souvenirs, (ours).
Post offices in Italy are only somewhere you go if you have time to waste in a line. That’s all. The system is obviously in a foreign language Italian, that’s granted, but it wouldn’t hurt for a bigger sign saying “get your ticket for the huge whopping line here”. But no. I stand for at least ten minutes before I see someone else get one. So I get a ticket and wait and they say no you must go to the other side of  the train station for large packages. We find it, get our number and oh bugger it I’m not waiting in line. I’ll do it another day.
Time comes to get the car, hope it’s big enough we have a lot of stuff, ours mostly. It’s a nice big Hyundai i40 station wagon and no, we can’t have a navigator, out come the iPads, directions loaded and I notice there’s a big screen in the dash. Alright!! It’s a brand new car with only 2,000 Kms on the clock with an inbuilt navigator system. Happy days.
Ancona is our first stop for the night, we discover the distance is not that long from Rome to Munich. As we are driving the girls look up some hotels in the area and we pick another 3 star hotel. We get there and boy, this looks even seedier than the last place. As they say never judge a book by its cover, its another little nice one in the burbs. Unpack and off for a walk. For those that know the area of port Kembla at home well, the place we are staying looks a couple of notches lower. We are getting looks of ” hey there goes money ” not a nice feeling. Turn right and we are back in a better area only a block away. Its tea time and I’ve seen a donner kebab shop on our walk, I am in charge of meals,  lets have a kebab.
4 kebabs ordered with everything. Beef, taziki, tomato, onions, lettuce & French fries rolled up together, I kid you not it was the best kebab we’ve all ever eaten, how much? Only 14 euros. OMG!!! If there’s a reason to go back, it’s for a kebab.
Next day back on the road heading to a place called San Marino. Oh we know that place, it’s where they previously held the formula 1 grand prix. In actual fact they never did. It was in a town called Imola. San Marino is a very nice place to go. Nice big fortress on the top of the mountain side with another Basilica, very similar to San Gimignano with awesome views from the top. A quick drink and something to eat and we are heading to Trento.Just another stop really, not sure what importance it holds as we were only there one night. Great views from the room and I think it was good food. Huh? Yeah, too much to drink as it was the last night in Italy. It won’t happen again, until the next time.
On the road heading towards Austria, hangover. That’s all.
The border crossings were quite boring to the state of non-existent. A bit of homework reveals, they are part of the EU (European Union) an agreement has been reached for the borders. Most like it, the criminals love it. It was a let down for me. I was expecting it to be like Switzerland where you have to show your passport and pay a tax, they are still a neutral country and work different. The only thing we had to do was buy a sticker for about 8 euros to put on the windscreen for Austria. There’s no magic line just a little sign saying welcome to Germany, France and the like.
And then we are on the autobahn, oh I’m glad I’m not driving, we are now traveling approx 160kms. Drifting off to sleep I hear the car speed up, it’s only then I realize we are in another country. Whoooosh goes a Mercedes, BMW and a few others, we are not going fast enough for them. In the meantime we are stunned by the countryside. The mountains are so close and covered in snow, when you get out though it’s still really warm & quite bizarre.
The plan now is to drive as far as Munich find a hotel and do the rest of our travels and sightseeing from one central place for the next 6 days or so before driving to Nuremberg. The girls work their magic on the iPad, book us into a 3 star hotel which ends up in a nice little place just on the outskirts of Munich. It was a lot better hotel than some of the ones we has already stayed in, there’s room to move, a decent bathroom and we an open a window and get fresh air instead of hot air from an air conditioner that can’t be changed. We check in and once again go exploring.
Everyone is quite thirsty and slightly hungry, a hangover is best treated with no alcohol. This was my first alcohol free day on the trip. Soft drink never looked so good. First meal is a schnitzel, with hot chips and a decent salad. It’s been ages since we tasted real salad, not lettuce five ways, grated carat & a dodgy piece of tomato, this was a real tasty salad. The things you miss when abroad. We’ve already decided this is going to be our local. It’s a place called the Zar bar, they even cater with English menus. This was something we were yet to really experience, how to translate a menu, most of the palces we had eaten at were catered for us, it still took us 3 days before we discovered there is steak, and dam it was great to get away from pasta, bread & pizza. No more wine either now it’s beer, beer, and some more beer. Munich it is for the next week. It’s going to be great, we are planning on the city of Munich, Innsbruck & Salzburg.

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One Response to “Road trip from Rome to Munich”

  1. Jodi Misiti May 23, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    And where is the rest?

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