Instead of ranting some more about the current Corona situation in Germany, like I did yesterday (which is useless and depressing), I’m going to share some of the things we did on our vacation early in October. Somehow, I never get around to writing anything when I’m on holiday, as there are usually so many other things that take up my time. I haven’t had time to write about it after my vacation, but late is better than never.
My first day of vacation was on September 29. Mum and I were already in Bavaria at that point. As we were going to spend a week at a vacation cottage in Italy, that is, South Tyrol, driving from Bavaria was a lot nearer than from my place.
I spent the first couple of days of my vacation cleaning up our house in Bavaria because Partner and Cousin 1 with her partner were also coming to stay for at least one night. We had to clean out the guest room (where things tend to accumulate) and I had to clean out my room, because I didn’t want Partner, who slept on a mattress on the floor, to have to wade though all my dust balls. Cousin 1 and her partner got the guestroom. We also had to pack a lot things like spices for cooking, all of Curious Dog’s bedding, food, toys, leashes and harnesses, and groceries to tide us over the first weekend in South Tyrol (we didn’t know if we would have time to go shopping or if any shops would be open on Sunday). Plus our clothing, some games, and some DVDs (no internet at the cottage). So, a lot of organization. And a lot of excitement on Curious Dog’s part. Also, I had to shop for Mum, so that she wouldn’t run out of groceries while we were away, since the small grocery shop in our village has closed down.
We were planning to set out on Saturday, not too early, because we couldn’t get the keys for our holiday cottage before 4 p.m. Cousin 1 and her partner (who is very nice) could only start for our place in Bavaria in the early afternoon, after work, so they arrived quite late on Friday, at 9 p.m. They had quite a strange trip. Our village is in the middle of nowhere and the satnav systems usually choose very strange routes along third rate roads and through a lot of other small villages. Since Cousin 1 and her partner had to drive in the dark, their nerves were slightly frazzled by the time they arrived.
The next morning things were a bit chaotic. I had to take Curious Dog for his walk and Cousin 1 had to be shown the house (as she hadn’t visited since she was about 4). Mum showed her a lot of photographs and things, while I tried to collect all our baggage and load the car with Partner’s help. We ended up forgetting some of our groceries, but it didn’t matter because Cousin 1 had brought a lot of food along.
After we reached the Autobahn, there was quite a bit of traffic, as we had to go via Munich and that’s often a traffic nightmare. We then continued via Rosenheim in Bavaria to Innsbruck in Austria and over the Brenner Pass into Italy. A very scenic route and traffic wasn’t too bad. When we left the motorway in Italy just before Bozen (or Bolzano in Italian), we straight away entered a tunnel which took us up into the mountains for a very long way. It was most odd. After the tunnel, we wound our way up and up again along many hairpin bends and hair-raising precipices. A beautiful landscape, but the roads were a bit scary for us lowlanders.
We arrived at our cottage quite on the dot at 4 p.m. Our landlady welcomed us very kindly, gave us the keys and explained how everything worked (specially how to separate our rubbish for recycling). It was a very cozy cottage with absolutely everything we needed. Lots of cooking utensils and towels – quite the best equipped holiday cottage we’ve ever stayed in. And the landlady spoke German (which more or less everybody does in the South Tyrol), so we had no problem communicating (once, in 2014, before we got Curious Dog, we had a holiday near Genoa in Liguria where the landlady spoke neither German nor English and we basically communicated with sign language – I only know English and some rudimentary French. No Italian, sadly).
We unpacked all our things, had a cup of tea, and went off on our first small hike, to the Karersee (Lago di Carezza), a very small but exceedingly picturesque lake that was only about a 20 minutes’ walk from our cottage. The cottage was at the edge of the small community Karersee (Carezza), with a very large meadow as the back yard and a roofed-over balcony at the fron where we could sit outside when it was sunny (at least at the beginning of our stay, it got cold with snow later on – well, it was in October). There was a lovely view of the Latemar mountain range from the balcony and the Rosengarten range from the meadow (the view in the first photo above).
That night, we cooked some vegan Bolognese sauce with pasta (appropriately Italien) and then we spent the evening planning what to do during the next days. Which I will report on later.
Keep safe, world.