Read what happened before this: Day 1
Day 2 got off to a storming start as I turned off the alarm in my sleep and we nearly missed breakfast (which finished at 7.15!). Stu went on a hunt and found the pink sinks – a whole pink three piece suite! – promised to us on the booking website. By 8am, we were back on the road.
South of Stuttgart, the scenery is quite pretty. Lots of viaducts, woods and sunshine. However, this didn’t last, and the very south of Germany is grey and uninteresting, so I went to sleep for a bit.
The disappointment of southern Germany was soon forgotten when we crossed into Austria. My god, Austria is beautiful! Wooden chalets, grassy slopes, cowbells… all very stereotypical stuff (apart from the alpaca farm). We went up and up through a mountain pass, then stopped by a lake for coffee. This was one of the more interesting stops, as not only was there an amazing lake and awesome scenery, but the cafe had a stuffed marmot and we managed to crash the van again, reversing into a German campervan, which didn’t go down well with the owners.
Onwards we drove, past Innsbruck and its ski jump, following signs “to Italy”. Finally, through the Brenner Pass and into Italy itself, and we received a text from the others to say that they had landed in Italy. Pah, who’d do a 2 hour flight when they could drive 1000 miles?! Italian motorways had no discernable features to make them stand out from any other country we’d been through, except that the lorry drivers seemed less predictable than their German counterparts (generalisation much?!). We got to experience another ring road, and after stopping for pizza by a lake (despite Taj Mahal pizza being on the menu, the pizzas were actually very nice), we were so nearly there.
We passed through some comedy towns, such as Anus and Arsie, then got lost right outside Valdobbiadene. Finally we found the entrance to the farm and bumped our way up the drive. Margie, the owner showed us to where we’d be staying. WOW. Was it the pool, the vineyards stretching up the sides of Monte Cesan, the spacious bedrooms, the huge living area with fridge full of prosecco… whatever it was, we were extremely excited!
We unloaded the van, and I tried not to laugh too much when the hosts asked us if we had any special breakfast requirements, what with being pro cyclists and all that. The others were due to arrive at a nearby train station, and after we figured out exactly which station (this was not in any way clear), Al went off to fetch them, while Stu and I ran about like excited children.
The others were just as excited to see the farm and Bernie headed straight to the pool, where he almost lost his trunks jumping in. There was a lengthy discussion about who would have which room, and I managed to have my first injury of the trip, running over my foot with my suitcase.
While I patched up my foot, Al got directions to a restaurant from the owners of the farm, and we piled onto our bikes and followed Al’s directions. The sun was setting and we rolled through quiet roads along the outskirts of the town. There was a completely unnecessary hill at the end, prompting some fairly bad language from me, but at the top, a lovely restaurant, where we feasted on amazing italian food and washed it all down with plenty of prosecco. Bernie was feeling extra hungry and told the waitress that his invisible friend would also be needing some food. The invisible friend proceeded to flirt OUTRAGEOUSLY with the waitress. After some more prosecco, Bernie’s birthday present was handed over (a bicycle shaped pizza cutter), and while I think Bernie enjoyed his present, he also enjoyed putting it down his top and pretending to be a hunchback. A win all round.
We left the restaurant, slightly tipsy, and realised that between the 8 of us we had two rear lights and one front light. Unperturbed, we rode home in the darkness, drank some flash toilet cleaner (limoncello) and headed to bed.
Read what happened next: Day 3