Today we wanted to drive along Italy´s pretty coastline, which included cities like La Spezia, Genova, Savona, Imperia and San Remo.
We were looking forward to an enjoyable trip with amazingly wide views, new impressions and my Dad´s stories about calling in the harbour of La Spezia.
Sounded like a simple plan but on the other hand a few unexpected incidents would make a trip more exciting or nerve-racking (depends on the point of view), wouldn´t it?
We all enjoyed the nice Mediterranean flair around us. But how long would that feeling last? Everything went fine and the Italian traffic was the right challenge for our enthusiastic and passionate driver.
Now I should say some words about the typical Italian traffic, which is more than just a little bit far away from well-organised.
And guiding a big mobile home through beeping cars, pushing scooters and crazy cyclists on narrow lanes was even more fun (for my Dad) or closer to a heart attack (for the rest of us). But we did well!
Harbour in Monte Carlo
An additional and most annoying pain in the neck was a continuous squeaking sunshade on my side of the car. I was responsible for a quiet ride, that´s why I had to hit this sunshade every two minutes (no exaggeration). Later on I just had to say `pay attention` and everybody knew a loud `bang` would come next.
The best thing was that we discovered the fact that dry, hot and sunny weather was the most optimum condition for our squeaking companion. Maybe we should have gone to Norway or Sweden? Anyway, since then we were grateful for every tiny shower. Who could blame us?
The trouble began when we came to Imperia. Yep, we were stuck in the middle of an Italian traffic jam and we made about two kilometres progress within an hour.
Later we came to San Remo, which is a city we won´t forget. My Dad was driving along the streets and we were quite busy watching the traffic lights and looking for the correct arrows on the signs. We turned left and suddenly stood in front of a low tunnel - no point of return because at least ten cars were waiting behind us within a second. Great!
A sign told us the tunnel should be 3.40m high. Okay, no problem, our mobile home had a height of 3.25m. A difference of 15cm should be enough - no risk, no coming along!
We took a deep breath and off we went. After some centimetres we could hear an extremely unpleasant scratching. Goodness me! Mum, Kim and I stopped breathing and closed our eyes. After a few more centimetres the noise was gone and we went on further pretty slowly.
As soon as we had left this awful tunnel Dad stopped, climbed on the motor home´s roof and told us there wasn´t anything particular to see. Lucky, lucky us! Guess our little prayer wasn´t too wrong. Can´t believe our vehicle survived without any (new) damage but since then we didn´t trust Italian road signs anymore.
Our next destination was Monte Carlo, this neat principality in the south of Europe. The view towards the harbour with all its totally expensive and modern yachts was imposing indeed but who wants to swap with these owners? What would happen if somebody rammed such an exclusive boat into a cliff? Sure thing, that would be worse than our little damaged vehicle.
I also wanted to record a lot of moments with our film camera but guess what; when we arrived in Monaco the camera went black (thanks to low batteries) and that didn´t cheer me up! I could have bitten into the steering wheel!
Anyway, we had seen Monte Carlo on TV and my Dad was very keen on driving along the original course of the well-known Formula 1 races. Nice idea, if we would have been in a racing car but who cared? A little bit of fun couldn´t be wrong either, could it?
Now we just wanted to find a neat little restaurant where we could have a local and tasty dinner.
We discovered a small restaurant near Nizza, so far so good. We sat down and ordered a couple of Italian specialities. Kim and I were interested in yummy panna cotta and tiramisu (you can eat everything for dinner on holiday), Mum ordered an unknown but interesting sounding dish and Dad wanted to eat a pizza.
When the waitress brought our dishes we tried really hard not to laugh! Was this the best the cook could do? No doubt, he was no Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay.
Okay, we were able to recognize the two desserts but Dad´s `Würschtli Pizza` (pizza with sausages) was the first strange thing. On the one hand it sounded pretty German and on the other hand there were just three or four slices of funny tasting sausages on top on of the pale dough but Mum´s dinner was the most hilarious one ever!
We couldn´t even identify this dish! There were some flat, pale and pancake-like pieces of cooked batter with an even more unusual tasting sauce on her plate.
We had never had such a surprising dinner before. I would say these dishes crowned a day that was quite chaotic and eventful but good fun as well!