Summer holidays 2003
At last it was the 4th of July and where off to Italy. This was our first long trip with the kids, where we had to drive almost 1600 km before we reached our final destination - Sirmione by Lake Garda. The boys had never before been on such a long journey and we where excited how things would go. We decided to use two days with a stay-over in Fulda, Germany. We planned to depart friday the 4th July at 9.00, be in Rødby at 11 for the ferry at 11.15. We had planned an average of 100km per hour, which should give enough room for stops along the way and still reach Fulda by 17:30.
We left Birkerød at 8:50 and reached Rødby and an earlier ferry (John was driving :-)). Things where looking good. It was blowing a gale on the ferry and Gitte was looking a bit pale. Luckily, we docked after 45 minutes.
Safly in Putgarden we hit the road again. First, we "aimed" for Hamburg. Still ahead of schedule we reached Hamburg, but then things started gong wrong. We hit the first serious road works and queue. It took us 2 hours to do 10km. So our time ahead of schedule was now lost.
Anyway, we continued until it was time to tank up after the first 400 km. We took a nice long break for about an hour before we hit the road again.
It was starting to get exciting to see when we would arrive in Fulda. Next stop over was Hannover. No problems. And then next stop Fulda. We ended up arriving in Fulda 2 hours later than expected. We where all tired and hungry. We grabbed a quick dinner in the hotels restaurant and put the boys to bed. After a bottle of wine it was time to hit the sack.
Next day we got up, had some breakfast and hit the road again. Sean did not like anything as usual, so he just had a piece of bread. After refueling it was time to aim for Munchen. We passed through Munchen without any problems.
We where on track and arrived in Italy at about 15:00 as planned. According o our plan we should arrive at Sirmione at 17:30. Things went as scheduled. As John said it was like delivering a project for IT Practice.
We arrived at Garda Village and where received well, with a bottle of wine and a lot of papers to fill in. Then we had to find our mobile home nr. 30. We a bit of trouble finding it but no worries. Then the great unpacking started. We hadn't forgotten anything in Birkerød, nothing serious in any case.
The Lee family and Granny where also on their way to Garda Village. They had the sense to take the the plane, though. They where an hour late departing Dublin, but otherwise a good journey. Great thing mobile phones. It made it a lot easier to find each other. The Irish contingent all lived in Bungalows beside each other and as it turned out quite close to us. Great.
When we had all unpacked and where instakled we had to have a chat. A little late before we got to bed that night. And of course, the boys where up early next day. :-(
Sunday, the 6th July was our first full day in Italy. We needed the rest so we spent the whole day by the pool. As we had our barbeque with us, we all had a barbeque that evening. IT was great fun. Afterwards, we went to an information meeting to hear about all the different activities there where. It was almost like being on a charter holiday. And there where free drinks afterwards, so we indulged :-)
Monday the 7th July was spent by the pool. Before that though the boys and Daddy took a little trip on the water bike, as Gitte raced down to the pool to get the best loungers for later. It was a great day. Sean and Axel got used to the pool both with and without arm bands.
Tuesday the 8th July was like the day before. We had dinner with Granny and the Lees - lovely pizzas. And of course followed promptly with a few bottles Barbolino.
Wednesday the 9th was spent at the pool again. The boys where really enjoying it. Afterwards, we had a round of minigolf and after a long day the boys could watch some cartoons on Daddy's PC.
Thursday the 10th July we took a trip to Venice. Hmm.. After about 1½ hours drive we decided to sail over to Venice. We set out sights on the church of Mark. We got a little lost on the way, but we quickly got onto the right road again and arrived.
All those pigeons in front of the church.
It was lunch time, so we grabbed a quick burger.
After lucnh we decided to see St Marks church from the inside. It was really beautiful. We ehere up in the tower where there was a musuem and where we saw the four original horses in full size made of bronze. We went outside and decided to feed the pigeons. That was fun. They eat seed from our hands and sat on Daddys head and shoulders. We then returned to our boat.
We would have liked to go sailing on the Gongolas, but it was a little too expensive (100 euro for 20 minutes in a little boat!). So we decided to hop over their offer. We had to get back to our car as John had to call work about a proposal to Maersk. And business must be taken care of. That night we had a thunder and lightning storm and a lot of rain. We where a little worried if our pavillon still would be standing next morning as it was blowing a gale. But it was fine.
Friday the 11th July there was a flea market in Logano di Sirmione which we all just had to see (according to Gitte!). We eventually found it. Maisie and Gitte raided the small shops while John and the boys found a playground nearby. Sean and Axel got new shorts and Gitte got a new dress. On the way to the market we saw a large supermarket which just had to be investigated on the way back. So we did a bit of shopping. And then back to Garda Village -- into our togs and hop in the pool. A little difficult to get seats by the pool but we managed. that night we had a barbeque again. Oh! Its great to be on holidays.
Saturday was a day like the rest with loads of sun and hours by the pool. Saturday was the day a lot of newcommers arrived and our neighbours left. There was no activities by the pool that day and it didn't open until 12:00. After a quick game of minigolf, we decided to take a dip in Lake Garda. That was not that nice. Loads of rocks So we went back to the pool. The temperature was now 35 degrees in the shade and 28 degrees in the pool.
Sunday the 13th July we where ready for the pool again and the boys really enjoyed hopping in doing sommersaults and generally having a really good time. The temperature was crawling up to 37-38 degrees. Gitte was feeling the heat!. The Lees and Granny went to 11 o'clock mass and arrived a little bit later. Granny bought a "little" rubber boat for the kids to play with n the pool. That was a great success. They bought a pump for the boat but alas, it didn't work, sp the boat was inflated by the power of Damien and Ciarans lungs.That night we went to Sirimione to have dinner and have a look at the town. We had pizza and a great big is cream for dessert.
Monday the 14th July started a little bit cloudy compared to the previous days. We had to suffice with 20 degrees and no sun. But there had also abeen anothe thunder and lightning storm that night. We decided to relax that day. Joanne, Damien, Granny and the kids went off on a sightseeing trip to Malcesine. We went off to Sirmione town to do some shopping. We got a present for Torben and Helle for letting us borrow their car for the two weeks. The neighbours in Birkerød also got a little pressie for minding the house while we where away. We would have liked to go up in the Scaligero- castle tower but it was unfortunatly closed on Mondays. The castle was built in the 1300s by the Scala family. Behind the walls of the castle there is a lot of restuarants, shops and gallaries. We continued out to Catullus' cave at the tip of the penninsula of Sirmione. This was also closed on Mondays. Hmmm.. But the boys where pushing to get back to the pool. Sean remembered that we had promised him a game of minigolf. So, 12 holes in 15 minutes. And then back to the pool.
Thursday the 17th was yet another easy going day. Before we went to the pool we went for a "cycle" in the water boat. It was yet another day with loads of sunshine and high temperatures. Even though the bottom of Lake Garda is mud, it was still quite clear - as long as the mud wasn't disturbed. Sean and Axel thought it was great fun to sit up front and tell Daddy which way he should cycle. And after a hard job playing captain, Axel got a bit tired and took a nap in the shade.
Friday the 18th was the last day at the pool. It had to be enjoyed. Unfortunatly not so much of the rubber boat was left. On the way home from the pool the rose bushes pierced a hole in it. But, never fear Damien is here, with his penknife. So he cut the edges off and the bottom could be used as a raft. Axel was in his element, and Sean was enjoying the rubber ring.
Friday evening was our last night together in Italy, so we grabbed a bite to eat at the local pizzeria.
And as it was the last night Sean and Axel got a few euros for the machines. What a waste of money!. The games are over before they figure out how to play the game.
Saturday the 19th we got up early and left at 7:00 with the next planned stop being Hanover 10 hours later. It went great to Hanover without any serious queues. After we found the hotel and had a good meal, it was off to bed and up again early the next day. We arrived in Birkerød in the mid afternoon next day.
A great holiday was had by all. As it was our first "drive-yourself" holiday, we where a little apprehensive, but it went really well. So we all agreed that it was off to Italy again next year.