The first few days were mostly driving. We took a ferry from Norway to Denmark, drove through Denmark and spent the first night in Germany. The next day we drove through Germany and into Salzburg, Austria. I loved it! What a gorgeous city. So much history and culture.
Hohensalzburg Fortress (built in 1066):
The view of Salzburg from the Hohensalzburg Fortress:
We also visited Mozart's birthplace, the house he grew up in. And the Mirabell Gardens which featured in the film "Sound of Music" where the Von Trapp children were learning to sing (Do, Re, Mi).
We spent one full day in Salzburg and then drove over the Alps into Italy. What a fantastic trip! One thing that surprised me was how warm it was up in the Alps. Around 26 or 27 celcius. It's only a 4 hour drive from Salzburg to Venice. Venice was amazing! Just stunning. It was very hot that first day and the crowds were extreme. But we did manage to see the main sights like St. Mark's Square, St. Mark's Basilica, we went up the Campanile clock tower, drove in a vaparetto (boat buses), ate pizza and gelato, bought Venetian masks for the girls and just enjoyed all the canals and bridges and architecture.
St. Mark's Basilica:
St. Mark's Square:
Other Venice shots:
Both the crowds and heat were extreme so we learned to stay away from the city during the day. We spent a beautiful day at Lido di lesolo, a beach on the Adriatic Sea just 40 min from Venice. You could spend all day in the water, it was that warm. We went back to Venice one evening when we were hoping for slightly cooler temps and maybe smaller crowds. What a great evening! We dined alfresco along one of the canals and walked around to the Jewish Ghetto. I didn't take any pictures as it was the Sabbath and a man came and asked us not to. I did actually get a little choked up at the WW2 memorial in the square. It was just a lovely evening.
Our journey took us an hour west of Venice to Verona where we spent 3 days. The first day Elin, Madelen and I spent the evening at the opera at Arena di Verona where we got to experience Verdi's Nabucco. We loved it! Even Madelen was attentive through all 3.5 hours of the opera. And the Hebrew Slave Chorus....the decrescendo to pianissimo at the end....chills! Here it is if you've never heard it before.
We spent two absolutely glorious days at Lake Garda. The first day we were at Lazise at the southern end of Lake Garda. We thought it was so beautiful!
We've made lots of memories, the girls enjoyed themselves and we're happy and satisfied with our experience. There are 3 things that stand out to me; the gondola ride at twilight in Venice, the opera in Verona, and Malcesine by Lake Garda.
I could post a hundred pictures and describe all the details but that would take forever and still not give you the full story. So I'll leave you now with my favourite picture from the trip.