Sunday, January 20, 2013

Off To Italy!

Friday, Jan. 18, 2013

This is the day I have been waiting for...we travel to a little town in northern Italy for the weekend!

Brad got off early and we started off our trip wrong by looking for a bank machine to get some cash.  There was a problem with one of our accounts and none of the machines worked!  Oh well, who needs money?

We stopped along the way for a have to have this sticker on your car to travel through some roads in Austria.  It's good for 10 days.  I saw these signs along the way as we neared Austria.  It only cost 10 Euros and is much easier than stopping at toll booths.
As we drove, even though picture quality would not be great, I couldn't help but take some pictures.  The Alps are just amazing!!

Beautiful snowy scenes along the way

First glimpses of the mountains
 Our GPS was mistakenly set for shortest distance instead of fastest way.  So we took some CRAZY roads.  Here is one example of a ridiculous mountain road:
Curly.  And the song title above was ironic.
This little village of Kochel Am See was absolutely a treasure.  I was so glad that our GPS messed us up!!
Roadside stop

This really old sign was built into the mountain on the side of the road.
It says:   under the regency of his royal highness the Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria, this new road built in the years 1893 to 1897.  I think Luitpold is Leopold.
The mountain roads got pretty steep.

We drove through Innsbruck, Austria and stopped at what we were told by our friend Karen is the most beautiful McDonald's in the world!  Here is the view from inside:
 We got a snack of french fries for a whopping $11.50 in US dollars.  Wow.  I guess we paid for the view.  And the bathroom.  Oh wait...we paid separately for the bathroom.  (If you have never been to Europe and are planning a trip that includes peeing, please always have change in your pocket.)

We saw the olympic ski jump hill with the tower:
We finally arrived at our destination, but it was already dark.  It was hard to tell there were even mountains around us.  Our little village was called Saint Magdalena (Or in German Sankt Magdalena, or in Italian Santa Maddalena)  Everything around here is in German and Italian. We got settled in to our rental apartment, which was rustic but very clean and we loved it!!!
Girls' bedroom

Our bedroom

Living/dining room
We also had a little kitchenette and a private bathroom (hey, this is NOT always the case over here!  It's important.)

The owner, Konrad was outstanding.  He recommended a restaurant one town over, Saint Peter.  (Or Sankt Peter.  Or San Pietro.)  It was called Viel Nois.  It was beautiful and quiet and had excellent food!  You know I took pictures of it, so here they are.

Lainie and I shared a pizza with just cheese.  (Lainie is still eating cheese successfully!!!)

Lea's with bacon that was actually ham.  But good :)

Brad's ginormous calzone.  Stuffed with a ton of cheese, ham and mushrooms.

Gelato for dessert.  Do you think she is happy?

Gelato with coffee

So to sum it up, we ate pizza, gelato and cappuccino in Italy.  Oh yeah.

It was confusing as to where we are.  With the German and Italian names for everything, it was hard to keep track of.  Here is what I think it is:  the region is called South Tyrol (English) or Sued Tirol in German.  I don't know the Italian!  South Tyrol is also in Austria.  The smaller area is called Bolzano (Italian) or Bozen (German).  Then our village which was St. Magdalena as I mentioned.

What a fabulous day.  We can't believe this apartment rental was only $225 (US) for the whole weekend!  Konrad led us over to the restaurant since it was dark and the roads are crazy, tiny, winding.  He went above and beyond all weekend.

I could barely sleep as I felt like I was waiting for Christmas morning.  I was SO EXCITED to wake up and open our shutters to see the views!!


  1. What's the name of the place where you are staying? Too bad you don't drink wine, the St. Magdalena wine is wonderful. It's best to think of Tyrol as a region; there's also a north Tyrol and (middle) Tyrol, stretching between Austria and northern Italy. Did you see Ötzi? :) And BTW Brad met another Canadian (Heidi Schatz) who lives in Kochel am See, too bad you didn't meet up. And yeah, that McD's has an awesome view// Happy to hear you made the trip.

    1. I am assuming this is Karen? LOL! We didn't see Otzi. But we had an amazing time!!!