Rally Day 5 Swiss Alps to Lake Garda
Day 5 Swiss Alps to Lake Gard
Clang, clang, clang!! I am awoken to the sound of tinny bells. I poke my head of the tent to investigate note the source of my alarm clock and find myself staring at a herd of Swiss cows grazing nearby.
Despite my somewhat unscheduled wake up call, in the morning light I am able for the first time to take in my surroundings and see how truly beautiful it is up here. The air is the freshest tastiest air I’ve ever had the pleasure of inhaling. It’s refreshingly cool with hints of alpine and I feel like I’ve just had a menthol sweet. The campsite is a sports camp and is made up of large dormitories that look from the outside rather like POW camp dorms (and inside not actually dissimilar). I grab a towel and head to the communal shower block. I thought we’d driven through Germany yesterday but my hirsute German and Swiss female shower companions make the black forest look like a micro shrubbery. I put my British prudishness to one side and have a quick scrub ready for the road and our final destination – Italy!
We take to the mountain road and head to the Gotthard Pass, one of the highest points of the mountain accessible by road. We get out and dunk a toe in the ice cold lake and allow our stunning surroundings to sink in. I don’t think I have ever been anywhere as beautiful in my life, the lakes and the mountains here are breath taking. We are silent in the car just absorbing the splendid vistas turn by turn. It dawns on me that much of the beauty of this trip has been the fact we have seen so many roads that you would otherwise never venture to.
I am sad to leave stunning Switzerland but soon we are across the border into Italy and making a bee line for the Monza racetrack. It’s day five of wearing the costumes and the car is starting to hum a little (read: a lot!). We bump into batman and the team of Swedish sauna boys at the entrance to Monza and the three groups pose for a photo together before clambering atop the roof of the red and blue beast with a 2 euro bottle of prosecco each and dousing each other in prosecco. It’s probably the closest any of us will get to an F1 celebration! We retreat to the car stinking of sweat and cheap fizz.
The gang and I decide to do a spot of George Clooney stalking at Lake Como and attempt a shortcut over a mountain only to reach a dead end at the summit. Happily the views made up for the significant backtracking. A few hours later and we arrive at our campsite, pitching our tents at the water’s edge of Lake Garda. It’s time to pop the champs and head to the finishing and the finishing party. Great news! The Mario brothers scoop the bronze medal out of 150 teams participating! We party on through the night before the teams go their separate ways exploring mainland Europe. I’ve met so many awesome people this week and it’s great to end on such a high.
Back in Blighty after a spell in Pisa and Rome, we chucked the faithful banger on e-bay and make a whopping £150 profit for the Clatterbridge Cancer Trust!! We sold our pride and joy to a 65 year old Super Mario fan who wants to take it around the Norfolk Broads! It’s good to know the adventures will continue. All in all an excellent rally experience!