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To Lake Garda and Verona

August 20, 2016
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With a 9am on-time arrival we were well placed for an action packed day of fun! I love the way airlines can be delayed … but make up the time mid-flight…almost like they had planned on being delayed…!

First up – is the standard airport drill – quick snack, bathroom break, fill water bottles, attempt to buy a local SIM car and finally pick up rental car.  Then we were off!

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First stop Lake Garda for our first Italian meal – pizza and pasta of course! It was yummy! If this is a taste of Italian food – it is going to be a super fun trip and everyone is going to be happy!

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We had planned on walking around the peninsula but then we got a taste of Italy in peak season – traffic, people everywhere and no parking! So we had a quick drive around the area (enjoying the view) before heading to Verona to where we spend the night.

Our first impression of Verona was amazing. It is a gorgeous cobbled city with churches on every other corner and cute bridges.

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We found our hotel only to find although they website had said they had parking, you had to pre-book…which we didn’t. So we left our bags and then trolled the streets for parking and parking lots. With a little difficulty we chose on-street parking over a unmanned expensive secluded security-free overnight parking lot.

Then we explored the town…

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On this walk we saw Mr Mime (the elusive Europe-only Pokemon – ask me if you need more info than this!) but were unable to find him and catch him. Poor Lachie was devastated and may or may not have shed a tear in devastation.

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Back to our hotel for a little rest.

Then another wander around town, before another magnificent Italian meal. N&E had their second pizza of the day, and B&L shared some antipasti and a salad – all were in heaven. B&N decided that when in Rome do as the Roman’s and joined the oterh tables in ordering an Aperol spritz (Aperol with sparkling wine and soda) – which was just as good as it looked!

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Next stop was Arena di Verona – the world’s best-preserved gladiatorial arena to go to see Carmen, Bizet’s Opera. Unfortunately, as we headed there it bucketed down raining!!! B&E were devastated. We checked with the usher who told us that if the show didn’t go on our money would be refunded, but that it could start up to 3 hours late. Given that it was a 4 hour show starting at 8:45pm we had our doubts about how long we would last. We gave it half an hour and as it was still bucketing, we headed home to bed.

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At 10pm, B glanced out the window and noticed that the rain had stopped. She (on her own unfortunately as E+L were fast asleep and poor N had to stay as the adult at the hotel with them) wandered over to the arena and caught Mr Mme outside it. Lach would be overjoyed in the morning!!!

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She was also super-lucky to see about an hour of the show. She then went home to play tag with N so that he could see some of the further two-and-a-half hours of the show. Unfortunately as she did it started bucketing down again, the show was cancelled and he didn’t get to go 😦

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(The next day E was very upset to have missed the opera. B was upset that NE+L missed it as it was Opera how Opera should be. With a cast of two hundred, in an outdoor arena, sung by a cast who hit the notes smoothly and effortlessly – it was just magical! It would have been a perfect introduction to Opera for E+L. Another time hopefully!)

At 11:45pm, we received an email that we had left our Credit card and drivers license near the restaurant where we had had dinner, and that we could pick it up after midday. Considering that we had planned to leave Verona first thing in the morning…we would just adapt our plan a little for the next day. A full day wandering the Cinque Terre – would become an afternoon 🙂

Okay not the best start to our holiday – a little speed hump – but we were off on our new adventure!

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