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  • mbwatts

Euro campervan trip 2023 (Stage 5 Lake Garda to Pragser Wildsee)

Updated: Apr 1

One thing we've learned on this trip is to allow exactly twice the time that google maps says a journey will take. Then, if you are lucky you won't be late. Today, leaving Garda headed for Süd Tyrol we set off at 9 am. We had a fabulous stay here but the hills are alive with the sound of music, they say. 3 hour journey according to the maps.

We managed 15 miles in the first two and a half hours. We were still on the east coast of the Lake! Another accident on the toll road But we are on holiday. We have everything we need. In Italy it's apparently acceptable to get out and walk the dog for a shit up the hard shoulder! Louise is making baguettes up in the back. I have had better views but it's ok.

Then the traffic started moving, but simultaneously the rain started. The rain was epic and under other circumstances would have been great to watch. Hail the size of large pebbles, and a deluge so hard that visibility was reduced to a few meters. Everyone switched their hazards on, shelter provided by every bridge became an impromptu motorcycle park. Some, where panic had set in, just stopped in their lane. Louise continued to prepare our snack in the kitchen area.

An epic mountain journey followed into the Süd Tyrol Dolomites. Our destination Pragser Wildsee, a small lake just 3km around. Unknown to us, however, also the Instagram lake of the moment, hosting day time coach trips of Japanese day trippers and augmented ladies with lips reminiscent of a baboons bottom. We had booked to stay the night in the pricey lake side hotel. Hotel Lago di Braies. The day trippers left by 5pm.

We walked the edge of the lake which was really wonderful. Genuinely one of the most beautiful places I have been. According to my favorite brother in law, the reason the lake is so blue is due to white glacial rock flour (sand) on the lake bed, reacting with the light. Who am I to argue?

The hotel key code is 1881, which we guessed was when they last updated the furniture. The dining room hosted some of the most goulish stuffed animal and birds we have seen. A life size crucifixion beside the stairs.

The rooms were entirely wooden. Even down to the TV. The furniture, the creaking floors, the dusty chaise longe in the corridor, and Italian equivalent of fawlty towers clientele, entirely in keeping with my memories of skiing holidays with my parents. Leather ski boots, pencil thin skis and stuffed creatures.

At the end of the Second World War, the Germans took over the hotel for one hundred celebrity prisoners of war including the re-captured survivors of the Great Escape. True story. Prisoners they planned to use as collateral in event of losing the war. There was no actual evidence of them trying to tunnel out of Hotel Lago di Braies, but if I had been forced to stay here another night, I would definitely have been caught shaking soil out of my trouser legs.

Mrs W and I had a fabulous but very creaky night in a suite, with a separate room for @reggieroothecockerpoo. The hotel put on a drinks party at 6pm, by which time we had already lathered into the aperol spritz. They also served a delicious Campari spritz, if you haven't tried it. Thankfully we didn't have to chat to the Italian equivalent of The Major or Sybil. But we did get the female equivalent of Manuel as our waitress.

We stumbled into dinner expecting the very best but found the food a little disappointing. We are very childish. It was deathly quiet. Sadly, I suffered an uncontrollable fit of the giggles provoked by the incredibly loud squeeking of the cork screw on our superb bottle of Nero D'Avolo. Louise joined in as I desperately tried not to spray the wine out through my nose. The poor waitress.

I have definitely had the same thin flat slice of pudding on a BA flight before. Sponge, spray foam crème substitute, another layer of sponge and a layer of gelatinous yellow citrus jelly.

Breakfast was great but I was glad to get back in Nessa. I think I probably am just too immature to be allowed to stay in hotels.


John Hunt
John Hunt
Jul 27, 2023

You were lucky with that hail storm. I've got another friend who got caught up in that one at Lake Garda, and his car is off the road now, with some very expensive repairs and probably needs towing home.

Jul 28, 2023
Replying to

Oh dear ! Yes we have had some proper "weather"! Reckon the Ford minibus is built to withstand Old Testament type fire and brimstone .

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