This time last week saw the van getting ready to start driving up north. Leslie spent a few beautiful weeks in Castel Di Sangro, the mega-town of the Apennine mountain range. However, a test for the van was calling in Germany, so the wheels got turning.
Honestly, with the van, sometimes it feels like the destination is the greatest part. Google Maps just laughs at me when it says '1,000km - 10hr 30min driving.' Not in the van, sweetie. At 70kmh she purrs, at 80kmh she roars, and at 90kmh you can enjoy the fuel indictor drop down in real time. 70kmh was the standard speed. That quickly turned a 10hr drive in to a 15 hour stint over 2 days, getting battered by Italian tolls and rising fuel prices.
The week started off with a stop off by a village about an hour north of Castel Di Sangro. We caught sunrise and drove on to Campo Imperatore, another 40 minutes north. It was a turn off from the main road, and about 10km in, the van came to a stop, with 2-foot high snow blocking the road. That was quickly chalked off the itinerary and Leslie decided to start putting in serious miles.
Many hours later and he was exhausted, but also just north of Milan. Solid progress. The next morning it was time to get going again, we were waved in to Switzerland at the border and drove a beautiful few hours through the Alps. Switzerland looks epic.
That evening, the van entered Germany, seeing three countries in about 6 hours. The next day, Leslie saw his van confidently fail the stringent roadworthy tests that Germany imposes. The result is being in south Germany for a week, and spending a fortune in repairs being made by a lovely guy called Sebastien. It was a business week, but with the money going in the opposite way. Here's how much it cost to drive from Castel Di Sangro to Basel (basically).
Tolls Italy: 60e
Swiss Toll Vignette: 40e
Total: 270e Train from Naples to Basel would cost: 150e (a plane costs 400e)
Van Repair Price: Let's not talk about it..