After many failed attempts at road trips with our twins in India, we pulled up our socks and decided to give it a shot in Europe. After 3 years I would say it was a success.Before I start on our wanderlust taking us through the southern Swiss Alps to the shores of Italy, I would like to briefly elaborate on the failed attempts in India. We like to drive, and when we did that in the past with our twins, it always resulted in endless hours of crankiness for the girls and misery for us. This totally counts the mall trips in Bangalore. Yes, it takes forever considering the traffic conditions. But it does get easier when they grow up like I have mentioned before. We took our chances and gave ourselves a little break from the monotony of parenthood and work.
Venice has always been my personal dream destination, so we booked a car, place to crash in a fancy hotel, packed our stuffed and headed towards one of the most interesting city thriving on the water. Considering our previous experience with driving with kids, we planned and planned and planned. Took extra clothes, lots of food, entertainment for kids, potty seats and pretty much everything we “might” need and threw it in the back of the car.
We started our 3 day trip from Zurich at 10 am. Once we were on the road, the girls surprisingly kept themselves entertained and we zoomed through the Goddard pass in the southern swiss alps. It was an absolute bliss to watch the breathtakingly beautiful lakes, tunnels carved through mountains and lush green grass and flowers glistening in the summer sunshine. Until we got stuck in the traffic jam on the Goddard pass for over two hours, still we made it out of it in time. It could have taken much longer. So if you plan to drive through the Alps it is an absolute essential to keep some buffer time, food and potty seats for the kids.
The first stop was Swiss miniature at Lugano and it was a delight. You will get to see all the wonders of European architecture in the miniature form. The toy train is an enjoyable ride for the kids and overall it is a great place to spend an afternoon with family. The intricate details on the miniatures are certainly commendable. After a 2 hour halt, we bypassed Milan and headed to Venice.
Next morning we headed to Venice after our complimentary breakfast. Taking a day tour pass for transportation is a great option, as it covers the boat transportation and the bus ride. After we hopped down to the main bus station, we headed towards the boat station. We could already smell the humid air and could not wait to get the first glimpse of the city. As the boat headed towards the city we saw the fascinating town. The only means of transportation was via water or on foot. Tourists flocked on foot, traveled the narrow canals in gondola’s and fulfilled their gluttony with scopes of gelato. We crossed the famous Rialto Bridge overlooking the Grand Canal which is probably one of the most photographed parts of Venice and headed straight towards San Marco which inhibits the famous Saint Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace and Piazza San Marco. Bustling with people it really is the heart of Venice. We sat down for a bit while kids chased pigeons admiring the architectural beauty. It takes a while to take it all in and moved to the shores where all the gondolas were parked overlooking the smaller islands at the bay. After all the wandering we needed fuel so we indulged on some local pizza and gelatos and headed back to the hotel calling it a day.
Next day we were going back to Zurich with a pit stop at Milan. One of the fashion capital of the world, but since it was a Sunday we didn’t catch much hustle in the city. We considered it as a blessing because there wasn’t so much crowd to bump into. We only managed to spend time at the Milan Cathedral and it was completely worth it. The best view was saved for the last.It was an interesting long weekend with the kids. We loved it and the kids too, but I guess kids will only remember the gelato, pizza, and pigeons, that too for a while. Nevertheless, can’t wait to go back to Italy again.
Until next time.