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Willie and Sheila's European Adventure Part 3

Greetings from the other side of the world: Navigating the Alps

By Willie Quinones
Published on LatinoLA: May 29, 2014

Willie and Sheila's European Adventure Part 3

Hello again,

This is one of the best shots of the hundreds of rugged peaks that were all around us in our travel through the Alps. Since it was raining most of the time many of them were shrouded in low clouds. This is Lake Annecy in the French Alps a beautiful town that was awash in colorful flowers just busting out after their winter slumber. We didn't stay long in the Swiss Alp town of Geneva because of the extremely high prices for lodging, 200 Euros a night for modest accommodations. We did however walk the promenade and lake front of this gorgeous town. It is located in a deep Alpine valley with the town wrapped around the western end of huge Lake Geneva.

I'm getting better at driving the stick shift. Thank God for that since, we hit some steep hairy winding mountain roads with Mario Andretti hot on our tail. Can you believe them suckers pass on a curve? They didn't pass me though...I just pulled over and let them fools go by. The winding roads were only in short stretches however. Once we hit the high plateau it was better. We then drove the modern and scenic highways between the massive peaks. The worst part was constantly stopping to pay darn tolls. We've paid way more on tolls then in the little diesel fuel we've used. Haven't they heard of freeways? Jeez! We've paid tolls by credit card, putting Euro bills in a slot, throwing coins in a chute, and to pendejo booth attendants that smiled as they gouged you jaw-dropping amounts.

And tunnels? We passed dozens of tunnels drilled through the many mountains. Some were five minutes long and one was eight miles long for which they charged us an astounding 43 Euros (about 60 bucks) just to go through. Scary! Going through it was like driving through a rifle barrel doing 130! (Kilometers that is...about 80 mph). Hey, I can always say I driven over 130, no?

Now we are safely down the mountains and in Italy where the ladies are very attractive compared to the plainer looking French dames. And the driving, heck, just when we were becoming used to the road signs in French we now have to learn them all over again in Italian. And we must also remember to say "grazie and prego" instead of "merci and du rien" when we say please and thank you.

We are now just outside of Milan and poised to hit Venezia where we will park our car for three days (Hooray!) while we navigate the canals. We are supposed to stay in a monastery because it's inexpensive. I don't look forward to getting up at dawn for early vespers though. I will however pray for you and light a candle for your good health and also for the Saint of Lost Travelers stuck going in circles in the hundreds of roundabouts. Don't they know we have invented traffic lights for intersections? Jeez!

To be continued...Willie Q.

sent from my iPad

About Willie Quinones:
Born in El Paso Texas now a 50 year Californian. Retired Maintenance Supervisor from L.A. Harbor College in Wilmington, CA
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