Monthly Archives: June 2016

20160612 – Padua and Venice At Last

Sunday – Warm and drizzle.

DSC_9470Take a stroll into Padua to explore. Not the most elegant of cities but it does have some impressive buildings, mind you it’s started to rain so that doesn’t help.

IMG_8116They may not know a lot about beer so no sin today. But they sure know about coffee. Stop at the famous cafe Pedrocchi. The green and chocolate lava on top of my caffee Pedrocchi is awesome and Frau Edwards has had her best cup of tea this side of the EU.

Finally find a decent restaurant for lunch. Yes, it’s lunch today as we’re not eating in the hotel again and most restaurants don’t open until 19:30, when we’re just getting ready for bed.

DSC_9509I have veal livers with polenta, they’re awesome and just mealt in your mouth. Very filling struggle to finish it. Frau Edwards has a unique tasting Lasgne.

Don’t we just love the hotel barman, all the charm and personality of a desiccated mushroom. Who employed him? Hannibal Lecter in his mask would present a more cheerful disposition. I suppose not speaking any Italian doesn’t help but do they not realise that we have a world of languages to choose from. We really can’t speak them all. Simple, they – Johnny Eu Foreigner – should be forced by the Eureaucrats to learn English.

I’ve cracked this Italien food thingy, just smoother everything in olive oil, and they smile and think you a local.

Wot no Tuti Fruiti on TV, no wonder the Italian economy is nearly as insolvent as Greece? Watch this space ready for the next bailout

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For anyone not sure of the issues in the EU referendum! this is a really good analogy of how the EU works.

Hotel Montecarlo in Venice.

Hotel Montecarlo in Venice.

A son goes to his Dad having saved up some money from his weekend job.
Son “ Dad I’ve saved up £350 pounds to buy the new laptop I need for my college course”
Dad “Well done son, give the money to me and I’ll help you”
Son “Ok now what?”
Dad “I will allow you £185 pounds back less my handling fee of £5 so £180 which you may only spend on a new phone”
Son “But I need a laptop!”
Dad “No, we’ve decided you can only buy a phone and you may only buy a phone from Germany and it must be pink. You must also source the phone within 2 days otherwise I will not release the money”
Son “But it’s my money!”
Dad “I’m afraid you are a member of this family and you must contribute to everyone else’s needs. I will decide how the money is spent”
Our Venice Hotel.

Our Venice Hotel.

Son “So what happens to the £165?”
Dad “Well your sister needs a new dress”
Son “She has already had many new dresses”
Dad “We’ve put it to the vote and I’m afraid you’re outvoted”
Son “But I need a laptop to continue my course!”
Dad “My decision is final”
Son “But that’s not fair, will I ever have a say in how my money is spent”
Dad “No, and by the way we’ve got a couple more people moving into your room and you’ll have to pay for their keep”
Son “Well I’m leaving then”
Dad “Don’t be like that lad, we need your money. And if you leave you won’t be able to buy a pink phone from Germany you’ll have to buy one here instead”
Son “I NEED A LAPTOP!”
Simple.

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Milo versus Mohammad:


Monday – hot and sunny

Dinner in Venice.

Dinner in Venice.

Trip Advisor Review of Hotel Galileo Padua – 4 Stars.

Venice St Marks square

Venice St Marks square

Hotel was bright and cheerful with handy underground car park, where our excellent and helpful receptionist said we could leave the car whilst we visit Venice. Unfortunately the hotels about a mile outside the town Centre, but it’s a pleasant walk.

Room was modern, clean, comfortable and all round good. Although there were no tea making facilities, essential for us Brits, they soon bough one up,when asked. Sadly the bed would probably best be described as firm. It’d probably escaped from a German prison, like sleeping on a concrete floor.

Venice

Venice

Breakfast was mediocre, mainly spoilt by the same stale bread and rolls they foisted on us in the restaurant.

After another mediocre breakfast we set off like a couple of decrepit backpackers. All our essentials for the next 3 nights crammed and rolled into our haversacks. This is minimalist. Wendy forgoes her multitude of lotions and potions, and hair dryers, straighteners and thingies. I even leave my MacBook. Car and none essentials are left in Padua hotel.

Long life sandwiches for sale on the train platform. It’s 13th June and sandwiches in the machine have a best before date of 12 July. You may well wonder what they’re made of but they’re bread and meat. I don’t believe it. They’ll probably walk out of the machine well before then.

Venice

Venice

Catch the train to Venice, just under 30 minutes and about €4 each.

Arrive in Venice in glorious sunshine. What a spectacular first impression as we walk out the station.

Then it’s a 1 mile walk through the back alleys and bridges to our hotel. Hotels very comfortable and only 100 yards from St Marks square. Rooms are ver chintzy and regal, not really our style but clean, roomy and well fitted out.

Have a stroll around and some lunch with a sinful Paulaner for me.

First impressions are vibrant, decaying, scruffy back streets, a lot of it well past its demolish by date, and spoilt by too many tourists. It’s heaving, we really do spoil it. But then you see the grand canal and St Marks square and are awestruck by the magnificent architecture.

After 6 miles, and more bridges than hangers onto the Evil Union gravy train, we go back for a rest before heading out for tea.

DSC_9567After having some awesome Italian food in Australia by our friend Peter I just have to eat MELANZANE ALLA PARMIGIANA again. We scour the 1,000’s of restaurants and amazingly the one next to our hotel does it. Go in but no one there, so we vote with our feet. Never mind one round the corner has cannelloni on the menu board, order some drinks and Cannelloni. “Oh I’m sorry sir but we don’t have that”. “But it’s on your menu black board”. “Yes, I know but that’s out of date”. “Well why don’t you update the board”? We walk out in disgust. Finally find a place that does MELANZANE ALLA PARMIGIANA as a starter. Check that it’s on today. Great starter, but nowhere near as good as Peters. Sadly I resort to a pizza, it’s fine, but really must be more adventurous.

Back to hotel and watch the Apple update. Sadly no hardware announcements. I “want” a new MacBook.
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Tuesday – rain then hot and sunny

Venice

Venice

I’m up at the crack o sparrows and join the street sweepers for a pleasant stroll around an unspoilt Venice. Definitely the best time of the day. You can actually photograph places without the selfie stick hoards getting underfoot.

Breakfast is good. Plenty of choice, even strawberries and champagne. I’ll save that retirement sin for tomorrow.

Venice early morning - civilised.

Venice early morning – civilised.

We’re off on a cultural trip, Dogs Palace and the Basic Church. Sadly it’s raining and St Marks square, where we have to meet, is a nightmare of bodies and umbrellas. Fortunately I’ve got two eyes so to all the idiots who still had their umbrellas, up even when under cover, in an attempt to blind me, tough I managed to survive. Just.

Pick up our tickets and audio gizmo so that we can here the guide. Very knowledgeable but she had no red flag to follow, we kept loosing her. She kept asking inane questions like “are we all here”. Not that she’d bothered to count us.

Just 5 minutes into the tour and sure enough some feeble minded and weak bladdered adult women wanted potty.

By the end of the 90 minute palace tour we’ve had enough culture to last a year.

Venice early morning.

Venice early morning.

But hey ho there’s more culture to come as we troop into the Basic San Marco church. What a mistake this was. By now we’re both suffering from anaphylactic culture shock and in need of some intravenous caffeine. Strikes me Starbucks and MacDonalds are missing a real opportunity in this church, a coffee shop with free wifi would go down a treat and drag the church into the 21st century.

Finally escape the clutches of our not so organised guide and head for a well deserved coffee and lunch. Yet another 3rd world toilet, this time not just a hole in the ground, but the added advantage of a door with no lock. When opened it will knock you off your feet. Just what you need when you’re draining the snake or having a crouch. And they want us to remain in the EU when they can’t even ban 3rd world toilets.

I suggest a gondola ride. It’s something you have to do, when Frau Edwards learns the price she baulks at it and does a hasty conversion as to how many hand bags she could buy with that. We pass and instead have a 5 mile hike around Venice.

Venice early morning.

Venice early morning.

Wendy’s, typical Brit abroad statement, “why do they misspell Venice”?

Greed and stupidity are common bedfellows, nowhere more so than here in St Marks square, famous for it’s overpriced coffee. It’s actually only €1.50 for a coffee to go, but you want to sit down then it’s €6.00. Now any manager with any sense would look around and see that less than 10% of the chairs are occupied yet the whole of Europe is milling around in the square, not even standing room. Does that not tell them that stupidity has taken over from rampant greed. Reduce your price a tad and you’ll get more punters.

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They, the government, lied to us before the last referendum in 1975, and now a different gang of lying clowns are lying to us yet again in oh so many ways.

I defy you to watch this and not vote BREXIT, it’s really disturbing – especially when you discover the Evil Union banned us lowering tax on beer, how dare they.

It’s not just about now, but our children and grand children’s freedom and future.

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Islam a peaceful religion! More lies and balderdash from David Cameron and the rest of these progressive do gooders who fail to face up to the truth.


Wednesday – hot and sunny

Our Gondola ride.

Our Gondola ride.

Champagne for breakfast, now that’s decadent.

Our gondola on the grand canal

Our gondola on the grand canal

Took the FREE hotel trip to see the glass factory at Murano. There and back by private water taxi, a great experience. Very pleasant and lovely expensive glass ware if you’re into that sort of thing.

Bridge of Sighs from the gondola.

Bridge of Sighs from the gondola.

Back in Venice we succumb to a Gondola ride. We pass on the €2, 2 minute ferry option, and go for the full Monty even under the bridge of Sighs – very romantic. What a superb way to fritter away your kids inheritance. I think we’ll have one on standby 24 * 7 just in case Frau Edwards needs to nip to Aldi or buy another new handbag. Expensive but I’m the one who said we should do it and dam the rip off.

Then it’s a spot of fodder for her in doors and a sinful beer for me before we buy a 24 hour valporetta ticket and take the long cruise all around the island and over to Lido, then a trip down the Grand Canal and back. Great way to see Venice but by the end of it Wendy’s lost the will to live.
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Thursday – hot and sunny

Venice bridge of Sighs

Venice bridge of Sighs

Trip Advisor Review Hotel Monte Carlo – 5 Stars

Dogges palace

Dogges palace

Great location, just a 100 yards from St Marc’s Square.

Quality Best Western hotel, they’ve certainly gone up yet another notch in my estimation and we’ll be using them more in the future. All staff were friendly and very helpful. Arrived early, no problem. Can we have a double bed room rather than a twin, no problem. Can you change this room to a 1st floor room, no problem.

A 15th Century Venetian suggestion box.

A 15th Century Venetian suggestion box.

Room was spacious, clean and well kitted out with quality fittings, including tea and coffee making facilities. Furniture and style was very regal and chintzy, very much in keeping with the Venice experience, but not really our taste.

Breakfast was great. Good choice of quality hot and cold food.

Wifi is excellent, just a shame it needs the password palaver, but more understandable in the close confines of Venice.

St Marks square

St Marks square

Even managed to save €200 on a 3 night stay by booking on booking.com rather than direct with Best Western. Pity their web site doesn’t treat customers with the respect their hotel staff do, but €200 is better in my pocket to pay for the excesses of Venice.

Highly recommend this hotel.

After another great breakfast we catch the valporetta to the station for the train back to Padua.

Venice

Venice

Well we’ve enjoyed Venice. It lived up to my expectations – spoilt by hoards of tourists. Selfie sticks of the vain and eye gouging umbrellas just add to its charm. It’s one of those places you’re glad you’ve been there and done it, but wouldn’t ever want to come back again. We both agreed, even if we called in on a cruise I think we’d be tempted to give it a miss and stay on board all day.

View from a gondola

View from a gondola

Get back to our Padua hotel and pick the car up from the secure underground garage, so much better than taking the car to Venice and parking up. All credit to Hotel Galileo, it was ok with them and free. Best Western go up again in my estimation.

Then it’s a 3 hour drive to our VRBO home for the next 10 days, just outside Siena. As per their photos it’s lovely. After all our travels it will be a well deserved rest.

Venice

Venice

When we arrive I carefully inspect my exhaust pipe. I’m sure there must be something of interest up it. All these Italian drivers are a load of screaming exhaust bandits, as they hurtle down, and then seem determined to crawl up my exhaust pipe like a boll weevil trying to lay its eggs in a cotton boll.

Sadly it’s then a trip to the local supermarket for supplies. I soon loose the will to live once I’ve chose my coffee, beer, wine and breakfast cereal. Amazing how different the goods are in different countries. Gladly outside our everyday sphere of comfort and one of the joys of travel is to adopt a “when in Rome approach”, even if it does take us 5 minutes to figure out which milk is whole and which is Frau Edwards white water. Strange though not a tin of baked beans in site but walnuts, dates and more aubergines than muslims at a stoning.

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The-answer-is-yes

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yazidi-018271447955171Now ISIS, from the religion of pieces and of permanent offence, is selling sex slaves online. But talk about buying a pig in a poke, instead it’s a sex slave in a burka. What a shock when you’ve paid your shekels or camels, lift the veil and find she’s a poster girl for the a celibacy campaign.

20160607 – Heidelberg

Tuesday – hot and sunny

Morning coffee in Heidelberg

Morning coffee in Heidelberg

The usual lazy start to the day with breakfast, coffee and newspapers. Our new home for 4 days is a lovely 2 bedroom VRBO. All very comfortable, modern, clean (no ants so far) and well equipped – see pictures.

IMG_8100Then we take a leisurely stroll down the river into Heidelberg. Wander dow the Haupstrasse to the main square with the obligatory Rathaus and church. Stop to rest our weary legs, having strolled all of a mile, for an all important coffee. Place is teaming with Japanese cameras strung around Japanese, or could be Chinese, necks. IMG_8099A more disconcerting trend these days is for those vanity sticks – the selfie stick. You have to be under 30 to buy one, but it seems the whole of the younger generation is inflicted with a dweebie narcissistic complex. Bad enough they wander around talking into their Smartarse phones but now they’re walking around video their every movement. By the end of the day they must spend hours sorting through their “treasured” moments. I wonder how they cope with going to the toilet? Can they bear to miss recording those few precious moments?

IMG_8095Continue our stroll down the high street to the new town. Wendy’s on a mission to get a small rucksack to replace the need to carry one of the 401 handbags she has. We visit every handbag and out door shop in town. Some of them twice over for good measure. Finally find a black leather one that can just about cope with carrying an iPhone and one credit card. Fortunately there is a defibrillator in store to help my credit card and me recover.

IMG_8098Then we stroll back down the main street to make sure we’ve not missed any shops. Have to liven our pace to get to the Lowenbrau pub as a thunder storm passes. Not quite up to running yet, but a skimpy thin white dress with a black thong beneath, keeps me moving at a rapid pace as I keep up and can’t help but see the wet teeshirt effect reveal more and more. Good quality street entertainment, none of your boring black bin liners. Thank the FSM for a liberated society.

Somewhat wet and bedraggled we stop for a leisurely lunch. Apfel Strudel for Frau Edwards and a Lowenbrau for me. Yes I know it’s a sin. Yes I know it breaks the 2nd law of retirement – no drinking before 17:00. But I’m not driving today and it would have been a sin to pass up on a golden opportunity for one of my Reinheiatsgebot favourites.

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelbergs a lovely old town. Clean and pleasant to just stroll around, you feel safe. Infestered with us dam tourists. Quite a few inverted black bin liners shuffling around with all the accoutrements of modern living such as iPhones, flashy handbags, jewellery, trendy shoes and the wow the occasional glimpse of an ankle. Not quite up to Blackburn standards, yet. Also quite a few street beggars.

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What a joke these Harem pants for eunochs are

What a joke these Harem pants for eunochs are

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Qur’an Gangbang episode 4: Islamic Street Preachers

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Here we go again, you cannot jail illegal immigrants, court says.

Our VRBO home for the next 4 days

Our VRBO home for the next 4 days

The judgment is seen as a blow to attempts by British, Dutch and French police to deter migrants and people smugglers at the Channel Tunnel. Last year the EU’s Frontex border agency reported that the number of people aiming to get to the UK with fraudulent documents increased by more than 70 per cent compared with 2014. “This case underlines the serious weakness of the returns system in the EU,” said Alp Mehmet, of Migration Watch UK. “This can only add to the problems that we face in Calais and elsewhere. The judgment seems to be paying scant attention to what is happening in the real world and how we should deal with today’s rapidly changing circumstances.”

Dominic Raab, the Tory MP and Vote Leave campaigner, said that the rulings illustrated the “loss of proper democratic control” to EU judges “over a sensitive area of policy”.

For more read:

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/you-cannot-jail-illegal-immigrants-court-says-f32wgx8c5


Wednesday – hot and sunny

Heidelberg river Eck

Heidelberg river Eck

Well it’s a choice today between a 90 minute drive up to Frankfurt or a 30 minute drive up to Mannheim. We decide on exploring Mannheim. Frankfurt sounds to big.

We avoid the Autobahns in an attempt to see more of Germany and less of my rear view mirror. Frau Edwards get excited when we come across a Lidl. We have to stop and explore. Consensus of opinion from my merchandising consultant is that Lidl is far superior to Aldi, unlike in England where it is vice versa.

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Drive into he centre of Mannheim. It’s like driving through a never ending rabbit hole with Donner Kebab joints on either side. Mannheim doesn’t impress, a modern’ish town infestered with guest arbiters, we keep on driving and give it a miss. Thankfully we didn’t do the two hour each way boat tour to Mannheim.

Stop off in Heidelberg new town and have a wander around.

Stroll in Heidelberg

Stroll in Heidelberg

Then back down the high street to the old town for lunch, alas no Lowenbrau today. We’ve no merchandising mission today other than Frau Edwards wanting a piece of quiche she saw in a deli at the far end of town. Oh well all good exercise.

Has anyone noticed that all German car parks seem to be designed to wreck your alloy wheels, twists and turns down curb lined isles that you’ve no chance of negotiating without hitting them.

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Look what I got.

Look what I got.

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A Lowenbrau sin

A Lowenbrau sin

Brexit will help us create jobs, say 300 top business chiefs: Leaders say Brussels red tape ‘stifles every one of the UK’s 5.4million companies’ 

* British exports value to EU has plummeted by a fifth over the past decade
* Leave campaigners said the figures proved the ‘failure’ of the single market
* Remain camp insists access to trading bloc was vital to economic success

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3592104/Brexit-help-create-jobs-say-300-business-chiefs-Leaders-say-Brussels-red-tape-stifles-one-UK-s-5-4million-companies.html#ixzz48nlghXwQ


Thursday – hot and sunny

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Well today we set off to explore the castle. Alas found it a nightmare to park and Frau Edwards was concerned that there were too many steps for her dodgy knee. Abandoned that idea and drove up to the top of the mountain for morning coffee.

Heidelberg castle

Heidelberg castle

Plan 2 was to walk across the famous bridge and into Heidelberg for lunch. Again abandoned due to parking problems. Whatever happened to the joys of motoring. These days it’s just a nightmare trying to park. Now if we had our bikes then there’d be no problem with great cycling facilities around the town. But like cyclists the World over they seem to feel that traffic lights don’t apply to them. Then there’s the problem of them sneaking up behind you, no bell, just suddenly sweep past. One step out of line and you’re pavement pate. But I’ve one of two solutions:

1 The humane and romantic option – walk down the pavement holding hands with Frau Edwards, spread out across the whole pavement. Then they have to use their bell.

2 The permanent fix option – as you see their shadow sweeping up then execute a sharp right hand signal with your hand flat out, karate style, and let it make contact with the oncoming larynx. Oh so sorry we didn’t see you. They’ll never do it again.

Heidelberg famous old bridge

Heidelberg famous old bridge

What is it with this obsession that some so called men have with Harem Trousers. Are there that many eunuchs in Germany? I suppose it’s a marginal improvement on wandering around with your trousers around your knees showing off your gaudy skid stained underwear, but thankfully our kids have passed on these fashions.

Home for lunch.

Then walk into town for a chance to walk across the famous old Heidelberg Bridge.

Heidelberg famous old bridge - no cars

Heidelberg famous old bridge – no cars

Another stroll around town and stop for a Paulaner – one of Germanys finest beers. Yes, forgive me FSM for I have sinned yet again. Drinking before 17:00 but it would have been a sin to pass up on such a fine beer.

At last a Babel Fish, automatic translation, without having to stuff a wriggling fish in my ear. Why bother to learn a language, apart from keeping Alzheimers at bay, when you have awesome technology like the Google translate app. Type, speak or even photograph text with your camera and hey presto instant translation. How awesome is that almost makes up for all the crap IT we suffer.

A Paulaner moment

A Paulaner moment


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Pat Condell: Islamic Invasion Of Europe Will FAIL

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Comments from Peaceful Muslims

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If you’re a REMAINDER or don’t know for heavens sake please, please, please watch this “BREXIT The Movie”:


Friday – hot and sunny

Up early and say good bye to Heidelberg and we’re off down to Innsbruck.

Well crap a dead cat I’ve just discovered we need one of these vignette thingies to drive on Austrian motorways. So much for the EU, a €8.80 rip off. Hopefully we charge Austrians £17.60 to drive on our roads. Makes sense to me but I won’t be holding my breath.

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

It’s a 5 hour drive through the Fern Pass. Get the roof down and enjoy the drive. Beautiful scenery and gorgeous weather but not the fastest of roads, despite my €8.80 investment.

Arrive at our Ibis hotel smack in the centre of Innsbruck. Have a pleasant wander around the old town. Very picturesque with some awesome buildings.

Stop for a well deserved coffee and Darjeeling for Frau Edwards. But what does Johnny Foreigner know about making tea, served with cream as usual, Frau Edwards is tut tuting again.

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Have dinner in a typical street cafe in the old town. The weather is awesome and we’re adapting well to this European street cafe culture.

What a tasty bit of crackling. No I’m not talking about the young waitress in leder hosen, I’m talking about real crackling on my pork, with pretzel dumplings and sauerkraut. It must be the last century since I had crackling. Whatever happened to it? Is it more EU nonsense? Or is it Islam? Proper Austrian food, but alas no kaiserschmarren or germknodel, so we’re off in search of it and another excellent beer.

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Have yet another beer at another street cafe and do a bit of people watching. It’s a perfect spot for capturing the narcissists with their selfies, it’s like a magnet for them.

Well just getting into this German Sprachen after 50 years and tomorrow we say goodbye and hello Italy. Sadly I’ll be the typical Brit abroad, armed with my Google Translate and not speaking a word of Italian – what do you mean you don’t speak English. I’m confused enough with French and German.

Shuffle back to the hotel for Question Time and an early night.
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Schrank- Renegotiate

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Image 08-06-2016 at 10.44

Saturday – hot and sunny and a torrential downpour

Oh we must have been here before. The famous SPAR shop - perhaps our kids will remember it!

Oh we must have been here before. The famous SPAR shop – perhaps our kids will remember it!

Trip Advisor Review – Our Ibis Innsbruck Hotel was good.

Handy underground car park which was ideal as the hotel was in the city centre. Great location for a walk around the old town.

Room was modern, clean, comfortable and all round ok. Sadly the bed would probably be described as firm. Typical German, like sleeping on a concrete floor. Wendy was disgusted that there were no drinks making facilities in the room or 24 hour tea and coffee in the lobby.

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Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Wifi was a disgrace, with the usual password nonsense. Slower than a knackered donkey with two broken legs, but yet again you can pay extra for a faster response. Another money grabbing scheme. Fortunately you could use the electricity or taps without having to enter a password every time you used them or pay extra for a anything other than a dribble of water or a candle light from the light bulbs. Too kind. When will hotels get the message and treat wifi like an essential utility.

Breakfast was good and had an awesome waffle maker.

Last minute fridge magnet shopping in Innsbruck

Last minute fridge magnet shopping in Innsbruck

Set off for our drive to Padua, Italy. Awesome scenery as we drive through the Brenner Pass. Pity about the downpour and having to pay for a toll road.

Arrive at out Padova Hotel after a 4 hour drive and have a lazy afternoon to recover. At least there’s tea and coffee making facilities. Search for somewhere to eat but none of the local restaurants open until 19:00, a tad late for us geriatrics. Decide to eat in the hotel.
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