Van Trip to Italy and Switzerland

This trip felt like another honeymoon after 34 years!

On October 9, we set off for one last hurrah in Europe for 2018.  Always looking for the best deals, we stayed at an amazing Chateau in Brussels for less than the cost of a hotel, and set off by plane to Milan Italy for only 30 Euros each way.  The rented van would serve as rental car, hotels en route, dining room for all meals (except those we packed for the hiking).

Chateau Bedroom
Chateau Salon

The van was a fabulous way to get around and stay where you wanted.  One idea for a winter project in Maine was to build a camper van from a cargo version, so trying one out in advance was key.  

Our van for the week
Our travels

Knowing Milan was not our style, we made a beeline north to Chiavenna to find hiking and wilderness.  What a score!  We found it all here in this sweet old town and the other towns as we traveled north.  Fabulous hikes, sweet spots to camp for the night, sometimes in campsites and sometimes for free in recommended road side stops, loads of history, and simple restaurants for a beer, which in Italy means a plate of delicious tiny entrees to go with it!  Everyone we met was helpful and fun, showing us where to go next.

We visited Lagh L’Albigna, where a hydroelectric dam created a huge mountain top lake, with gorgeous hikes and views all around.

After reading Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan, we were eager to visit Madesimo.  So many references from the book came alive here.  

We ended our glorious trip by driving the length of Lake Como to the town of Como for a final stop.  This van cruise definitely confirmed our plans to build a van this winter!

Arriving back to Blankenberge where Alembic peacefully waited, we made final arrangements to winterize our trusty boat and head home for six months.

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