Our Airbnb in Venice was a traditional building complete with a narrow steep staircase, balconies, and a sloping floor.
We had a pizzeria, a lady selling Glüwein, and vegan gelato all within footsteps of our door. Which was very lucky because the day after we arrived both Jeremy and I came down with the same bug the boys had in Prague.
So we tag teamed on naps and fetching food and with short bursts of energy saw as much of Venice as we could. As we had come straight from the airport we did not have the pram so we had to babywear the boys. Which was hard when we were both under the weather. We got in the most important thing though: a Gondola ride!
After almost 2 weeks out of Beryl we decided it was time to pick her up and continue on. Next on our list was Florence! We stayed at a campsite along the river and we were able to hitch on the boys and cycle in everyday.
We got a guided tour for the first time (through Santa Maria Cathedral) and also bought a selfie stick from a dodgy looking Nigerian with shifty eyes. Halfway through our transaction he did an about turn and hissed for me to follow him. As I stared at him blankly Jeremy pulled me along murmuring about cops. Feeling like a criminal I smuggled my cash to him and he fled. But I got my selfie stick and it still works!
We headed for Pisa and then organized a ferry to get to the island of Corsica. We had an extra 2 days to burn before the next ferry so we ducked into Tuscany and stayed at a campsite amongst some olive groves.
Corsica was beautiful but unfortunately only set up for motorhoming in the summer. But there were some lovely wild camping spots, but unfortunately not enough.
We struggled to find facilities and places to park so decided to cut it short and head for Sardinia. After making that decision the biggest drama we had was that the bike rack decided it had had enough and fell off mid speed bump. This resulted in us dragging our bikes behind Beryl until we noticed an awful scraping noise. But in all honesty it was only about 100 metres… Thank God! We were having a bad day as it was and this was this icing on the cake. It was 3pm and I was still in my pj’s and slippers picking bike rack and bike parts off the road while directing French motorists around us as they got all shouty shouty. Turns out we had parts further down the road that we hadn’t seen and they were trying to let us know. I perhaps should not have been giving so many unfriendly hand gestures…. I was in such a foul mood that I didn’t get a single photo! Tragedy! But I have a lovely photo of Angus while we waited for Daddy to strap the bikes to the roof and a great pic of Beryl’s bare backside!
On our way down the island we were trying to find a dodgy wild camp in some quiet streets and came across an old retro motorhome that looked like it had been stationary for some time. We considered parking in behind him but it would have blocked someone’s driveway. As we started driving away a little hippy type fellow in rainbow pants and a goatee popped out and stopped us, speaking German. We apologized that we weren’t German and he said “Oh thank god cos I’m French!”
(We have German number plates. “Sorry I’m not German” is a common phrase of Jeremy’s when fellow Germans try to strike up a convo at the petrol station)
Anyhoo our little hippy friend was called Charlie and said he would be delighted if we parked behind him for the night and not to worry about the driveway because that is Thomas’ house! He didn’t elaborate on that so we trusted him; So thank you very much to the mysterious Thomas. Charlie was quite chatty and invited us in for some sweet wine and a joint. I had to politely declined because, alas, I am breastfeeding otherwise I totally would have. (I’m kidding mother! … maybe….) In the morning we left him a koala on his windscreen with a friendly toot and left him to it.
We had high hopes for Sardinia but found the same issues as Corsica. No facilites or campsites open. The only one was a farm in the mountains! Our host was Antonio and he lived on the farm with two other gentlemen and all sorts of animals including puppies! Angus was in heaven.
In the morning we had coffee with Antonio and while I was letting the boys run amok outside he insisted Jeremy try some of his red wine (which is totally what you do at 10am when someone is about to drive down a mountain with 2 babies in the car) Jeremy obviously had no objections and strutted out to the van in a great mood.
We made our way down the bottom of Corsica and waited for a ferry back to the mainland. So the islands didn’t work out as we had hoped but we had some great moments anyway!