It has been a very, very long day.  And but for one not so bright moment, a fun one.  But first I need to go back to yesterday’s adventure and bring you up to date.

An uneventful drive from Trondheim to Oslo, other than watching a driver ahead of us fall asleep at the wheel and cross into oncoming lanes of travel.  Fortunately there was no other traffic, and he was able to manuever back to the correct side of the road where he pulled over.  We all gave him very stern looks as we passed by.  We took a different route down and got to wind alongside a river most of the way.  It reminded me very much of the Cold River in Vermont in the summer. We passed several fishermen out in the middle casting their lines and waiting for bites. 

We didn’t see any deer or moose along the way, but we stopped at the moose statue for a quick photo.  The jellybean in Millenial Park Chicago has nothing on this moose!

We arrived in Oslo in plenty of time, and got queued up to enter the ferry.  Over 700 cars, motorcycles and their passengers, along with the non-vehicle passengers.  Very much a mini-cruise ship with all sorts of shops, restaurants and entertainment. We got to our cabins, dropped off our bags and had a bit of lunch in the main dining room.  My other half and I ventured to the 15th deck Observation Lounge to enjoy the views of Oslo Fjord and open sea once we left the fjord.  Stunning views down the fjord of Norway and Sweden. Dinner was late at the buffet as Germany vs Italy soccer match was going on, and all other restaurants were full or closed.  Good selection of foods, and pretty tasty, too. 

A beautiful sunset, first we have seen since leaving Georgia.

I was awake this morning around 5AM and glimpsed outside without letting too much light in – didn’t want to disturb beauty sleep for others! Got to see bits of Denmark as got closer to the end of our voyage. We were up and in the car by 9:30AM, and luckily one of the first cars off the ship. A great start to the day, or so you would think, right??

We stopped for gas, coffee and croissants before hitting the Autobahn.  Have to say my first experience on the Autobahn was not what I expected.  There were some incredible stretches where we really got to feel the open road (at roughly 200KM/HR, give or take…Mom, no need to do the conversion to MPH!).  For the most part, though, we were stuck in long lines of traffic due to an accident and what appeared to be a test for local emergency services.  Scenery was nice, but due to the trees along both sides of the road it was hard to see much. We skirted Frankfurt, Nürnberg and Munich. 

Somewhere before Munich we stopped for gas and a quick snack/WC break. Two exits further down the road my other half realizes he no longer has his cell phone…quick search of the car while figuring out how to turn around and head back to the rest area to see if it may have been found and turned in. A backup due to a lane mergemade the return trip abut 45 minutes. No phone had been turned in, and we couldn’t locate it anywhere.  A quick call to Verizon to suspend coverage for the missing phone and we were back on the road toward Italy. 

We passed field after field of hops as we neared Munich, and that was fun to see.  Wish we could have had the beer to go with it, though!

We saw our first sign for Verona around 10PM, while still officially in Germany.  We soon crossed into Austria where we detoured through part of Innsbruck due to road construction.

We crosed into Italy about 11:30PM, and arrived at our hotel at about 1:30AM.  Italy was beautiful at night…all the castles and churches in the little towns were lit up, and there were so, so many stars in the sky. Unfortunately I couldn’t get pictures this late at night from a moving vehicle, but I am hoping tomorrow will bring plenty of opportunity for photos on our drive to Tuscany.

Calling it a night as the alarm is going off sooner rather than later, and we will be on the road in just over 5 hours.  I don’t want to sleep through much of tomorrow’s drive!