The Grants' African adventure

Five countries in one day (Anne’s side of the story!!)


Stunning Lake Como

If I had known that roll-starting that bus was just the beginning of the stomach-twisting stress we would feel, I may not have been so excited about going on this crazy road-trip! While Andrew and the boys pushed the car I accidentally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake on the way down the hill and just missed taking out the side mirror by about a millimetre! Actually, I am so glad we did this trip. Doing it all in two days made the contrast between the countries even more obvious.

As soon as we crossed the border into Italy the chaos began (sorry if you’re Italian!). I can’t believe the risks Italian drivers and cyclists take! You should see the hand-gesturing and horn-beeping! The Crichton’s bus is quite wide and I kept finding myself squeezing my knees and shoulders together and trying to move into the middle of the vehicle in an insane attempt to make our car fit through narrow spaces! At least it made us laugh!

The infamous laneway

Oh, and the story about driving up the laneway? Well, let me just tell you that when we got about halfway up this laneway and there was about a molecule of air between the side mirrors and the stone walls, we were desperate! I said to the kids, “pray!!!”. Next minute these two Italian men came out of a doorway and looked at our predicament. They rubbed their chins (can you just picture that?!) and said something really fast – and unintelligable – and then showed us how to maneuovre (spelling?) the side mirrors up and out of the way. After about 15 more minutes of nail biting we finally emerged in front of a crowded cafe. I felt like bowing! Poor Andrew! He has really mastered European driving, I reckon. By the end of the journey I was only gasping every five minutes or so. I have never been so glad to arrive home with side mirrors intact. The villa we stayed in was just beautiful, with it’s wide stone steps and Michelangelo-like painted ceilings. At only 100 euro for the night, we felt very fortunate!

Waiting for the Peleton, Tour de Suisse.

Five more quick things:
1. I asked Tim to name the five countries we went to today and he said “Italy, Einstein, Ostrich, Switzerland and Germany”
2. Italian liquor (eg vodka) costs $10 for 750ml (and we didn’t even buy any!)
3. We thought the signs that said “Ausfarht” were the European way of welcoming Australians but actually it means “exit”
4. Do you know that arcade game where you hammer the mole on the head and they keep popping
up and down their holes? Well, everytime I tried to take a photo of a marmet, it disappeared down a hole just like that. I didn’t get one photo after maybe ten tries.
5. It doesn’t matter how many countries we go to, if we ask Elijah where he thinks he is, he always says Switzerland and then, “when are we going to Africa?”

Thanks for all your messages!!
Love Anne

4 responses

  1. Jenny Humphrey

    I love your commentary Anne! Thankyou. and tell Elijah I can’t wait for him to get to Africa either! At least there will be a few days we will hopefully be able to see you before we have to leave! Lookig fwd to the next entry!

    June 15, 2012 at 5:34 am

  2. Sheila Grant


    June 15, 2012 at 7:55 am

  3. The Elands

    All of you comments are making our whole family laugh. We almost feel like we are there with you. You are dear friends and we are so glad you are able to have this adventure together as a family. Keep having fun.

    June 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm

  4. The Inalds

    Oh Anney I can just imagine you! Isn’t it all so amazing? Italians are a bit crazy, but so hospitable and friendly. I can’t wait to read more stories.

    Take care over there!!

    Love Fi

    June 15, 2012 at 8:06 pm

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