Misc comments about the trip:
1) Navigation is great (A must IMO). 2 minor mistakes on the software, but we never got lost and got to explore roads that I would have otherwise not dreamed about tackling in a foreign country. Came in handy when we neared our destinations. It helped up locate parking lots and definitely gave us the peace of mind I needed since we were travelling with 2 young kids. I didn't stress at complicated intersections, not worried about relying on road signs for directions.
2) Travelling in late March worked very well for us. The weather held up and we didn't have to drive on snow (sports package). I loved it that I could wear my thick rain jacket and not worry about perspiring. The 4 passports were always on my indside left brest pocket, my car keys in another velcroed pocket, and wallet in another zipped pocket. I was stressing about being pick-pocketed before the trip since I saw myself as a potential picpocket target ((distractions when dealing with 2 kids). To me it seemed that the pickpockets (Gypsies?) turned to begging in the quiet season and to pickpocketing when it really gets busy and crowded.
3) I travelled with too many clothes. I lived on Cool-Max type shirts and jeans. The hotels had radiators that were obviously working since it was cool at night and the shirts literally took an hour to dry. We did laundry at the halfway point in Florence. Spent 2 hours 1 evening doing laundry at a DIY place...The kids watched a cartoon on the laptop.
4) Laptop...travelled with one, had to have it. To keep the kids out of our hair when we had to prep for stuff. Loaded 20+ hours of movies onto the hard-drive...BTW no movies while in the car (1 of our rules). Also, since I was taking about 1 Gig of photos a day, I needed an easy way to download, review and purge photos.
5) Comfort Access....a luxury that became a necessity. I left the key in a secure place in my jacket pocket, reached for the car and it unlocked locke etc etc. No fumbling into my pockets to locate the key. It was always easy in, easy out, 1 less thing to worry about.
6) Crowds......Mostly low to non existant (moderate in Munich and Florence) Lines wer short except the Uffizi and Accademia (when we got reservations...a must), lines were very short or even not there.
7) Hotels and air tickets were cheaper compared to travelling during the tourist peak season.
Pic: BTW, don't order this if you see it....unless you like curry powder sprinkeled on top of your wurst.
Last edited by lukeeesteve; 05-05-2007 at 03:09 PM.