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Don't be a left lane hog
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Briefly about the car: 535xi wagon in space gray with natural brown and anthracite bamboo. We arrived at the ED center around 7:20 and someone was already waiting inside. We needed an early start since we were picking up people at the airport later that morning, so as soon as Kai showed us how to use the USB/iPod and other unfamiliar features, we were out.
 

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more pics please. I clicked with high hopes of seeing some Italian scenery ... L(
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Night at the opera

Our trip included a mix of outdoor activities and visits to old buildings and museums. We had overnight stays in Verona, Venice, Cortina, Sirmione, Cinque Terre, and Bellagio, and then back to Hohenschwangau.


Verona is the setting for Romeo and Juliet, but we actually came here for the last opera performance of the season. The opera is a popular attraction that runs from late June to August. We got tickets for Aida through www.arena.it. The opera is performed in the Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheater. The cheap seats are on the marble steps (gradinata) and were about 28€ and are unassigned first come first serve. There were slightly cheaper gradinata tickets on the side of the stage, but also much higher priced ones >150€ for the better floor seats.

1) We did not use flash :p, lots of bozos did despite it being discouraged in 4 languages at the start and every intermission.
2) Outside view of the Arena, guidebook calls it the best preserved Roman amphitheater in the world.
3) We were in the gradinata, center left of the stage. Gates open at 7PM, show starts at 9PM. Got there about 7:30, marked our seats, and I went back out to get food.
4) It started to hurt a little sitting on these. Cushions are available to rent for 3€. During intermissions, vendors go by with Pepsi, programs, just like a baseball game.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Still in Verona

Most of what is to see in Verona in the old town and very walkable. A couple of churches are farther out, but if you get the Verona card bus is included.

1) View of of Piazza delle Erbe which links to the pedestrian streets.
2) Arco della Costa (Arch of the Rib). Legend says that the whale rib will fall on the first person passing beneath who has never told a lie. I steered well clear of the area, as you can see.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Venice

Left the car in Tronchetto garage, regular non-VIP parking. We knew that on our first day in Venice was when the annual Regata Storica was held. My pics of the Regata Storica in this thread: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=191976.

There were 4 of us travelling together so we rented an apartment. We liked the apartment so much we thought we could live here permanently. It was located in the Dorsoduro sistiere, a short walk from the Ca***8217;Rezzonico vaporetto stop. Nearby was Campo San Barnaba with a couple of places to eat and the much photographed produce barge, and a few more minutes walking was Campo Santa Margherita which had many more dining options, a supermarket, and fish and produce stands.

1-3) Apartment has 2 BR 2 BA, on two levels, an outdoor deck, and wi-fi to post on the 'fest.
4) This barge in San Barnaba is pictured in several guidebooks.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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More Venice pics

People here on the 'fest have posted really nice pics of San Marco and Venice in general, so I'll just add some unusual sights.

1) They seemingly pick-up garbage every day. The apartment manager told us to leave the bagged garbage outside the front steps. Some hung it from the front door knob.
2) Handicapped parking Venice-style. We only saw this one, but then it would be extremely difficult to get around Venice if you can't walk.
3) Maybe he forgot to look at the tide charts this morning.
4) This goes in your meal when you order alla sepia, the black ink cuttlefish.
5) This one is for the_jev.

Here are my attempts at artsy shots
6) Campanile di San Marco
7) Fresco in the Basilica
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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In the mountains

We drove up to the Dolomites and stayed in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The weather was unusually cold for the season. The boiler in the hotel was shut down so there was no heat. We drove around Cortina and did a few short hikes in the national park. To my disappointment, the road leading to Tre Cime di Lavaredo (which carries a 20€ toll and which I was willing to pay despite the grumbling coming from my MIL in the back seat :rofl:), was closed due to ice.

We spent another night ~20 km from Cortina in a mountain hut (called rifugio in Italian). There are several rifugios scattered around the Dolomites most of them on mountain tops. We stayed in Rifugio Lagazuoi atop Mount Lagazuoi. The innkeeper is Guido, and his family built the rifugio years ago. I joked with Guido telling him his hair was different from when he was featured in Rudy Maxa’s Smart Travels episode. Guido speaks English (turns out he has family in the Bay Area) and he's always there when they're open(summer July-Sept, and winter X-mas-March).

Note to vegetarians: check to see if you can get an alternative meal because it's an alpine menu. Our dinner was pasta with meat sauce, pork chop with mushroom sauce, and a creme dessert. Drinks not included. Link to rifugio info: www.dolomiti.org/dengl/Cortina/laga5torri/ospitalita/RifLagazuoi/index.html

1) Cortina d'Ampezzo has many recreational opportunities. We saw mtn bikers, rock climbers, hikers, and there is an alpine guide office in town if you want one. Winter is a ski resort and they hosted the winter olympics in 1956.
2) If you like places like Yosemite or Banff, you'll like it here.
3) The mountains are supposed to turn pink at sunset.
4) One of the trails up the mountain uses the tunnels (gallerias in Italin) made during the Great War (WWI) by the Italian or Austrian troops. Going the tunnel way requires a flashlight, hiking boots, and a helmet (I suspect because of low clearance in places) which you may be able to rent in Passo Falzarego, across the road from the gondola (Funivia).

5) Car is down there in the lot. For those who don’t want to hoof it up (we didn’t), you can ride the Funivia (8.80€ one way). We saw families with kids 7 to 10 yrs old hiking up to the rifugio. Another German family was hiking and taking turns carrying their Dachshund.
6) We got a private room for 53€/pp including dinner and breakfast. There are also non-private rooms with bunk beds (didn't ask how much)
7) Bathrooms were across the hall. You could be in the throne and have abeautiful view. Showers were 3.50€ so we went like the locals. :eeps:
8) View of the rifugio coming back from a hike.

9) There are some holes and short tunnels dug into the rock where Austrian troops could observe Italian troops below as the Italians controlled the pass.
10) If you go, say hi to Tony a very friendly pooch.
11) Trails are well marked with good signage at intersections or forks.
12) It was really cold going out to the deck to take this picture.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Great report and Fotos! :thumbup: Really enjoying your report.
 

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Your last year report steal in memory and you already get even better.:thumbup:
Can you post more info/photo of your car .
Thank You
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #12
Grande Strada delle Dolomiti

Hiked down from the rifugio using the walking trail not the tunnels. One last thing about the rifugio: they serve a very very good hot chocolate.:yummy:

We drove west from Cortina and tried to follow the Great Dolomite Road (Grande Strada delle Dolomiti) westward to Bolzano, which runs along S48 and S241. Make a quick stop in Bolzano to check on Otzi. Then we moved on to Sirmione, which we chose as a stopover on the way down south.

1) The rifugio is actually not visible in this shot. The structure at the top is the end of the Funivia.
2) Lunch stop, we're still in Sudtirol/Alto Adige so German seems more prevalent here than Italian.
3) These roads are also popular with bikers. We ate here. :thumbup:
4) The some mountain passes have the curves numbered.

5-8) Along the road
 

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Powder Days
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Excellent pics and story line. Thanks

Cheers
 

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Using SPF 45
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Great report and Fotos! :thumbup: Really enjoying your report.
+1. We saw an opera in Verona when I was ~14, with my grandmother. I think it was Aida, although it may have been something else--I was too young and couldn't understand italian anyway (no surtitles, and no libretti in english). The stone seats were no worse than sitting in Harvard stadium watching football, though . . .

Loved the Dolomites as well--we drove the toll road, and while it wasn't icy, the wind was blowing about 20 knots or more. Same problem with no boilers--I suspect they are just cheap and tell that to all tourists. They're no better than ratty u.s. landlords.:confused:
 

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That was outstanding, thank you.
 

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Great report! How long do you think it will take to get your car to west coast?
 

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Great Trip

Asteroid
Parts of you trip are very similar to ours in September:thumbup:

We were also at the last Aida show in Verona. Great performance really enjoyed it. We then stopped at Sirmione, drove north around Garda and traveled east on the Via Dolomiti from Bolzano. Also stayed at the Rifugio Lagazuoi (sept 4th). Another great experience but the weather was so-so as we had periods of snow, could not believe it was early September. Would you mind sending me via PM a higher resolution image of the room at the rifugio. I forgot to take one and yours looks exactly like ours, up stairs first room across from bathrooms. The people that run it are great. I grew up in San Rafael which is were his brother used to live, I think now he is in Mill Valley. Small world sometimes.

Great photos makes me want to go back even though we were just there.
Thanks
 

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Super report! Many thanx.
 

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nice pics - thx. That looks like a nice apt; can you share more details about it (cost, website etc)?

Left the car in Tronchetto garage, regular non-VIP parking. We knew that on our first day in Venice was when the annual Regata Storica was held. My pics of the Regata Storica in this thread: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=191976.

There were 4 of us travelling together so we rented an apartment. We liked the apartment so much we thought we could live here permanently. It was located in the Dorsoduro sistiere, a short walk from the Ca'Rezzonico vaporetto stop. Nearby was Campo San Barnaba with a couple of places to eat and the much photographed produce barge, and a few more minutes walking was Campo Santa Margherita which had many more dining options, a supermarket, and fish and produce stands.

1-3) Apartment has 2 BR 2 BA, on two levels, an outdoor deck, and wi-fi to post on the 'fest.
4) This barge in San Barnaba is pictured in several guidebooks.
 

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Don't be a left lane hog
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Discussion Starter #20
Can you post more info/photo of your car.
Thank You
I meant to take interior pics of the car in the ED center before it got dirty but forgot to do it, so sorry no interior pics. :(
I wish production for the 6MT had started sooner, but the steptronic seems fine so far. Options were premium and sport paks, navigation, USB/iPod, and heated front seats. I like that the lawyer screen disappers after ~10 seconds. The electronic shifter is also good although on a couple times while parking I wanted to shift to R from D, but somehow ended in neutral and when you do this there is a warning tone to alert you that you are in N.

Great report! How long do you think it will take to get your car to west coast?
Last year it took 8 weeks, but recently people in the west coast have been posting about getting their cars in ~6 weeks. I'm thinking Thanksgiving; anything sooner would be great.

nice pics - thx. That looks like a nice apt; can you share more details about it (cost, website etc)?
The apt was 250€/night. Check it out here: http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/Italy/holiday-apartment-Venice-area/p63751.htm. It's a site in UK so it initially shows prices in pounds, but if you click through to rates it'll give you euro price. Good luck.
 
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