I changed my mind about closing up shoppe on this trip’s narrative.
What more could there be to report? What could go wrong? We merely had to find the car in Florence, find the way back to the flat, pack, negotiate our way out of Florence, cross six or eight hundred kilometers of Italy, Austria, and Germany, find the hotel “near the Munich airport” we booked on-line, turn in the rental car, board the plane, fly home.
And we pretty much did all that. We got out of Florence without incident. We drove through beautiful high Tuscan hills north of town. We drove through startling high-walled gorges on the approach to Bolzano. We saw numerous castles perched on dramatic ledges. We traversed the Brenner Pass, and of course it started raining when we were in the mountains.
Outside Innsbruck we went through a construction zone where the lanes were squeezed. The left lane was so narrow there couldn’t’ve been much more than a centimeter to spare combined between the barrier on the left and the lorries on the right. It was so tight, in fact, that when I passed one lorry (at about 80 kph) everybody in the car had to close their eyes, myself included.
On the approach to Munich, I finally hit an open stretch of the Autobahn where I was able to push it to 165 kph (for about two kilometers, before traffic started piling up again). We found the hotel with a minimum of wrong turns.
Then a funny thing happened when we got up the next morning to pack up. “Where’s the car key?” In the ensuing panic we unpacked suitcases and went through pants pockets, to no avail. Searched every drawer and surface in the hotel room (which was actually a four-room apartment). Nothing.
Finally, I went out to the car, where, lo and behold, the car key was still in the doorlock.
It is only funny because the car was still there.
This time I mean it. Auf wiedersehen.