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Bill and I are finally back after our ten day road trip vacation, which took us from Wiesbaden to Leutasch, Austria, to Parcines, Italy, and finally, to St. Gallen (Rorschach), Switzerland. For the most part, we had a wonderful trip. Yes, there were a few minor annoyances, but on the whole, it was a fantastic journey outside of Germany for the first time (for me, at least) since February. It was great to get away, if not because we needed a change of scenery, then because it was very interesting to see how different countries are doing in this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic situation. Each country/region has a different way of operating right now and, at this point, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland have all done a great job of getting things back under control.

My digital camera can do fun tricks sometimes.

Although there are still a lot of places I would like to see before I die, and we had been to the Tyrol/Sud Tyrol areas before, it was nice to take a trip there, stay in different areas, and do different things. We even did a few things we never got the chance to do on previous trips. For instance, Bill and I used to visit Garmisch-Partenkirchen fairly regularly when we lived in Germany the first time together (2007-09), but those trips were always work related for Bill. So I never got to go to the top of the Zugspitze before last weekend, and I had never before seen the beautiful (and terribly crowded) Eibsee. Ditto for Lake Konstanz (Bodensee). We used to live somewhat close to Switzerland, so we didn’t visit there much– we would just travel through to get to Italy. Until this past weekend, I thought Switzerland was beautiful, but dull. I have since changed my opinion about Switzerland.

And yes, I know traveling right now might be seen as frivolous, tacky, cruel, risky, irresponsible, or whatever other adjective the worried and jealous can come up with. I don’t feel guilty at all for going away, though. There were many times in the past when we wanted to travel but couldn’t, mainly due to not having the time or money. Now, we have the time and the money, and there are people whose livelihoods depend on travelers. We have the good fortune to live in a place where government and public health leadership and disease transmission prevention tactics have been strong and cooperative. So we are going to embrace our good luck and enjoy traveling while we can. Because there will surely be a day when we can’t anymore.

It’s good to be home, if only because I was running out of clean underwear and I have really missed Arran. I also always enjoy writing about our trips, and it’s easier to write about them on my big desktop instead of my laptop. I hope you will enjoy reading along as I relieve our ten days of vacation bliss.

So… on with my blow by blow of our trip through the Tyrol and Sud Tyrol regions.

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