June 28 & 29, 2012
The drive from Salzburg to Merano was spectacular and while these pictures do not do the experience justice, we must tell you about it.
Moving away from the city and highway driving that we did over the first several days of the journey, on this day, the M was asked to cruise up and beyond 5,000 feet while hugging narrow roads.
Along the way, there were several smaller towns that looked like perfect places to explore, but since we had reservations, we pushed onward.
Indeed, this was the first time I saw the top side of a ski lift.
And this picture only barely shows the windy roads that we explored for about 5 hours on this drive.
This was a great driving day, with breathtaking views, the sunroof open, perfect temps (70ish), and so nice to be chauffeured in a car that has power and agility.
So, up and over the mountains until we arrived in Merano.
Our hotel offered a “box” for keeping the M safe….and frankly, after seeing the town explode at night I’m really glad we spent the €15 to keep M safe and sound, away from the madness.
Merano is situated in a valley of sorts in the middle of all of these mountains. With a swift river running through the town, the town is split into two sections, yet still unified.
The temps were much warmer in Merano: it was something like 30C.
When we arrived, we noticed that everything (stores and restaurants alike) was closed. Well, almost everything. Pizza and beer seem to be available around the clock!
After munching on the best (light with super-fresh vegetables) calzone, we explored the town.
The river was just stunning with it’s milky-green appearance and the town was clean. Buildings here were newer here than in our previous destinations but had tons of character. I especially liked how we felt as if we were in Italy and in Germany (or Austria?) both at the same time. It seemed as if the younger generation was Italian, whereas the older generations were German. Who knows. Regardless, the blend of cultures was uniquely perfect!
Evening Experience: Food-Soccer-Celebration
For dinner, we experienced ravioli and lasagna…the dishes were light and the flavors were so fresh with herbs. We actually skipped wine and went with Paulaner instead. Definitely a good choice.
After dinner, we strolled through town and ended up at a pub and watched the soccer game. It was so much fun to see the energy of Italy vs German. When Italy won, the town exploded to life. The police helped direct the traffic while the kids hooted and honked and waved flags, all while driving around the many roundabouts around town. Celebration went on way into the night. So much fun!