We managed a very organised exit from Venice, as all went to plan, nothing got messed up, no surprises and we were packed up in the car and ready to go by 11.15. It was how far to our destination? Ah yes, our destination, where the devil was it? Somewhere in the Dolomites wasn’t it?
Indeed it was, as we were off to meet a bunch of crazy Germans who had Opel GTs like ours and who were spending a few days exploring the Dolomites. However, we had forgotten to add the address to good old TomTom. P hastily searched through emails to find out the one which we had been sent with the GPS co-ordinates in. She put them in and hey presto, there it was 248 miles away. No idea where it was but it looked like it was north east of Trento so that would do. It was kind of exciting driving to a set of gps coordinates somewhere up a mountain!
Off we went with the plan of only stopping for driver changes until we got there. The idea was that first there would get the best room so we would aim to strike a blow and steal the best room for the Englanders. Again, all went well and about 2pm we arrived at our hotel. After we got the key to the (best!) room and unpacked we were very hungry and so we ordered a little snack to eat in the lovely garden looking at the snow covered mountains across the other side of the valley and listening to the waterfall cascading down the mountain side, there was no doubt it certainly was an idyllic spot to have a holiday. We felt we needed to fill the car with petrol for the next day as these efficient Germans would no doubt arrive with full tanks. So we rushed off to the little garage we passed a mile away in the village and while we were there we washed our little boy so he wouldn’t look mucky when he met his new friends.
While we were there our German friend Norbert, who had invited us to come along to this Opel GT meet, drove past us and popped in to introduce himself, but we were mid wash cycle by then and couldn’t really chat properly. We soon caught up though when we got back to the hotel.
We met the rest of the Gang as they slowly arrived, speaking varying amounts of English and us speaking no German at all. It was exciting as each Opel GT turned up, all roaring up the mountain with their customised Magnaflow exhausts and open air filters! When they were all here we had black ones, red ones, a yellow one, a grey one, a navy one and a Corvette that was pretending to be an Opel GT for a few days! There are only two Opel GTs registered in the UK so I had never seen so many in one place at one time. I was like a pig in muck as I revelled in looking at all the mods and graphics, the alloy wheels and big brake kits, the lowered suspensions and so on. Ours on its original wheels and suspension looked like an SUV next to this lot!
Aperitifs and nibbles were to be served in the garden at 6.30 which sounded very civilised, so we disappeared up to our room to freshen up and chill until then. It really was a lovely room, a lift to the second floor and then it’s own staircase leading to the room, which had a nice living area as well as the bedroom. The balcony view was stupendous and explained why this was called the Panorama Hotel!
Aperitifs allowed us to meet all the gang, who were a good bunch and enjoyed laughing a lot, though inevitably it was easier to talk to some than others due to the language difference. Norbert though was a smashing host and we were made to feel really welcome. Our evening meal was very nice indeed, with a help yourself salad style thing to start with rather like they have in a Harvester, but without the naughty bits. Then a small dish of basil noodles which were delicious. Pork steak with chips and vegetables followed with fruit of the forest strudel and ice cream, which tasted of Christmas Pudding with raisins in. All yummy and very welcome and to cap it all, as we ate we watched a deer scamper down the mountainside in amongst the wild flowers. It was very Sound of Music! This was the perfect place for a gang of car lovers to use as a base for touring the Dolomites and I was by now really looking forward to the driving that the morning promised. And so the evening ended and we climbed upstairs to our suite in the attic, with our own balcony and two mountains of marshmallow duvets.