Ho boy did we forget!! Traveling with children is not for sissies, it is tough going. Scheduling beach trips, meal times, potty stops and nap times with the urge to explore the island of Sardinia it is a reminder to Tom and I how easy we have it when we only have to schedule our days for the 2 of us and not 6 people which includes a 1 and 2 year old, but the laughs and giggles are wonderful.
We watched in wonder as the thrill of our grandchildren discovering water, sand castles and swimming in the sea. Tom pretending he is a whale, squirting water into the air, blowing bubbles and diving under water to disappear, to the squealed of their delight. It is so wonderful to experience the excitement of childhood curiosity and innocence once again.
Sardinia is a large island off the coast of Italy and is actually closer to Africa than Italy, Africa still draws us towards it. But we are a long way from life in Africa, as we tour Porto de Cervo where charter yachts for EU250,000 a week are docked, fancy cars and fancier people bask in the sun. We drive the narrow winding roads which along the coast, holding our breaths as every Italian appears to be practicing for the next grand prix. It is a daring driving even for us.
Tom and our son David set off to Scuba dive in the waters of Maddalena Islands off the north coast of Sardinia, while Marzena, our daughter in law, the grandchildren and I spend a day relaxing at the pool. We are loving being with the family again and are enjoying the Italian relaxed and friendly lifestyle.
Milan is bustling with people, I feel shabby in my traveling overlander’s shorts and t shirts. The Italian women dress with grace and beauty and it is obvious that I am in the fashion capital of the world a long way from the lifestyle of camping.
We head off for a day in Venice we were last there in 1974 when it was still a sleepy town, now it is packed with 1000s and 1000s of tourists. Little cafes and bakeries have been replaced by souvenir shops, locals replaced by tourists, gondolas compete with ferries and water taxis for customers, but still the charm is evident and we spend a wonderful day wandering through this remarkable town.
We missed the train to Lake Como so the family decided to take the train going to the little town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore instead and it was a lovely mistake. Another charming town on another beautiful lake. Our time with the family is drawing to an end and we only have a week left. At night I wonder where and when we will be together again, South America seems a long way from Italy.