Our European Tour - Second time around!! travel blog

Castle in Leichtenstein



Alpine roads





Snow chains? Who needs snow chains!!

The road is here somewhere!!




Well, we did say we wanted snow.

The final stages of our trip. Today we said goodbye to Germany and hello again to Italy. Leaving Friedrichshafen we headed for Lake Maggiore, via Leichtenstein. The trip was breathtaking, and foolhardy. Probably bordering on dangerous.

The drive to Leichtenstein was ok. A pleasant drive along the valley on the freeway. After that though, things got a bit hairy. Turning off the main highway to traverse the alps, it soon became apparent that this was going to be a very interesting drive indeed. Snow was piled up high on the side of the road. The surface was slushy and icy. Luckily there were cars in front of us to pave the way (remembering that our vehicle was not equipped for this type of driving). As we climbed out of the valley and into the mountains, things deteriorated rapidly. Speed slowed to a crawl. The road disappeared under snow and ice. All we could do was follow the trackes of the car in front of us. They had proper snow tyres and chains on, and even then they were traveling at only 20kph. Luckily the car had traction control, which when engaged made the handling feel safer. Even then there was quite a bit of sliding and tyre spinning.

We peaked at a height of 1650m, snow was falling quite heavily, and we were getting worried. If it got any worse we could have been in trouble. Once we went through a tunnel of about 6km however, conditions improved. We started descending down the other side of the range, visibility was good, and there seemed to be far less snow falling.

After 5 hours of driving (which should have taken 3 hours), we finally made it to Verbania on the shores of Lake Maggiore, where we will spend the next two or three days.

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