We had heard about a trip being organised by Mike & Margaret Braun, through Scenic and Continental Car Tours to Lake Garda in Italy in September, so we found out more about it and decided to take the plunge.

The tour comprised of Mike & Margaret, Ian & Miri, Doug & Shirley, Garry & Denise, Mick & Gloria, Sue & John, Ian, Alan and us.

The departure date was set for 2nd September and, after some lunch meetings to enable everyone to become acquainted and to get kitted out in regalia and plaques for the cars, we all set off on the day, meeting en route to Dover at Ashford Services.

The first night’s stop after leaving Calais was at the Gulliver Hotel, in Bascharage, Luxembourg, followed by the second night at the Akademie Hotel in Karlsruhe, Germany.

For the last night before arriving at Lake Garda, we stayed near the Austrian/Italian border at Hotel Stocker in San Valentino near Lake Resia.

En route to our final destination at Lake Garda in Italy, we took in the Stelvio Pass, where it was actually snowing in early September! We stayed for a warming glass of hot chocolate, had a quick look at the gift shops and then came back down the snow-covered pass. Next adventure on the day was dealing with the cattle on the equally snow-covered Gavia Pass.

Having descended from the lofty heights of the passea, as we got nearer to our destination, the weather was more akin to what we had hoped for and we arrived in brilliant sunshine at the Gabry Hotel in Riva del Garda, almost on the shores of Lake Garda itself. On arrival, the Concierge escorted us to an area of grass right next to the swimming pool, which the Hotel had kindly designated as the Caterham Seven parking area!

The following morning, a few of us walked along the shore of the lake and stopped for a drink, taking in the beautiful surroundings and views.

Whilst at Lake Garda, we decided to take a trip out and drive round the lake, not realising quite how large it was! Part-way round, we decided to change plans and take a ferry across the lake, have lunch on the other side and then drive back to the hotel. We stopped off en route to the ferry at Brenzone for a coffee and Chris and Dougie (England v Scotland) had a game of table football which England naturally won...

We arrived at the car ferry and caused quite a stir when we joined the queue of foot passengers, cars and motorbikes waiting for the inbound ferry to arrive. In all the flurry of activity, Chris got out, forgetting to turn the lights off and when he jumped in again when the ferry arrived, the battery was flat and we were left stranded port-side. Dougie and Mick kindly gave our car a push-start and we all very nearly ended up in the lake, as Chris got the car going with a couple of feet to spare!

When we had disembarked the ferry, we made our way to the local marina at Gargnano where we had lunch in a restaurant overlooking the lake.

On our drive back to the hotel we encountered our first traffic jam of the holiday, whilst sitting in a tunnel and then when we got back, Mick effected a tyre repair on his Seven!

One trip we had all wanted to make whilst we were at Lake Garda, was a day trip to Venice, so a group of us undertook the two hour journey by train and arrived in Venice mid-morning - what an amazing place it is! On arrival, we booked a gondola trip for that afternoon and then proceeded to walk over the many bridges and canals and also stopped for lunch on our way through all the lanes ending up at St Mark's Square.

The day before we left for the journey home, we all took a drive out to a restaurant by the name of Rifugio San Pietro on Monte Calino (974m) and had a wonderful lunch overlooking Riva del Garda below.

After five relaxing days in Lake Garda, we started the journey home on the Thursday and our first night stop was the Alpbach Hotel in Meiringen, Switzerland.

It was not a good day travelling as we managed to find pretty much every traffic jam on leaving Italy. This meant that we got seriously delayed and ended up negotiating both the Furka and Grimsel Passes in the dark and heavy rain. Finally we walked into the hotel with Ian, all looking like drowned rats. At dinner that evening, Ian made the comment “well at least it can’t get any worse”, but little did we know what the next day had in store for us…

Firstly, I managed to break a tooth at breakfast and then we headed off in sunshine to our next stop in Nancy, but we never arrived. A minute or so after the following photo was taken...

...we came round a left hand bend on the Glaubenbielen Pass to be confronted with a Subaru Forester on our side of the road. The full story can be seen by clicking on the photo below...

Click here for RTC Report