Leaving Italy and driving north to Germany requires driving through the Dolomite mountains. In summer, this is usually a rather safe and scenic drive with some perilous twists and turns, but overall very enjoyable. In autumn, it's anyone's guess what the weather will be like in higher elevations. Good road travelers can get the early weather forecast and plan accordingly. But as we were due back from our week's vacation, we had to deal with whatever Mother Nature gave us, and she was in a foul mood on our return. Look carefully at the left of the picture above. That is not a large cloud. That, dear readers, is a mountain covered in SNOW! I know, right? Beautiful green grape vineyards in the foreground, and the Arctic in the background.
The more we drove, the more evidence there was that we had left the land of sunshine and sandy beaches in Sardinia and were headed towards the snowy mountain caps of Innsbruck, Austria and were were just barely four hours into our drive home!
A few miles up the road and the vineyards disappeared into mountains covered with evergreens. Evergreens, covered in snow!
I am talking about LOTSA snow! Check out the tire on the back to the SUV and look on his roof top! This is some serious snowfall for the end of September.
We clearly weren't prepared for this. I was still in my capris, tank top, and sandals from having breakfast poolside in Sardinia. How was I to know I would need a parka and boots by afternoon?
So long sunny vineyards, winding brooks, and olive trees. Hello winter?
I am so happy that we didn't relocate to the mountainsides of Austria. Imagine having to see this outside your door and look into the valley and see people in shorts throwing a frisbee!
Unfortunately, the snow fell harder the closer we got to Innsbruck and as the sun was setting, it was turning into a white knuckle drive for my husband (I refuse to drive through the mountains. Fly over them,ok, but driving through them is not going to happen.) As you can see, things are getting less visible by the moment.
This shot shows you that we are not just in a snow storm, but above the clouds that are making our drive more frightening each second. This photo reminds me of many I have taken from an airplane, it's that high up!
There is no choice but to push on and pray that the closer we get to the German border, the clearer the weather will become. So on we go, leaving Innsbruck and heading for München, weather be damned! Rally the troops and forward ho!
This is a look back out of the rear view mirror on our descent from the last tall mountain. So long snow, fog, clouds, and big mountain tops. We are on our way home and all of the scary driving is behind us.
And to think that we had left this just hours before...Next time, I will bring along my mittens and my muck lucks.