A kind invitation to join in a military-sponsored bus tour to Italy in 1987 proved a delightful adventure shared with closest family members. Brothers Mike and Ed Davis were serving with Canadian Forces in Lahr, Germany so they gladly booked passage for wives Peggy (Madeline’s sister) and Miriam, and asked us to go along.
It was a top notch itinerary – busing through Germany and Switzerland to a first stop in Florence, moving on to Pisa, then Rome, and further south to Pompeii. Breaking up the homeward run was a few days resting at Lake Garda in the northern Italy lake district.
We flew to Frankfurt, Germany and went from there by train to Lahr.
Borrowing a car for a few days we got to see parts of Germany and the Alsace-Lorraine area of France. A highlight was driving up a steep and scary hill to enjoy spectacular views from a nunnery perched on Mont Ste-Odile, and see Stations of the Cross etched into the rock face.
An offbeat point of interest along the homeward journey was a memorial marking the infamous Maginot Line, a massive defence system erected by the French after the First World War but totally overridden by German tanks in the early days of World War Two.
Our two week bus tour took us through Switzerland, traversing the extremely long St Gotthard tunnel, and landing us in the beautiful and exciting city of Florence.