We had arrived back into Europe the day before Great Britain finally left the European Union – pleased we had snuck back in before the European gates finally slammed on non members! Of course we never seriously believed we would have any difficulty re-entering Europe but they could have kept us waiting for a few hours at the border.
After Italy we crossed into Switzerland where we paid €25 at the border for road tolls but no one looked at our passports nor was our vehicle checked. We stopped on the motorway for a coffee and ended up having an early lunch. There was a large, airy food hall with half a dozen beautifully presented counters offering various types of foods. A little Asian woman at one counter caught our eye with her wok in hand and bamboo baskets on a steamer table ready for action. We just couldn’t resist the steamed salmon on a bed of greens or the wok fried chicken with vegetables, served with bowls of rice. The meal cost €37 but it was light and freshly cooked. All the counters looked so appetising – a far cry from most UK motorway services.
The road through the Alps reached an altitude of 6,500 feet and there was a good covering of snow on the ground. We stayed one night in Switzerland before driving on into Austria – and out again half an hour later when the road reached the German border. We were pleased not to linger long in Austria as, on a previous visit to that country we had been fined by the police €240 for not presenting our European Vehicle Emissions Control Certificate to the authorities. That brief visit to Austria ended up costing us €440 in tolls and fines and left us feeling we had been the victims of a roadside robbery. We now avoided Austria whenever we could.