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Oh no ! The final day.

We had a bit of a lie in, apart from being awake from an early hour as a result of being really itchy. The hotel’s breakfast was really good, which confirmed my theory about the pattern – the dull, drab, characterless business hotels do much better breakfasts.

We got out of the hotel by 10am but our flight wasn’t until evening, so we’d planned to waste a bit of time on the shores of Lake Garda. Our first choice of location was Sirmione. It’s a town on a long peninsula which sticks out into the south side of the lake. On paper it looked great, but in practice it wasn’t so good. We’d neglected to take account of the possibility that some other people might want to go there on a warm summer Sunday. It was flippin’ heaving. There was nowhere to park. We found one place with spaces but then left after realising you could only park there for an hour. Then we found another place but realised we were at least 3km away from the bit we wanted to be in, and anyway after we’d stood in the queue for the one-and-only ticket machine for 10 minutes without actually moving we gave up. By this time the police blockade on the road down to the end of the peninsula had gone, so we decided to try our luck. Our luck was out. There was a bit of driving around and then a bit of argy-bargy involving a couple who were standing in a spot waiting for their mate to turn up in a car, but eventually we decided it wasn’t worth it, so we just left and decided to go somewhere else instead.

On the way to somewhere else we stopped at a service station on the motorway so we could find a geocache and colour in the Province of Brescia. We sat in the car for a while there playing with phones and trying to decide what to do. Nothing really appealed to be honest, as we were starting to get “going home” fever. Eventually we decided to go for a lakeside walk at Desenzano del Garda, which was only a couple of miles away from where we were. We probably had somewhere between 2 and 4 hours to kill at this point before needing to head back to Linate Airport.

We found a car park easily enough, which was nice after Sirmione, and then for a bit of a walk around attempting (and failing) to find geocaches. Half an hour of that was enough to persuade us to go for ice cream instead, and then we let the girls go for a plodge in the lake for a few minutes while Kas and I sat on a wall contemplating our navels and playing “good-bit, bad-bit” for the holiday. There were definitely a lot more good bits than bad ones.

It was supposedly a couple of hours or so back to Linate from here, and although the flight wasn’t until 8pm we’d basically had enough at 3pm and decided to head off. The drive back was uneventful except for a heavy rain shower on the edge of Milan and me completely missing the turn into the airport. Once we’d driven out a couple of miles and come back again I found the entrance on the second attempt, and then after driving round fairly slowly, we managed to find a fuel station to fill the car up before returning it.

I have to say it was a complete miracle that we’d had that car for 16 full days and hadn’t bumped or scratched it at all. In total we’d done about 2,500km in it.

We were a little too early to check in for our flight, so we relocated to McDonalds to have some dinner. It’s not as bad as it sounds, because the one at Linate does pizzas as well as the usual burger-based offerings. And they have beer.

Once we managed to check in everything went very smoothly. We were kind of ready to get going but made the mistake of going down to our departure gate. At Linate the gates are through a security control that you can’t return through and there’s absolutely nothing there, so we had a very tedious wait at the gate before boarding. Once we did get onboard, the flight was on time and our bags came out fairly quickly at Heathrow. The valet parking company had fetched the car and it was waiting for us a few yards away from where we’d parked it 15 days before. Here we hit upon the only real problem – we’d managed to leave Izzy’s bubblebum car seat in Milan. Ho hum ! No way to ge another one here, so we just drove home without. Her height is pretty much enough now to not really need a booster anyway. I’m pretty sure Ami gave up using them at about the same age and height.

The drive home was uneventful and the house was where we left it. We got the bags out of the car and emptied the dirty laundry onto the floor, put one load in, and then went to bed. After all, it was well after 11pm.