This really should be titled: If you’re not going to take my advice, don’t ask.
By Lana Rodlie
“You’ll want to take the road to Villach,” the Tyrolean attendant at the gas station told me when we stopped to fill up at Lienz near the Austrian-Italian border. The GPS in the Ford Fiasco we rented in Frankfurt was no help – it only spoke German.
“But what about this road down here through Tolmezzo?” I asked, pointing at Route 110 through Kotschach-Mauthen. It seemed shorter and closer to the place in the Province of Udine, where my cousins lived.
“You’ll want to take the road to Villach,” the Tyrolean repeated. “My English no good and so no explain why. Just take road to Villach.”
Since we’d been through Villach on our last visit, we wanted to take a different route – different scenery.
“Oh, what the hell,” my husband said. “Let’s take this Route 110. The map says the road is paved. So how bad could it be?”
I should stop right here and point out that it was ME who insisted on asking for directions. And it was my husband’s decision not to follow the Tyrolean’s advice.
As we ventured onward and upward into the Italian Alps, the lack of other vehicles on the road should have been our first clue that the Tyrolean may have known what he was talking about. But the road seemed fine, at first. My husband had learned to drive on Norwegian roads and we’d driven over Trollstigen a number of times. Trollstigen is a treacherous piece of highway in Norway’s fjord district that hasn’t improved much since the Vikings. Continue reading