On our final day in Europe, we made the 6-8 hour drive from Geneva back to Venice, where we'll catch our flight tomorrow. I put the range in the driving time because we discovered that the time it takes depends largely on the flow of traffic up Mont Blanc.
We discovered this morning that Geneva sits at the bottom of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. To get to the other side (toward Venice), you can drive through the 11.6 km tunnel, but there's only one lane of traffic going up. You also want to make sure you have enough gas, don't have to pee, and don't have a car that will overheat (we got dangerously close to having problems with all three of these issues). We passed a car that had definitely overheated with three young women sitting on the side of the road. Because the traffic was so slow, I got out and gave them a bottle of water while they waited for help.
Still, the mountain was very beautiful, and the Alpine drive was quite lovely. We spent pretty much the entire day driving back to Venice, where we ended our trip with our new Italian tradition: pizza with hot dogs and french fries, plus gelato for dessert.
This trip was truly epic for us: an entire month in Europe, covering many countries and many amazing historical sites. I realize how privileged we are to have this opportunity. We've tried to enjoy it as much as possible, while being sure to experience the "local" atmosphere of each place as well. While we have many wonderful memories, and it's been a month out of a dream, we are both looking forward to being home, with friends, family, and puppies.
Here's a picture of a small waterfall we passed on the road, with the peak of Mont Blanc in the background.