Lake Garda is just over half an hour drive from Verona, it may hardly have seemed worth while packing up the van to change locations, except that Lake Garda was a complete contrast to the rest of the Italy we had seen over the previous few weeks.
The camp ground was right on the lake with its own beach frontage and it had four swimming pools with three sets of water slides. It also had playgrounds, a bar, restaurants, it’s own gelateria, a full sized supermarket, various shops and even a water ski school, all just a short stroll up the Esplanade from a little village. It is absolutely enormous, not like anywhere else we’ve camped, we were told it can hold 6,000 people! At night they put on a stage show for kids and opened a night time play area with three jumping castles, kids bumper cars and a horse and carriage ride.
It was the perfect place to break from the heat wave and it seemed as good an excuse as any to just take time out to relax, cool down in the pools and lake and let the kids get a good dose of outdoor fun. We had only intended to stay a night or two but stayed four.
Ari had found the ‘water park’ he had been hanging out for ever since missing out on the one planned for his birthday in Turkey and so he finally acknowledged he’d had a birthday and we celebrated with a long awaited cake.
A little side note on kids memories and perception: We were walking down the street of the nearby village when Ari started jumping up and down with excitement saying “Yay, they have that same Yogurtland that they had in Hawaii”. We looked around and saw no such place in sight, so asked Ari what he was talking about, he said “Look, that boy has a cup”. We saw a boy eating something but the cup was not familiar to either of us so replied with “It’s probably Gelati, let’s go find some”, but Ari was convinced it was definitely Yogurtland and Gelati wouldn’t cut it. We wandered on and sure enough a couple of streets away there was a place called ‘Ugolini’, almost identical in concept to ‘Yogurtland’, but different name, different language, different colours, as far as we could remember completely different cups, which I later confirmed through looking back at our photos, and yet Ari knew from a passing glance at a boy with a cup that he was onto something completely familiar.
The Kids Paradise: (OK, yes, we probably did have as much fun as they did)