What?…Rental car issues!…Classic European cars guessing game…Please help…

#1 Is this an MG?  Year?  Notice at a distance, the red Ferrari or Lamborghini.

This morning as we sat on the veranda Tom pointed out a procession of classic-type European cars coming up the winding road, fast approaching our area.  Were they on their way to a car show?  Running in my bare feet to take photos, I grabbed the camera and dashed down the stone steps, unlocked the front door (which is tricky), and headed outside, barely in time to take these shots as the cars buzzed by.

There is only one road leading in and out of Boveglio, one heading north, the other south, requiring anyone driving the general area, travel this option, directly passing our house.

Standing on rocky steps, I did my best shooting these photos as the cars whizzed by at surprisingly fast speeds for such a narrow village road. 

Tom’s expertise is in American cars, not foreign cars.  He’s identified these the best he can.

Can you identify any of these cars for us? The make.The model? The year? Correct us if we’re wrong! Please comment using the assigned #’s for each car, at the end of this post. We’ll make corrections based on your comments.

#2 Is this a Mercedes?  If so, which model, year?
#3 Is this a Porsche?  Model?  Year?
#4 Is this a Porsche?  Model?  Year?
#5 Is this an MG?  Model? Year?
#6 Is this a Mercedes?  Model?  Year?
#7 Is this a Triumph? Spider?  Year?

Please read below for the ongoing unbelievable rental car situation!

Without an actual phone number with us, with access to Skype, only my sister had offered that we use her cell phone number when a number was required such as for a car rental, airline reservation, etc. If she received a call for us, she’d only need to email us the name and number to return the call and we’d make the call via Skype.

On Thursday, she received such a call from Budget Car Rental at Marco Polo Airport in Venice. They called to inform us that our rental car was sold and to immediately return it to Venice, a five hour drive each way. 

Are you kidding me????

Prepaid until September 2, 2013, do they expect us to drive for 10 hours, stand in line for another two hours to get a different car, pay for gas at US $7.50 a gallon, tolls along the drive, meals, la la la???

Only a week ago, after an excruciating week of trying to reach someone who spoke English, they sent us a new extended contract, charged our credit card US $1356 to extend to our desired date when we’ll return the car to Marco Polo Airport in Venice when its time to fly to Kenya.

Trying to reach an English speaking person at Marco Polo by phone was fruitless. The thought of beginning that painstaking process again made my stomach hurt. Thus, I began an email campaign, sending no less than two messages a day requesting management respond to address this issue.

Finally today, Sunday, a manager returned the message saying they will either bring us another car to Boveglio in the next few days or they will require, we bring the car to a closer location such as Florence, which is still a two hour drive each way.  The manager said he will work on it and get back to us.

With a hotel reservation booked for our upcoming road trip on Tuesday, we had no alternative but to change our plans, leaving us and the car-free to respond to their decision. 

Immediately upon receiving this message this morning, with a 48-hour cancellation policy on our hotel reservation, I knew I’d better get to work to cancel the reservation. That in itself was not as painless as one may think.

Our reservation check-in time is 1:00 PM Tuesday, giving us more than 24 hours to cancel.  Ha!  Inexperienced traveler such as I in staying in hotels booked online (with little travel over the prior 15 years while living in the US) didn’t think that the 48-hour cutoff began at midnight last night, as opposed to check-in time on Tuesday.  Our 48-hour window no longer applied.

Having booked the reservation with Hotels.com I immediately logged into their website in a pointless attempt to cancel, leaving me no alternative but to call using Skype. After a half-hour on the call, our reservation was canceled at no charge, freeing us up to deal with the car. 

Now, we’ll wait to hear back from Budget as to how we’ll get the replacement car.  I can’t imagine how this is not going to cost us something, gas, expenses, or arbitrary charges. We had read reviews of potential issues when renting a car in Italy. 

Reminding myself to take a deep breath, I know this is a part of the experience, perhaps a price one pays, literally and figuratively, for having the opportunity to travel the world, as unencumbered as possible. So it goes. 

I settle myself down having vented here, realizing in the realm of things, its really a small inconvenience. We have our health, we have each other, the weather is beautiful, we have “our people” who love and miss us as we do them, and the future is open and bright for us two homeless wanderers.

With our road trip now on hold, pending the car situation, we settle back into our routine, playing a little Gin, lounging on our chaise lounges in the sun for an hour every other day, walking the hills in the neighborhood, taking a trip to Pescia for groceries tomorrow and enjoying a fabulous dinner we’re preparing for tonight.

Hope to hear back from you car aficionados!