Sunday, 22 July 2007

European Grand Tour 2007 Day 5

Day 5

Today we decided to buy breakfast from the little shop underneath the apartment. All went well except the shop keeper told me off for handling his bananas. Apparently I should have just pointed at them even though they were in the middle of the shop. Oh well, he was a nice chap but had probably gone a bit loopy having had to have listen to the clock tower chiming every 15 minutes of his working day.

Today's boat trip was the Servizo Rapido down to Como. About a 60 minute trip to the bottom end of the lake on a catamaran or hydrofoil.

Servizo Rapido, originally uploaded by xrrr.

Ticket lady was warming to me by now but she was not to know that this would be the last time she would have to decipher my Italian. Off to Como.

When we got there we decided to go straight up the funicular railway up to Brunate.

Como-Brunate Funicular, originally uploaded by xrrr.

We did not manage to find Brunate itself, once we had looked at the view we decided it was time to eat :-)

Como from Brunate, originally uploaded by xrrr.

We stopped at a cafe right by the train station and had a great meal served by a jolly chap. One highlight was the beer. It was a local brew called Wismar Como and was so nice I had to have two. I have been trying to find out where to buy it but have not had any luck on Google so far.

Wismar Como - very nice, originally uploaded by xrrr.

After 5 days I felt more and more confident about my Italian. I noticed that you needed a borrow a key to get to the toilet. So I strode into the cafe confidently asking: "Dove e la chiesa per la toiletta?". It was not until a few days later that I remembered that key is chiava and I had asked for the church for the toilet. Oh well, my international language of gesture backup obviously overrode my speaking as I got the key ok. This reminds me of the undercover Englishman Officer Crabtree from Allo Allo: "I was pissing by the door, when I heard two shats. You are holding in your hand a smoking goon; you are clearly the guilty potty.". Doh!

After lunch we decided to follow a guided walk round Como in our (as previously mentioned the other day) rubbish guidebook.

Original Gatehouse to Como, originally uploaded by xrrr.

After we got lost trying to find the start of the walk we were off to a good start. After Menaggio, Bellagio and Varenna, Como was a bit of a disappointment. It was a bit scummy if you lost sight of the lake. We walked for about an hour and a half in approx 32 degree full sun and very quickly got lost again (I blame the book). Alison got a bit grumpy from the heat and the fact that we were walking down a road with a picturesque sewage treatment works and a closed down hotel that could have come straight out of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Eventually we found the lake again and the scenery took an upward turn.

Como, originally uploaded by xrrr.

Aero Club Como, originally uploaded by xrrr.

We got back to the pier got the next fast boat back to Mennagio. Time for an ice cream and a sit by the lake to have a read in the evening sunshine.

[All Photos][Next Day]

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