Friday, 20 July 2007

European Grand Tour 2007 Day 3

Day 3

We woke up in the morning (at 07:30 thanks to the bell man at the clock tower) and we had the most glorious blue sky morning. But first, I had to check my car was ok! As you are well aware I am slightly precious about my cars. The apartment was advertised as having parking which made me think that there was a dedicated space. Oh no. There are parking spaces on the street outside the apartment but nothing dedicated. Fortunately Freddy had managed to create a space by moving a couple of scooters. After some careful manoeuvring we got the car as close to the wall as possible. Now here is the thing. I could not work out how to fold in the wing mirrors on the car. My old E46 saloon they used to fold in. On this one there did not seem to be any movement at all. I have seen other E46 coupes out there with the mirrors folded up but they did not seem to want to move in any direction. So I left them. Given I had a space in a quiet side street ten seconds from the door of the apartment we (I) decided that we were not going to be doing any more driving whilst we were in Menaggio :-)

Safely tucked away in a side street, originally uploaded by xrrr.

Anyway the car was fine (and was all holiday).

We had prima colazione (breakfast) outside on the main square. Coffee, croissant and a ham and cheese toasted sandwich (I had two toasted sarnies as we did not realised that "tosta mista" was not veggie for Alison). A fantastic view out over Lake Como that allayed all fears about the weather from the day before.

Lake Como at Breakfast, originally uploaded by xrrr.

We had decided that once in Menaggio we would use the frequent boat service to explore the local area partially because of the parking but mainly because it is much quicker and easier to get on a boat rather than drive. I purchased the ticket from the rather scary ticket booth lady - not sure why I found her scary, I think it was because she was rather severe and did not take to my request for "due billietti per uno giorno centro" (2 day tickets for the central lake) in stumbling Italian with a heavy English accent. Personally I think she was secretly impressed with my insistence to speak Italian to everyone. Anyway, today's destination was Bellagio.

Belaggio from the Lake, originally uploaded by xrrr.

Bellagio was great. More touristy than Menaggio but not in a particularly bad way. Menaggio had more Italian tourists (plus Alison was on constant "George Watch" after she read the Mr Clooney was a frequent visitor to the Menaggio gold club) whereas Bellagio had more British and American people. As soon as we got off the boat we picked up a walking guide from the tourist office at the boat pier. That walked turned out to be excellent. It took us on a 2 hour walk around the villages around Bellagio.
Rather than going into the details, here are some photo highlights:

Villa Giulia, originally uploaded by xrrr.

19th Century Mausoleum, originally uploaded by xrrr.

Church near Bellagio, originally uploaded by xrrr.

Bellagio, originally uploaded by xrrr.

A lot of the street names in Bellagio start with the word "Salita". This means climb so you can get an idea of the terrain :-)

After a recovery beer, a visit to Villa Melzi gardens and a walk round the shops we took the car ferry back to Menaggio via Varenna.

Menaggio is great to sit by the lake eating an ice cream watching the boats and the people wander past. Very relaxing.

[All Photos][Next Day]

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