8:00 breakky at my hotel. Passing the ever present markets along the Cathedral and Main Square, I couldn’t resist buying a small Italian leather wallet and pouch! Having stopped, I had to rush to the station and boarded the train to Milan with minutes to spare! I should have booked and was told to alight at Bologna and book my seat = €10 instead of €18 then and there on the train! Nearing Bologna, a passenger across the aisle from me didn’t have a ticket and refused to buy one! An animated, very loud, Italian discussion began and continued through the entire stop in Bologna! I couldn’t access my bag as it was behind them ....and I didn’t dare interrupt ....so I sat still, put €20 in my Eurail ticket in case they turned around and yelled at me for not having booked my seat at Bologna!!!!...Arriving in Milan, I hadn’t had to pay at all, so I gratefully and quickly left that train behind. There were 1000’s of people trying to get on the Como (Zurich line) train which was running late and had caused some chaos! I didn’t have time to fight the long queue to book a seat so I joined the cattle run and inched my way onto the train. All first class seats had a yellow reserved ticket on them so I sat in the first seat I came across and held my breath, hoping not to be asked to leave! A loud group of Americans were organising heaps of others...some mix up in numbers of seats....only to find they were in the wrong seats....”OH please don’t let them come my way and loudly evacuate me!” A sigh of relief as the train pulled out of Milan, the guard checked my ticket = ALL OK!!!....BENE!
Hotel Plinius was near the station and the town. I walked along the lake watching the men fishing peacefully. The sun was shining however it was very hazey. Sights I discovered included:
Tempio Voltiano at the end of a tree lined avenue
Torre Medievale di Porta Vittoria – a Medieval tower
Piazza San Fedele and many other Piazzas lined with cafés, restaurants and markets.
Piazza Duomo e Broletto in which the Basillica di Sant Abbondio stood....from which wedding music wafted....we weren’t allowed inside!!
I wandered similar streets then headed away from the noisy Piazza Cavour on Lago Di Como where loud music and many people were dancing, singing and competing in a sports event.
I sauntered around the lake absorbing its tranquillity and rode the Funicolare up the almost vertical hillside from Como to Brunate. From here I followed a handful of people hoping they were heading up to the Lighthouse....a roughly stoned path seemed to be the way.... I stopped for a pic opp to discover I was totally alone....mmmmm....I hope I was heading to the Lighthouse AND that if it didn’t, that I would be able to find my way back to the Funicolare.....”Oh Well....!”
I found it fascinating to witness how domestic living could be actively functional, perched way up on the hillside with every available space well utilised. With leg muscles burning, I trudged upward, through small tree lined avenues and emerging at exactly the yearned for destination. I followed the wide stairway up to the base of the Lighthouse and.......the view took my breath away!
I was perched on the tip of one of the highest peaks surrounding Como Lake. However, I was to climb even higher up the internal spiral staircase to the uppermost point! For a person who is not usually affected by heights, I needed to walk gingerly around the very narrow platform, gasping at the sensations I was feeling. ”Mum and Gem...it definitely wasn’t a place for you!!!”
I celebrated and calmed my shaking legs with a glass of red vino as I relaxed on Terrace Vista Lago.......”Yes...The view was sensationally Brutyful”!!
Finding my way down to the Funicolar seemed much easier! The sun was shining, the evening balmy, so I just had to have sundowners overlooking the Lago Di Como. I joined Happy Hour and learned that this really meant: buy a drink €8 and eat all the Tapas offerings you like! I was hungry, and of course very happy, as it is exactly the way I love to eat!
Returning to my hotel, I stopped at the little wine bar almost directly beneath my room at The Plinius. Once again I thought I was only ordering ONE glass of vino.....but no!!!......out came the array of tapas nibbles...”Oh Well.....!” I just had to eat them....Yum...I still don’t know where they fitted...and...I topped it all off with a gelato....”cos, when in Italy...do what the Italians do!!!!”
The night finished with a BANG! We found ourselves in the middle of wild lightning and a memorable thunderstorm...WOW...the mountains must have been making the Gods angry because it was as exciting as the storms we have in Tropical North Queensland!!!