Nom de Plumage

April 15, 2012

Bella Is For Bellagio and She Does Not Disappoint

Filed under: Diary,European Flavour,Solo Travelling,Travel Journal — nomdeplumage @ 9:04 pm
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With the weather being so beautiful, I would be a fool not to take up the opportunity to explore Lake Como before winter finally arrives. I decided on going for a cruise upon the lake after my hostess raved about the many beautiful delights that can be found hugging the lake. The walk to the departing point was a little cold and the lake was quite choppy. I almost had second thoughts on my wisdom to take a boat ride in fear of embarrassing myself. You see I suffer from motion sickness and there is nothing more embarrassing than having your head hanging over the side of a boat and you throwing your breakfast up in a very undignified and unceremonious manner with many a spectator watching and listening.

Not really knowing where I was actually meant to go, all I knew that the cruise departed somewhere along the lake, I actually missed my destination and continued walking to where I thought it was? Here I bumped into my new friend Tom, and Aussie from Sydney. We started talking and exchanging travelling stories before he left for his hike. I was left to ponder where I should go and decided to back-track in the hope of finding the cruise. Thankfully I did and I found it in time for the 10:30 am departure.

In peak season I am positive that this two hour cruise would be extremely popular, but thankfully for me, there was plenty of seating options with a wonderful view. I tried to be brave and sit outside on the upper deck. With the fresh air and wind through my hair, icicles practically started forming upon my short nose, but with a brave face, I made my way inside and sat right next to a heater to defrost. The boat leisurely hugged one side of the lake giving me a wonderful view of the lush green hillside, covered in villas and houses, each more beautiful than the next. Near the water’s edge, lay the biggest and most beautiful villa’s, as I can only assume that money is no object? The son’s of a motherless goat! Nope, I am not jealous?

After two hours of lazily gliding over the choppy water and getting my jealousy under control, we arrived just after lunch to a beautiful little town called Bellagio. Aptly named, for it was a jewel in the mountain. With the sun now directly above, the weather warmed up and the lake’s choppy waves subsided.  It was a typical little Italian town of narrow cobblestone streets, steep walkways, stone houses, streets lined with restaurants/cafes and views to make you gasp.

The steep ascent and decent upon the many stones steeps, kept me out of breathe for a good part of my exploration. Although a small town and one easily explored in a short amount of time, I could not help but admire the close proximity of the inhabitants, the cleanliness and the ancient stone dwellings still in perfect order and aged so beautifully. To return to my hostel, I decided on a different route recommended to me by my new Canadian friend at the hostel. A bus journey that navigates it way along the narrow and steep cliffs of Lake Como, has you gripping your seat and admiring the skill of the bus driver.  The journey is short at only an hour, but what an hour? A narrow road with sharp corners that passes through towns that literally open onto the road. The bus stops are on the road, front doors of houses and shops, open onto the road and this road is shared by buses, trucks, cyclists, pedestrians and cars. There is a a lot of hand talking, as only the Italians know how to do with perception and skill, and tooting of horns to let people know the bus is coming around a sharp bend. All this is done with the least amount of trouble, inconvenience or abuse. What I loved the most, was seeing houses literally built on top of each other. Windows and doors would be separated by mere centimetres and narrow steep driveways was not uncommon to be shared by several households. Coming from a country that is spoilt with space and a backyard, this was a novelty.

You may be of the opinion that I am Italian, but I can assure you that I am not! But I like to believe that in my past life I must have been for I love everything Italian. She may not be perfect, clean or without fault, but it is her imperfections, personality, uniqueness, lifestyle and culture that makes Italy perfect for me. So far, I have loved what I have seen and cannot wait for the experience to continue!

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