-E.B. White

Thursday, November 10, 2011

LAKE COMO - WHAT CAN I SAY - SEPT. 17TH & 18TH - what more can you ask for, a blend of water and mountains - our two favorite things. The drive from Cinque Terre was uneventful and our plan was to head to the east coast of the lake to a small town called Varenna.  The weather started out great, but by late afternoon it started to drizzle. This is the only part of the trip that we have not made reservations (scary).     

Weather is starting to turn.

Then just before we approached our destination we came to a slow crawl - Moto Guzzi Rally - equivalent to arriving in Sturgis, SD during Bike Week.  The rally was just a couple of towns away from were we are headed and we have NO RESERVATIONS! 

On a whim,when arriving in Varenna, we pulled up to this charming little hotel and inquired as to a zimmer, of course, they were full, but the owner must of taken pity on us knowing that the rally was going on and offered her friends apartment (her friend rents it out) as long as we agreed to stay two nights and pay cash - halleluja.   

This is what we were forced to stay in for the next two days! Complete kitchen, two bedrooms, full living room, washer/dryer, bathroom with tub and shower.  I should also mention a garage and a view of the lake - for $150.00 a night - unbelievable.

View of lake and Alps from town of Varenna.

We were invited to eat at the restaurant in the hotel - they were serving the "Rick Steve's" favorite meal - this nummy Prosciutto was for starters - four more incredible courses followed. Good thing we are doing alot of hiking.
After a perfect nights sleep - listening to water lapping on the shore - we found this streetside cafe serving Ricks favorite - chocolate croissants and latte.  I am now addicted to espresso shots.

We heard it was going to start raining after lunch (poor Motor Guzzi people) so we decided to do some sightseeing.  A steep and stony trail leads to Varenna's ruined hilltop castle, Castello di Vezio - a 20 minute walk one way.  After climbing 40 minutes and still not finding the castle. We decided to hike back to town via the road where we found two other lost souls trying to find the castle. We offered to drive back up to the castle in our car, only to find out the castle was closed for the day.

View of the town during hike to castle.

   At this point it started rainning buckets, so we returned to our apartment, found a couple of umbrella's and hiked the rest of the town in the rain. 

Making the best of a lakeside cafe for lunch - hey the food and wine are still good.
By mid afternoon the weather was getting chilly and by late evening there were serious white caps on the lake.
Pretty, clean buildings and streets in the town .
Woke up to snow in the Alps.
And of course, as we get ready to leave, the sun is starting to come out.

Time to head for Venice - even in the rain, Lake Como is a must see.

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