Lago di Como / Lake Como, Italy
16.02.2011 - 23.03.2011 3 °C
Wednesday, February 22 – after a nice Italian breakfast provided by our hotel (mmm Italian croissants with chocolate inside are the best! They are crunchy, unlike their flaky French counterparts),
(not too bad, minus the unkosher meat ;-) )
we took a train from a different train station in Milan to Como, an hour’s ride away. We saw Como’s version of the Duomo, a cathedral that is also very beautiful. Then, we ambled around a bit before catching the ferry.
We took the ferry to Bellagio, the most famous stop on Lake Como. What a beautiful ferry ride! Now, I’ve had both a beautiful bus ride and a beautiful ferry ride in my life. I could be on the boat all day if it weren’t so cold. The lake is shaped like two fingers stemming from one northern point (Como is at the south end of one finger). Snow capped mountains (Italian Alps – first time in my life!), sparkling water (thank G-d for a sunny day), quaint houses lining the lake fronts. Serenity. And cold. But the beauty overshadowed the discomfort!
There was also a cute Russian kid about 6 years old on the ferry with his parents. Nikita is quite something – first he wanted to get off the boat while it was still in the middle of the lake, then he was hungry, then something else. The first thing we did when we got off was eat lunch. 5 euro for a salad that was a few tomato pieces and green leaves. Yum. Then, we proceeded to walk around the quaint town.
But…everything was closed!! These Italians are no better than their French counterparts; how do they make a living?! I decided that because it’s offseason, and there being a total of about 10 tourists in the village, I could understand why the shopkeepers wanted to stay in bed. Maybe they close from November to March or something. We were lucky to find a couple open shops. One was a shop selling little trinkets and kitchen utensils hand carved out of wood. This is where I bought my Lake Como keychain.
We tried to find the hotel Bellagio, assuming that the one in Vegas was inspired by the one in the town. Due to construction, we couldn’t see it very well, but when we found it, it was an ordinary hotel, and we could only see it backwards because of the construction. So the joke is that “We found the Bellagio in a backwards way.” So maybe the Vegas Bellagio was inspired by Lago di Como instead of a certain hotel. Should’ve done the research >-<
To top off the visit, Sreya and Audrey had a raspberry tortini while I had a cannoli, waiting for the ferry. Apparently, George Clooney’s summer home (or, one of) is somewhere on Lago di Como. I couldn’t help but look into every car that passed us on Bellagio to see if he was in one of them!
Getting back to Milan, we were tired and hungry, but it wasn’t dinner time yet. We munched on Monoprix’s Madeleines and drank Milanese pear juice. Dinner was penne with salmon and cream with the special Milanese Grand Mariner cake, which ended up being doused with whisky, pas prevu (unforeseen). Audrey and I bravely ate our cake while Sreya ate her sorbet. We were so drunk afterwards….just kidding!
In real life, yesterday (Sunday) was homework day for me. Daniela called me and invited me to come to dinner with her and her boyfriend, Matt, who is visiting for the week. They were in the St. Michel area. I tried to think of an excuse to go out to dinner (since I didn't finish all of my homework), and then, eureka! For French class, we have a semester-long project to work on. My theme is a review of a quartier around a metro stop. St. Michel is a great metro stop to study. Tuesday, we have an interview due for our project. I decided, why not interview the waiter of the restaurant? So I went, and we ended up going to Safran, an Indian/Bangladeshi restaurant, where I interviewed the Bangladeshi waiter who tried to practice his English with me (I don't give in anymore - I persisted in French).
Tomorrow, I will tell you about my last day in Milan. And then, the next entry will be about my school trip to Strasbourg!