Day 2 – Later that day!
Hold on, como estas is Spanish and this is Northern Italy – must be the jet lag taking its toll. We are headed for Lake Como near the Swiss border.
It was a short hop from Frankfurt to Milan but it’s been about 30 hours since we last slept – unless you count the short naps in the plane, you know the ones where you nod off and moments later your neck snaps viciously and wakes you up much too suddenly.
At the airport we meet a wonderful couple from Texas, Steve and Liz. After waiting for what seems like hours we finally get on the bus that takes us to the hotel. Como is postcard beautiful – serene lake, mountain homes, cathedrals, narrow streets.
We are caught in the middle of a brutal heat wave – no breeze whatsoever despite the proximity to water – stifling hot even at 9:30 PM. Throughout this trip temperatures will hit record or near record highs – mid-thirties in Celsius (low forties if you factor in the humidity – that’s over 100 Fahrenheit).
For lunch, we eat outdoors in a plaza outside the Hotel, we have our first of many Pizza Margheritas (thin crust, tomato, sliced mozzarella, basil and oil) – wonderful.
This is the year of the World Cup (football/soccer). Italy defeats Australia that night – 1 to 0 – and this little town goes wild, except for the Ozzie tourists – they are everywhere. With the victory comes noise, lots of noise – car and air horns beep for hours – everyone drives way too fast, especially the scooters – what a menace they are.
We stay and eat at the Hotel Barchetta Excelsior that night, nothing special – but we have excellent company, Sean and Marina (a lovely Australian couple) – they need some consoling over the World Cup loss but not that much.
Our room has a great view – of a dirty alley – but we are too tired to care – and just so damn pleased to be here!
Next Stop: Lugano Switzerland!