Sunday, June 25, 2017

Italy and Switzerland...Day 1 & 2: Traveling and Lake Como...

Ken and I have returned from a wonderful two week trip in Europe.  We had such a great time and are both sad that it is over.

We flew from Kansas City to Chicago and then Chicago to Zurich on Swiss Air.  While in Chicago we stopped for drinks and a light dinner and I had my first ever $14 glass of house wine and Ken enjoyed a few $14.50 margaritas.  Seriously, the most expensive drinks of our entire trip.  Anyways...

Ready for our 9 1/2 hour flight

Armed with red wine for the long haul

Surprisingly, Ken was able to get some sleep during the long flight.  I, however, did not sleep but maybe 15 minutes here and there.  I thought it was a pretty miserable flight.  I tried to pass the time by watching a few different movies and reading.  

We landed in Zurich and started the long process of getting to Lake Como.  You might be wondering why we did not fly into Milan instead of Zurich.  Well, a flight to Milan was an additional $300/person, quite the difference!

We had two options to get from Zurich to Lake Como.  Option one was to take the train from Zurich to Lugano, bus from Lugano to Menaggio, and then the ferry from Menaggio to Varenna, where we were staying.  Option two was to take the train from Zurich to Como city and then a ferry from Como to Varenna.  We opted for option two since we wanted to see Como anyway and taking the ferry from Como allowed for a little more tour of the lake.  

Boarding our final train from Lugano to Como.  I thought it was funny that we ended up stopping in Lugano on the train anyway.

We arrived in Como and quickly asked where the ferry station was.  Well, we learned that you had to take a bus to city center and then get ferry tickets.  We also learned that you could only pay cash to get the tickets and there was no ATM at the train station and we had zero Euros.  Side note:  I have never been to a train station where there was not an ATM.  

So, off toward city center we went on foot.  We found an ATM on the way and then found the ferry and bought tickets for the ferry to Varenna.  We had a few hours to kill before boarding the hydrofoil boat (fast boat) to Varenna.  Things were starting to go downhill.  I was tired and hot.  So hot, that sweat was dripping between my boobs.  That is a definite deal breaker when I am wearing a normal bra.  I alerted Ken of the situation and he very quickly suggested we find a place to stop and order a bottle of wine while overlooking the lake.  Ladies and gentlemen, is my husband a genius or what???

My genius husband that saved the day and obviously knows his wife so well.

We enjoyed our wine and had a little pasta as a late lunch.  The shade had disappeared and we really did not need another boob sweating incident, so we ventured over to another outdoor seating area for an appretif, that the Italians are so famous for.

Our delicious appretif drinks.  The best way I can describe it is kind of similar to a sangria made with grenadine.

Enjoying my first ever appretif.

We finished our drinks and made our way to the pier to catch the ferry to Varenna.  

Darling restaurant near the pier.

Lake Como scenery

Ready to board the ferry

Varenna here we come!  (tank)

The ferry ride on the hydrofoil from Como to Varenna took about an hour.  It was a beautiful ride with villages and villas dotting the lake.  


Cruising past Bellagio

We had a great time on the ferry watching the scenery go by, but we were very excited to arrive in Varenna.


Of all the villages around Lake Como, I think Varenna is the prettiest.

We got off the ferry and looked at the map to find our hotel, Albergo Del Sole.  Del Sole is located in the city center, so we set off through the windy streets to find it.  I have to be honest, I knew Bellagio had windy streets, but I had no idea the same treat awaited us in Varenna.

Walking the windy streets of Varenna to get to our hotel.  (tank and pants)

We checked into our hotel and left to explore Varenna.  We found a darling little spot overlooking the lake and stopped for drinks.  

The view from our room

Some beautiful scenery along the way.

One thing that we learned about Italy is that when you order alcoholic drinks, you are served snacks with your drinks.  This can very from potato chips to more elaborate things such as bruschetta and meat and cheese.  Talk about a great perk!  By the end of our time in Italy, I am pretty sure we consumed the equivalent of two family size bags of Lays potato chips...each.

We had the perfect view for our very first Italian sunset.

After enjoying our drinks and snacks, we went back to our hotel for pizza.  It was some pretty amazing pizza.  

We wrapped up our first full day pretty tired after traveling, but very much looking forward to the next day.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Yay! Excited to start reading your vacation posts!