Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Italy and Switzerland...Day 3: The Greenway Trail...

Before I get to day 3, I wanted to include this video I forgot to include in my post about day 2.  On our walk back to our hotel after walking around the lake, we heard some music coming from a boat and saw this:

These guys were having a blast out on the water!

We woke up on day 3, which was Saturday morning and I went for a run around Varenna.  Let me tell you this, Varenna is h-i-l-l-y!  Oh my!  As usual, when I am in a beautiful place, I like to take pictures while I am out running.  It is so enjoyable to see many of the sites and scenery with no one else around.  

I found a doggie beach!  I know our girl would despise it, but I saw a dog that was leaving and he looked like he had a good time.


This was one of the busiest spots in Varenna in the evenings, so it was interesting to see it without a soul in site.

Varenna from a different view

I ran around the windy-cobblestone streets which included lots of hills!

After my run, we stuffed ourselves with breakfast at our hotel.  Breakfast was included and we enjoyed a variety of meats and cheeses and some delicious pastries and yogurt.  I enjoyed the jam stuffed croissants the most along with my cappuccino!  

One of the things I was most looking forward to around Lake Como was "hiking" the Greenway Trail  around Lake Como.  I use the term hiking very loosely as we deemed this an urban hike.  The trail starts in Colonno, but the ferry does not currently stop in Colonno.  We purchased tickets to the next closest stop to the beginning, Comacina.

After purchasing our tickets, we had a little time to kill before boarding the ferry so we did one of my favorite things and stopped for a latte.

I love how beautiful the lattes are in Europe.  Ken loves how strong an Americana is in Italy.  

Soon enough, we boarded the ferry and were treated to beautiful scenery on the lake while sailing to Comacina.

So excited about the day ahead!

Good morning from Lake Como!  The ferry stopped in Bellagio to let many people off to tour the most well known (to Americans at least) village on the lake.

Cruising away from Bellagio

Griante, with its many pools around the lake.  This looked like a darling place to stay to enjoy some sunshine.

After about an hour ride, we reached our stop, Isla Comacina.  We departed the ferry and quickly realized we were on an island.  We should have gone to Sala Comacina, which was the next stop and on the mainland.  

We were both feeling a little irritable about the mistake, our tickets said Isla Comacina and we were unaware that there were two Comacina stops, so we stopped at the restaurant and had a drink and Lays potato trips, obviously.  After our drinks, we learned that we could take a little taxi boat for 10 Euros over to the mainland.  We chose to do this instead of waiting on the larger ferry.

The view looking back at the restaurant on Isla Comacina.  What a view!

One of the many boats waiting in the small harbor on Isla Comacina.

We arrived to Sala Comacina and quickly found the Greenway trail to start our hike.  We picked the trail up along the water near the church of San Giacomo and were on our way.  The trail/path is very easy to follow with signs and markers along the way.

Signs to follow along the trail

The path takes you through different villages with beautiful views along the water.  We enjoyed meandering through the villages and taking pictures of the different churches and villages along the way.

One of the churches between Comacina and Ossuccio

Scenery around Lenno

We stopped for a bottle of wine and a snack in Lenno on the harbor,  We enjoyed a bottle of white wine and some toast, which is a toasted ham and cheese sandwich.  It was just the stop that we needed, since it was quite warm out on the walk.  After our break, we were on our way through the rest of Lenno and heading towards Tremezzo.

Villa Giovio Balbiano, isn't it gorgeous?!

The path winding through Lenno

Passing though the countryside around Lake Como.  The village across the lake is Bellagio.  

Enjoying the bright-sunny day around Lake Como.  We were completely alone on the path.

This was the scenery that we were greeted with when we were not in a village

Coming upon the Church of Sant’Abbondio,  I believe you would call those soccer fields with a view.

The Church of Sant’Abbondio

Enjoying wandering through the villages around Lake Como on the Greenway Trail.   (similar tank)

Just when you thought you were completely out in the middle of nowhere, you would stumble through these windy-narrow streets.

I love cobblestone streets

Approaching Tremezzo

We walked through Tremezzo and into Griante where we stopped at a darling little place on the water to enjoy a bottle of rose.  The owner of the place came over and talked with us and was intrigued by my accent.  When I say intrigued, I should probably say more like he could barely understand me.  I guess it is my high pitched voice along with my Southwestern Missouri accent that threw him for a loop.  Anyways, he was very nice and informed us that we chose well by staying in Varenna and not Bellagio.  He said that Americans go ape shit for Bellagio and the people from England prefer the Tremezzo/Menaggio side of the lake.  I guess it makes since why the name of the place was Bar Victoria.  Everyone around us was British and ordering tea.  

Ken enjoying his rose.  This is my favorite picture of him from the trip.  Oh look, more Lay's potato chips.  We ate all of them, obviously.

Enjoying my rose and obviously I enjoyed the potato chips as well.  (similar tank)

The view from Bar Victoria looking over to Bellagio

We enjoyed our wine and made our way back to the trail.  The Greenway Trail ends in Griante, but we wanted to go ahead and walk to Menaggio to take the ferry back from there.  

Stopping to say hello to the gigantic swans

All smiles finishing up the Greenway Trail

There is a small section after you finish the trail where you have to walk on the road to get to Menaggio.  There is a shoulder for most of it and it was not dangerous.  We were ready to jump out of the way if there was ever a crazy Italian driver.

Menaggio bound through the tunnel

We arrived in Menaggio, bought our ferry tickets and had a little time to kill.  Time to kill on vacation equals stop for a drink.

Our delicious drinks and snacks.  We had so many snacks that we ended up skipping dinner and just eating gelato once we were back in Varenna.  This meat, cheese, and bread was delicious.

On the ferry leaving Menaggio going back to Varenna

I have no idea why I am pointing.  Perhaps I am pointed toward Menaggio.  I would have to say, I did like Menaggio as well, but Varenna was my favorite.

The view of Varenna from the ferry

Once we arrived in Varenna, we walked back to our hotel via the promenade around the lake.  This is a much more flat way to get back to the city center, versus the way we walked when we first arrived.  Clearly we enjoy walking up hill while tired while carrying our backpacks.  The promenade = flat.

Walking along the promenade.  

Enjoying the view of Varenna  (tank)

Wrapping up an amazing day around Lake Como!  

My favorite windy street looking down at the water

We were so tired and stuffed from all of our snacks that we got gelato and called it an early night, relaxing in our room.  This was one of those days that you always look back at and smile, a great time in Italy with Ken.

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