Our holiday started the day before we left when Andrew's uncle/godfather sent us a case of prosecco, a lovely gesture. Andrew's brother and his wife had generously
Epernay (champagne capital of France) was our first stop and we had booked a night at Les Epicuriens
Laure and Eric have two guest suites on the ground floor of their lovely townhouse, very comfortable and with everything thought of. Laure speaks excellent English and could not have been a more welcoming host, offering us a glass of champagne and home baked cheese biscuits on arrival. She loves to cook and the guest book was full of praise for her meals. Sadly we only had breakfast but with a range of home made jams, freshly squeezed orange juice and lovely croissants we really wished we were staying longer, it would be great for a relaxing weekend.
The next day was a leisurely drive to Lucerne, the sat nav took us through some glorious French countryside.
As we approached Switzerland the heavens opened and we got caught in traffic for the first time, we hadn't realised that Monday was a Swiss bank holiday so hitting Bern on a Friday night wasn't a brilliant idea. We had read that we needed to purchase a vignette for travelling on Swiss motorways which we did at the border crossing, and that the Swiss have very strict driving laws. Speeding really is a no no and if you have a sat nav that shows where speed cameras are you have to turn this function off. But what was really irritating is that there didn't seem to be any information fed through to the sat nav. We're used to being told that the delay ahead is 5/10/45 minutes but this just didn't happen. Lucern was gorgeous but as it was raining heavily the camera didn't come out.
The Swiss escape to Italy, and the rain, continued as we made our slow way to and through the San Gotthard tunnel but popping out the other side was a different country. The industrial landscape ended, the buildings started to look more Mediterranean and the sun came out. Despite the morning's delay we caught the planned 2.15 car ferry and crossed the lake to Bellagio. This was my first view of the town - it was love at first sight!
|Approaching Bellagio by ferry|
|Lake Como ferries|
|Varenna from the ferry|
|Varenna ferry terminal|
|Lunch for two|
|A pretty corner|
|Just gorgeous - Varenna|
|People watching from the balcony|
|People at work|
When we arrived we were met by Tania, a charming Italian lady who looks after the occupants of the apartment. She was a mine of information, it was she who told us about the lake pass and took us on a walking tour of Bellagio. She told us the best way to visit Como, slow boat there (2 hours), hydrofoil back (45 minutes). Como was much nicer than I imagined and well worth the trip.
|Somewhere on Lake Como|
|Watching the watcher|
|Outside the cathedral|
|Quiet Como street|
|Shopping in Como|
I think that's enough for now - if you're really lucky I may post a few more photographs later!