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Published: September 8th 2011
View from our room
and John resorting the washing on t)he balcony (by the way I have done most of the handwashing!
Wed/Thursday – the start of 3 nights at Lake Maggiore
Thanks for all your comments, we enjoyed reading them finally.
After nearly missing out flight to Milan, even though we were at the airport 2 & ¾ hours before the flight time, somehow we were sitting one gate next to the one written on our boarding pass, and didn’t realise that the boarding gate had also been changed down one number, and we were lined up to board a flight to Hamburg at 9.05 which was the time our flight was due to leave. Lucky for us our boarding passes didn’t make the right noise and we could make a dash to the right gate where the flight was running a little late and there were still 2 people lined up to board! Just in the nick of time. First and only time we had been upgraded, of course on a flight were business class just means the first row!
Lake Maggiore is magical, and very similar to what we remember of Lake Como on our last trip. We ventured up a cable car to the top of Mottarone 1385 metres above sea level. There are two
cable car trips then the last leg via a chair lift. At the top, (for a few extra euro, of course), you can enjoy a toboggan ride high on the side of the mountain. Unfortunately it was quite cloudy and not the greatest visibility for photos, but we enjoyed the afternoon, even though we were freezing. (just prior, I had been so hot I was going to swim in the hotel pool after the cable car, and changed into t-shirt and thongs, not thinking of the altitude!)
3 nights is not long enough to enjoy this beautiful lake. Our hotel is superb, and on our first night after dinner we went to explore the rooftop, which had been very casually mentioned as a terrace and bar. This was the most delightful area I have seen in a long time. I have uploaded photos, there was a shallow spa, tented areas of seating and large 2-3 people day beds with the most beautiful lights, candles and ambiance. It felt like the most glorious place you could be in that moment in the whole world…. Well until we were joined by a bus load of Americans and English!
At the Top of Mottarone
After the twenty minute journey to the top (4892ft) we enjoyed the view
second day in Stresa, we had booked a private 3 Island tour – Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola Pescatori, with a two hour photographic workshop at one of the islands. John and I learned so much during the two hours to utilize for the rest of the trip. And a fabulous garden on Isola Madre was the perfect place to do it. The whole lake and all of these Islands are owned by one family – the Borromean family, and all of the shops, fisherman, boat companies all have to pay taxes and commissions to the family for the use of the Island – even if you are catching fish in it – they take a cut! The palace on Isola Bella was started in the 1300’s and finished in the 1600’s, and was just magnificent to see the grandeur of the walls, ceilings and furnishings/art. It is in need of some restorations, but apparently the family, although we are told are extremely rich, are waiting for a Govt grant to repaint the exterior on the grounds that it is a touristic attraction. Nice to be able to own half of Italy and expect the Govt to upkeep it.
The front of our hotel
Such a lovely setting, the Hotel La Palma is just beautiful and so relaxing
We managed a swim in the rooftop spa this evening before heading out for dinner in Stresa. We are really enjoying the daylight savings and looking forward to it starting at home. We just had a lovely walk around the streets of Stresa, away from the touristy parts.
We have had no internet for a couple of days, so will go to a town that is a little bigger tomorrow to source a sim card for my phone. That will be our last full day at Lago Maggiore, and it is market day in Stresa. John is getting a laugh watching Funniest Home Videos and Hawaii 5-0 in Italian.
Love to all
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