Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 32 - Sunday 23rd May - Lecco - Bellagio - Como

Today was easily the scariest day we have had on our European holiday! I never want to drive in Italy again!
We had a lovely breakfast at our hotel in Lecco overlooking Lake Como and then left to drive first to Bellagio and then on to Como, before driving on to Cinque Terre. Well that was our initial plan however that did change.
The drive along Lake Como from Lecco to Bellagio was along a narrow road - more like a lane way or footpath as Lynda referred to it - was a windy one. We had to drive along a cliff edge leading to the lake on our side and on the other side of the road was either a town or a cliff face. Then we also had to contend with cars driving towards us on a road that barely fit one car let alone two!!!! It was scary! I drove quickly when there were no cars around and slowly around corners where cars often seemed to come out from the corner! We had to stop on several occasions just to let other cars pass. Negotiating past and bus and then a caravan was an experience as well! I know why most of the vehicles on the road are motorcycles.
We finally made it to Bellagio and luckily found a parking spot that was easy to negotiate. Walked to where we thought the town was and instead ended up in the back cobbled stone lanes of an old part of the town! Finally got out of there and rested while having lunch in a lovely restaurant overlooking the lake.
After lunch we walked into the town and it was lovely. Narrow lanes filled with a variety of shops and cafes. We walked slowly through shopping and looking at all that was on display, before we made our way back to the car.
Now the drive to Bellagio had been difficult but this was not a patch on the drive from Bellagio to Como. The roads here seemed to go on forever winding their way along the lake's edge with many picturesque towns along the way. A bit of a pity the drive was so scary we didn't see everything, but we saw most of it. It seemed to take forever to get to Como and we were so grateful when we finally got there that we decided to change our plans and stay in Como - we didn't think our nerves would survive another drive that day! Besides Como looked just lovely. As for where to stay we called in to the tourist information place where we got a booklet about accommodation. We finally decided on a lovely old hotel we had seen when we'd got into Como right on the lake's edge called the Hotel Metropole Swisse. The guys at the desk took pity on us and we ended up with a room with a magnificent view of the lake. Not bad for short notice!
We parked the car and returned to our hotel, tired but very relieved we'd survived that drive!!!

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