A Travellerspoint blog

A perfect storm

rain 27 °C

Lennie: We had planned a trip to Lake Como for yesterday and were really excited as a lot of people had reccommended it to us. When we got to the station to board our first train, we found out it was an international one and therefore we would need reservations. After queuing for 45 minutes we found out that reservations on the train would've cost us 40 euros for return tickets for a train ride that look less than half an hour. We decided not to buy them and were completely lost as to how to get there using a cheaper method. Fortunatley, a helpful train information man gave us details of local train we could get there for free. We finally arrived in Como and took an hour bus ride along the coast of the lake to a town called Menaggio. All the towns surrounding the lake were really lovely as they were all set at the bottoms of mountains around the lake and you could see the houses becoming more sparse the higher the mountains got.

Lauren: We had a small wonder round the town, and would certainly like to thank evryone who recommended it as it was stunning! We walked around the coast and found that you could do kayaking on the lake. Neither of us had much kayaking experience but we thought we'd give it a go. The first part was probably my least favourite as when the guy pushed us both into the lake, he managed to soak us! Especially poor Leonard who spent the rest of the day with a soaking wet bottom. I loved the kayaking, the waves were ebcoming bigger so it seemed more and more exciting. Little Lennie however, didn't quite take the same liking for it as me because of the waves getting bigger and sheer scale of the lake, so we got out after half an hour. He must have some kind of odd sense though because it was good we did as about ten minutes after we got out there was a huge thunder storm.

Lennie: Don't get me wrong I did enjoy the kayaking but it just wasn't right, if the weather had been a bit clearer and less windy, I proabably wouldn't have been such a little girl. Before we decided to do the Kayaking, we were going to climb up Mount Gronte, after the storm we decided to leave it. I vow to return to Lake como and scale the 1736m mountain peak! After a couple of hot chocolates to warm us up we decided to take the ferry to Bellaggio. Its one of the centre points of the lake, where the water splits into two and heads south. Once we arrieved, not realising the time, we watched as the last bus drove past us. Not good! Getting some information from some local people, we found out that a cab back to Como would cost us 80 euros - bad times! Luckily, the same man told us that we could get the ferry to another town, called Varenna, and catch the train back to Milan from there. He saved the day! The ferry journey to Varenna was amazing as the storm had finally cleared. Lake como is truly beautiful, everywhere I looked I saw an opportunity for a photo. I can't wait to come back here!

Lauren: Despite all the bad luck that appeared while at Lake Como we both had a lovely day and would definatley return. Certainly with more money so we could take a motor boat around the whole lake. Last night was our final night in Milan and we headed to Pisa this morning. We arrived at about 4pm and so far, so good. The hostel seems really nice and we're walking distance from all the attractions. The only down side is that it is raining. Tomorrow we shall be heading off to the leaning tower which we're both looking forward to. :)

Posted by LaurenandLennie 08:30 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Milan

overcast 29 °C

We got up this morning and headed into central milan to do some sight seeing. We obviously had "tourist" printed all over us as the second we came out of the metro station we had people hassling us to give them money. Unfortunatley for us we got drawn in by two men who were giving us "good luck" bracelets but then demanded €5 per bracelet, very mean! Luckily we got away with just giving them €5. Dodging more people like this we arrived at the Duomo, a huge cathedral in Milan. It as stunning . We both agreed we'd never seen a building with such detail on it before. Inside was really interesting and a lot different from Notre Dam. It had statues that we couldn't quite understand and the bodies of old Arch Bishops of Milan in glass coffins. We headed up inside the cathedral and walked around on the roof where the amazing detail continued. There wasn't an inch of the building that didn't have some interesting to look at. We got a nice view of Milan from up there, although it was nothing compared to the views we saw in Barcelona and Paris. We continued on our touristy day by visiting a science museum full of Leonardo Di Vinci's work, went to a park and found a castle to walk through. We've had a nice day but Milan, being a fashion capital, seems to be more about shopping than anything else and so wasn't as exciting as other places. We're taking a train and bus to Lake Como tomorrow which we're really excited about. Hopefully the weather will be nicer than today because its been raining on and off all day and we haven't really liked how stuffy its made it.

Posted by LaurenandLennie 13:45 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Italy from here on in

sunny 30 °C

Yesterday was like a holiday within a holiday. We had our first full beach day on "Blue Beach" in Nice. It was a private beach so quite expensive but worth the money in the end, as we got the luxury of sunbeds and a parasol. Even though it was a stoney beach, the lovely weather, warm sea and clear water made it a great place to spend our final day in Nice. We treated ourselves to some drinks and found the home of the worlds best Piña Colada is definatley in Nice!

We arrived in Milan this evening and are already missing the luxury of Nice. We had a huge hotel room and now we're back to a tiny hostel sharing a room with 4 other people. We can't complain though as it was lovely and cheap so we can splash some cash in Milan and all the people seem cool anyway. We've planned a few things for tomorrow in the main city which should be fun.

Lennie: I'm hoping there are no repeats of Amsterdam the three nights we are here! So I'm chaining Lauren to the bed ;-)

Posted by LaurenandLennie 13:45 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

A nice arrival in Nice

sunny 32 °C

Yesterday was a very long day as we spent eleven and a half hours making our way to Nice. We arrived at our hotel and were amazed with our room. Instead of the usual low budget room with no room to move and a tiny bathroom, we have a big studio apartment to ourselves, very nice! We had a lovely moon lit walk along the beach and relaxed after such a long day.

Today we had a wander round the town centre of Nice, in search of a cinema showing Harry Potter in English. We suceeded and jumped and hugged as we did, to the amusement of the French teenagers next to us. After having lunch we headed down to the beach. It was absolutely jam packed with people so we don't have much choice but to dive straight into the sea. It was surprisingly warm and lovely to swim around in. I developed a sudden fear of everything to do with the sea (sharks, getting pulled out, giant squids and not being able to put my feet down, just being some) which really wasn't great timing, but Lennie soon calmed me down and we had a great time splashing around.

We finished our day by watching Harry Potter, which I feel did the book justice and will definatley be seeing again. The only thing we thought was weird was that the cinema didn't sell any confectionary or drinks.

Posted by LaurenandLennie 13:22 Archived in France Comments (0)

A very wet day indeed

overcast 30 °C

We woke up this morning looking forward to a sunny day at the waterpark "Illa Fantasia". Unfortunatley, the weather was not on our side as the sky was full of grey rain clouds and the insane heat from previous days had gone. However, having been to Norfolk for the last godness knows how many years on holiday, the weather cannot put me down! So I told Lennie that we should ignore the nasty weather and go anyway. Neither of us had been to a big water park before so we were literally like two little kids (although I was certainly more grown up as I had to keep telling Leonard to STOP RUNNING!). We had a brilliant time there on swirly slides, vertical slides and many others. After the first vertical slide, which left us both shook up and scared for our lives, we soon got into the swing of them.

Unfortunatley, being the acident prone person that I am I had to ruin it. Have you seen the inflatable rings that you can sit in when you go down a slide at these places? Well as me and Len came to the bottom of the slide in ours, I slid practically all the way through with just my hands and feet hanging and got completely stuck! Not good! I ended up having to shove myself further into the ring to then get out backwards under the water. Lennie found it hilarious, as did the lifeguard. All in all, I've loved Barcelona, I think I like the main citys a lot more than the tiny towns.

So tomorrow we're packing up very early, catching three trains for an eight hour overall journey to Nice. Harry Potter comes out tomorrow in France so my mission will be to track a cinema down that shows it in English. We've got three days there and then we'll start to travel through Italy. So exciting!

Posted by LaurenandLennie 12:27 Archived in Spain Comments (1)

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