I am confident to say in the past three days, we have truly experienced Lake Como.
Friday morning we got a late start. This was partly due to the fact that we stayed up till 5 am Thursday night, and partly because the buses are either extremely unreliable or we just can’t read the bus schedule…
Regardless, we made it to Bellagio, a beautiful town a ways up the coast from where we’re staying. We attempted to find lunch at 3 pm…a rookie mistake. *note to self: do not expect to find ANY open restaurants in Italy between the hours of 2 and 5. Apparently they take a siesta right during your stomach’s hungry hours…
We eventually found a bar open all day, and each ordered a pizza. It was delicious, but we had left overs, so we boxed it up and took it to go. Little did we know then the places that pizza would go that day…
We took a ferryboat over to the town of Feronna, because we’d heard rumors of an old castle to hike to.
We started hiking…with our box of pizza, of course.
The trail was deserted, which was a welcomed relief after spending hours fighting through throngs of tourists in Venice. We stopped along the way to take some karate kick pictures, and just meandered our way up the mountainside, in awe of the beautiful landscape. It truly was a spectacular view. It was one of those almost spiritual moments, where you’re surrounded by something so beautiful, you can’t really believe it exists. I love these moments.
It took us about an hour to reach the castle. As we were walking up to the gate, a worker was locking the fence. Apparently, the castle closes at 6 pm. It was 6:01.
We took the ferry back to Bellagio and were there by 7:30. The town seemed strangely quiet. It took us a moment to realize the bus station was closed. No more buses were leaving Bellagio. Until TOMORROW.
No taxi’s. No rental cars. Only our tired feet and the road.
It was a 5-mile walk to our town, and it would be getting dark soon. But, we started walking toward our cozy attic, with the box of pizza tucked under one arm.
Now let me just explain what we were up against. The Italians drive like crazy people. The roads barely fit one car, and people speed past one another, around curvy roads chiseled into the sides of cliffs. And there we were, walking along the side.
We stuck our thumbs out a few times in an attempt to hitch a ride. But they were driving so fast, our thumbs probably just looked like a blurry smear of color…
If you’re going to get stranded somewhere, Lake Como is a good place to do it. The walk was gorgeous…the sun was just setting over the glassy water, and the temperature was perfect. At one point we found a trail that jetted off from the highway, and couldn’t resist the adventure. We started hiking up the trail, intending to turn back once we saw where it led.
The trail zig-zagged up the mountainside in steep switch-backs. Our legs were exhausted but the thrill of not knowing where the trail ended pulled us up the mountain. We passed beautiful waterfalls and cliffs that dropped miles below us. We never turned around.
It was getting darker, but the trail was slanting downwards, so we continued along. We came to some old stone homes and a pathway that led back to the highway! We had cut out a solid mile or two of dangerous highway roads and took a beautiful hike up the mountainside. I’m convinced our box of pizza guided us back to the highway…
We made it to our cozy attic in Pascau by 10 pm. We were exhausted after all our adventures, but we still had our box of cold, hard pizza…and that’s the important thing, right?