August 1: A Day in Bellagio (With Much More to Follow)
As I write my first journal entry tonight, I am sitting in my balcony overlooking the twinkling lights of Lake Como. It has been a long day, but hearing the waves lap the shoreline and watching the last car ferry crossing the lake makes it all worthwhile.
We began our journey on Air Iberia out of Boston to Madrid. To our surprise, the Barajas Airport is an architect's delight with gleaming marble floors, swift modern subways between terminals, and arched wooden ceilings. After a one hour lay-over, we flew to Milan and rode a rickety old Tren Italia to Como. We were thrilled to discover we were in time for the hydrofoil and sailed across the lake to Bellagio in under an hour.
You can't beat the location of our accommodation, the Hotel Metropole. With Old World charm, the hotel hugs the edge of the water. Our room on the fourth floor overlooks the lake, the promenade, and the ferry terminal.
Before dinner tonight we walked along the water's edge to the Villa Serbelloni. It's a grand hotel with a magnificent view of the lake. Suddenly we heard the haunting notes of an alpenhorn playing under a grape arbor. We envied the German tourists heading out to the terrace there for their dinner and a show.
Dinner tonight was on the hotel terrace on the edge of the lake. While we enjoyed a delicious meal of spinach ravioli and tortellini pesto, huge swans lingered looking for a handout
The shops are open until 11:00. We discovered a well stocked wine store where the owner was well versed in regional wines. He not only offered to sell us a chilled bottle, he opened it for us, provided us with take away cups, and even offered to serve it to us. This is something that would never happen in the U.S.
Walking up the cobblestone lanes after dinner, we admired the brightly lit stores filled with silk ties and leather bags. As thunder rumbles in the distance and a fireworks show lights up the sky, we relax ready for bed.
Flying through Madrid
Memories of summers long ago
Moonlight cascading over the Plaza Mayor
The magnificent Prado: an artist's treasure
But we do not linger
for we must move on,
Dreaming of a Spanish summer
for another time