July 30, 2015
Let me preface this by saying that this blog has become my journal for the trip. I’m not offended if you skip over the words and go right to the photos – the words are just to remind Thomas and I of our time with a little more detail. 🙂
After Copenhagen, the next stop in our journey was Milan. Initially when we were planning our trip, we had decided to come during this time frame to visit our friends David and Michelle (of Michelle Stoker Photography). David was stationed in Milan for 6 months for work and, of course, we wanted to visit! Unfortunately, just days before we arrived, Michelle had to head home to be with her family, which was very sad, but ultimately for the best.
David met us at the train station and walked us to their flat – right in the heart of the city. We caught up over a traditional Italian meal (pizza – always pizza for me!) and explored Milan in the morning. Our stay was brief because we had plans to explore Lake Como for the long weekend.
The next morning, Thomas and I had another close encounter with transportation and almost missed our train (it started moving less than a minute after we hopped on) but we made it. Thank goodness for the kind Italian man that helped us buy our tickets. We took a regional train north to Lake Como. Let me tell you, it was an interesting train ride. Thomas and I were in a car with one family. One family…with about 15 children and one dog…that took up the entire rest of the car. It was chaos. All of them were chattering, throwing balls, banging umbrellas, rotating babies. I wish I had taken a photo or two.
After an hour, we arrived in Lake Como. We were able to connect with Andrea, our AirBnb host, who picked us up from the ferry as we made our way from Varenna to Menaggio. When we walked into his apartment, we couldn’t believe the view. The whole lake was in front of us. We just took it all in. It was stunning! And it felt so nice to have a “home” for a few days.
Thomas and I hiked up the hill for dinner and enjoyed a concert along with our meal. We met an American couple and they provided us with ample advice for the rest of our trip. Towards the end of dinner, a sweet British couple sitting next to us said, “Would you like us to take your photo?” Thomas and I looked at each other – covered in sunscreen (due to our horrible burns) and sweat (due to the 97 degree heat) and said…”sure!” (note: photo didn’t make it into the blog…ha!). We took one for them too and exchanged names so I could send it to them.
We headed back from dinner, and after about five minutes Thomas said, “We should take photos of them on Monday!” So…after about 3 seconds of debate, we turned around and went back to our restaurant. Thankfully they were still there and were gracious enough to agree to our photo shoot!
Sunday, Thomas and I walked The Greenway del Lago. Let me pass along one recommendation – if you’re going to walk 17 kilometers in one day (10.5 miles)…make sure you’re wearing shoes that are more impressive than strappy sandals. We walked for 12 hours. We walked through the woods, through the sweet little villages, through villas, through farm land and along the water. There were small markers on the ground every 100 feet or so to mark the path, but sometimes we would miss them and have to turn around, searching for the last marker. After about 11 kilometers we decided we were okay calling it a day and taking the bus back to our town of Menaggio. But nope, not an option on a Sunday. We were in it for the long haul. Now that it is over, I’m going to go ahead and say it was stunning and totally worth the pain, but in that moment…I may or may not have been a little grumpy. 😉
Monday morning we woke up and met our British friends, Steve and Lizzy, for their photo session. Monday afternoon we headed back to Milan for another evening with David – talking finance and photography – what more could Thomas and I ask for? For the last treat of the day, we went to a Magnum ice cream store where they custom made us an ice cream on a stick. You pick your ice cream flavor, the hard coated chocolate you’d like, and the toppings you want drizzled on it. Nom, nom, nom. I could go for one of those right now!