Denise and i jumped onto the Metro in Milan and made our way to Como, around and hour out of Milan.
It was great getting away from such a nice but busy city. The city gave way to lovely green fields and hills. The architecture changed also. By the time we arrived at Como, it was more reminiscent of Switzerland than Italy. We met a group of international students from the uni in Milan. They represented french canada, indonesia, china and Iraq. Great bunch and helped us navigate our way on to the ferry. Denise had kindly consented to travelling all this way so that we could visit the cycling museum in Ghisello, near Belaggio. Although we left at 8.30 in the morning, we didn’t arrive until 2pm thanks to our ferry.
Her name is the Concordia and she was built in 1926. Picture a mississippi steam boat on lake como. Unlike many of these tourist boats with tacked on paddle wheels, this was the real deal. Walking onboard you are immediately confronted by the engine that sits between two immense paddle wheels. I know it only has 3 pistons but with a combined capacity of over a million cc’s, what she lacks in power, she makes up for in torque. I’ve never seen such a big vessel being pulled up so quickly at a dock. Those paddle wheels are incredible.
Concordia arriving at Como
The Concordia’s incredible 3 piston steam engine on full display.
Concordia’s paddle wheel’s pull her up and move her with surprising speed
We discovered that the cheapest thing to drink onboard for the two hour trip was white wine. Bugga! Denise was the one who lead me astray and I still reckon that it was not having my sea legs when I disembarked that caused me stagger a bit.
Alistair had described Belaggio as one of the prettiest towns he has ever visited. I now know why.
Bellagio streets looking toward Lake Como
It is stunning and with the pre-alps in the background still sporting snow, fairy tale stuff. Dotted around the lake are small villages that seem to sprout from nowhere. They rely heavily on boats and ferries for their supplies etc.
Tomorrow we leave milano for portovenere. We think that our run of great weather is about to come to an end. The same weather pattern that is being blamed for the missing airfrance flight 18hrs ago, is coming our way. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of waiting at the Brazil airport.