Going Back – to Lake Como

Here I am, looking back to my vacation in Europe. I did a terrible job keeping up with it all while traveling this last time, but I want to write down my thoughts before they completely disappear! In fact there are no notes between September 16th (our stop in Mannheim and Heidelberg Germany) until September 29th when I was in Nice, France. And nothing between there and arriving home. Plus my notes were very sketchy. Why??? I note that I wasn’t feeling great and I was exhausted by the time I arrived at my stop in Italy, then I must have just given up? So here we go….

My daughter and I finished our European river trip on AmaMora with a 3-day stop in Lake Como after a drive through Switzerland. The last stop on the cruise was in Basel. After leaving the boat we took a drive through Switzerland and stopped in Bellinzona, Italy for a tour and lunch. I have to say, the rest stop in Switzerland (below) was a real treat, what a beautiful stop! Bellinzona was a nice stop for getting out to stretch our legs.

After our quick stop, on to Lake Como and our weird hotel. Don’t get me wrong, it was a Hilton and overall a nice enough hotel, but the rooms were dark and stark and the food in the restaurant was just okay. It was a short walk across the (very busy) street to get to the trail along the lake shore which was convenient. Just not my choice for a comfortable place to stay, but the room was definitely very large.

Como, Italy is a very busy city with super narrow “sidewalks” and beautiful buildings.

Como-Brunate Funicular Railway (or Funicolare Como-Brunate) – One of our tours was up to the top of a mountain overlooking the city, which is where the village of Brunate is located. My first experience in a funicular cable railway system! In a funicular, cars are attached at opposite ends by the same cable, known as a haul rope, to safely take you up some very steep slopes. I loved it!

We did also tour about town a bit.

Tanya set up a short wine tour for us in Como. I have to say, it was a bit crazy walking the super narrow sidewalks as we followed Google map to our location. One misstep and you would be smooshed by a car! These are the wines I enjoyed most during our visit. Sadly, their advertisement said they ship their wines, but unfortunately not to the U.S.! Someday I will have to see if I can track these down.

Last Stop: Lake Cruise

When in Como, you need to do a lake cruise to see George Clooney’s house! Of course! And, we also saw lots of other “stuff”. 🙂 We stopped in Bellagio to do a little shopping too. I bought a silk scarf for my sister-in-law Jill and a wool scarf for my sister Laura. Looking back, I should have bought more scarves, they were so beautiful, but now that I am retired I don’t wear dressy scarves as often.

Last Stop: the Cathedral

There is always a cathedral to look at in European cities and villages! And they are works of art and always a peaceful place to stop and gather your thoughts. When on my own I would usually spend more time just sitting and enjoying the atmosphere.

Well, that is about all I remember from Como. Next I think I will go further back and add in some more thoughts and photos of the river cruise.

River Cruise Review

My dream trip of a lifetime, did it meet my expectations? Yes and no.

River Cruising

So, what was it? Where did we go?

The trip started out as a river cruise in Europe with my daughter. We chose the Rhine Castles & Swiss Alps cruise on Ama Waterways. Tanya chose September as working the best with her work schedule. We started in Amsterdam and ended in Basel, Switzerland with a 3-day add-on in Como, Italy.

Ama Waterways

Don’t get me wrong, I love cruising! But river cruises are definitely different. Not a lot of on-board activities and what they do have doesn’t always have a lot of room available if the weather isn’t great and you can’t use the top deck. But, you are here for the food and tours more than activities, so not a big deal! Food was good and they always had some good options if you didn’t want the main entrees. Tours were generally great, except for Sundays and holidays when you head into town and most everything is closed! I did the “slow motion” groups once to see how that worked for tours and it was more personal as the groups were smaller and you saw most everything the main group saw. Also, being a small boat if someone brings on a cold (and laughed over how it wasn’t Covid so no big deal) it leaves over half the boat sick by the time of disembarkation.

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