During the one weekend that I was in Milan, I managed to make a half-day trip to nearby Lake Como. After some preliminary research, I found out that Lake Como was an inverted-Y shaped mountain lake surrounded by numerous towns.
The lake town of Como was the nearest to Milan. Como was a quick 45 minute train ride from Cardona station in Milan.
Image copyright DigitalGlobe & Google
Never having been to a mountain lake before, I didn't know what to expect. Right after stepping out of the Como train station, I was blown away by what I saw.
Lake Como was collosal! It looked more like a sea, and this was just the tip of one of the lake's "legs"!
Numerous ferries plied the lake, shuttling people and vehicles between the many lake towns. I took a ride that brought me to Varenna, via a stopover at Menaggio.
Above: Ferry to Varenna, docking at Menaggio.
Above: Crossing the middle of Lake Como. A little piece of heaven?
Above: The pier at Varenna.
Amazingly beautiful town of Varenna, situated near the central portion of lake Como.
My plan was to catch a train from Varenna that would take me back to Milan via a different route. I started walking along this road that I thought would take me to the train station... but the road kept on going and going...
At the point where I took the photo above, it started to drizzle. I realized then that I had taken the wrong road, and was probably now mid-way to the next town. This would mean that I had to walk another 3km along a mountain-side road with speeding Italian cars, dark tunnels, and no shelter from the rain that was getting heavier.
I got quite worried... what if I got lost? what if I missed the last train to Milan? what if some old lady driver runs me down? I actually said a silent prayer before continuing.
Two local cyclists cheered me on as they sped past, probably thinking "crazy Asian guy, walking along the main road". Eventually, I ran into civilization again. A few houses at first, then some shops, more buildings... and finally, a road junction with a sight to behold...
Truly it must have been a sign from God! The rain actually stopped, and the train station turned out to be right next to the road pictured above. I managed to catch the last train back to Milan.
The train ride took about an hour, passing through the town of Lecco and ending up at the Stazione Centrale in Milan.
This day trip ended up being more exciting that I had bargained for, but was worth it.
Back to Part 1
Saturday, February 18, 2006