Back to beautiful Lake Como.
13.06.2013 - 13.06.2013 32 °C
Three alarms went off this morning at 4am to ensure that we didn't sleep in. We packed up our car and left Lygaria Bay in the pitch black at 5am. Scary roads around there in the dark - especially when you know what they're like during the day.
We got to Heraklion Airport in really good time, but were fairly confused as to just where we had to leave the hire car. We were told that someone would be there - no-one was. In the end, Red left the car in the parking space and left the key on the back wheel - there was no drop box. We had to race to get through Security and Passport Control in time for our flight. Once the panic was over we were able to send an email off to Athens Cars via the Airport's Wifi.
We had a short flight from Heraklion to Athens, then through Security once more and a mad dash up to the next gate for our flight to Milan. Stressful stuff for the poor old "Two Idiots"!
So. Things are nice and calm now. We're currently about half way through our flight up to Milan - and conserving our energy. This travel day is far from over!
The remainder of our flight was spent chatting to a fellow passenger - a guy originally from Canada, but now living back in Athens. He is of Greek descent. It was really good to get his perspective on the current financial situation in Greece.
After arriving in Milan we found our way through to the airport and bought train tickets on the Malpensa Express, which would take us directly in to Milano Centrale Station. We also bought train tickets for Varenna - the train apparently leaves from the same main station, rather than the Metro. We really didn't want to be lugging all our bags up and down stairs with the daily commuters. Been there - done that - don't want to do it again!
The trip in to the centre of Milan went without a hitch. When we arrived we tried to find out which train would take us to Varenna - no luck. Plus - there is no-one, NO-ONE - to help poor travellers find their way around! We looked like the Bag Man and Bag Lady of Milano - pulling all our worldly possessions behind us - trying to find our way. Confusion and frustration were present in great bucket loads! In the end, we found a couple of guys who worked for Trenord (the name on the tickets we bought) who were repairing a fast ticket machine. With their broken English, they were able to provide us with enough information to point us in the right direction. Even then, the platform number changed.
We had a quick lunch and got on the train with just a couple of minutes to spare. Travel days can really be the "pits"!!
At 2.20pm the train pulled out and about an hour later we arrived at Varenna Station after passing through the most spectacular scenery along Lake Como. On our last visit to Varenna we missed our stop because we didn't know how to open the train door (you really have to be quick!). Today - I yanked on that door as if my life depended on it! There was no way that we were not getting off at Varenna. We were met at the station by our Landlord's son - Marco, and his Uncle. They piled our bags in to the back of their car and drove us the short distance to our apartment, which is on the first level of their 200 year old house - the Villa Albertina. It is a square building covered in ivy - stunning. Marco introduced us to his sister Marta, brother Giorgio and their dog Lago. Lago is an italian breed of dog - a Lagotto - multi coloured hound with a woolly coat like a poodle. He then showed us around our home for the next 7 days - it's great, with plenty of room. We are right in the middle of the town of Varenna. There's a fair bit of traffic noise - but given the location, we'll deal with that. The bed is comfortable - yes! So, here we are back in beautiful Varenna - our last stop on our 8 week journey. Our plan here is to slow down and recuperate from the energetic last 7 weeks. Let's see how we go!
Our suitcases exploded all over the apartment! We walked just down the road to the little Supermarket to get enough provisions for tonight. Marco has offered to drive us the 4 kms to Bellano tomorrow - where there is a bigger supermarket. We'll take him up on his offer - and do a grocery shop to take us to the end of our journey next week.
We had a simple salad for dinner and turned in around 9.15 - even though it was still light, I couldn't stay up a moment longer.