Ciao! The week started with a pampering session at The Pink Place where it was nice to meet familiar faces, hear good news, get my nails painted, have an Indian head massage and eat cake! Jenny, the practitioner, said, ”it (the head massage) helps the body where it needs it”. Umm, something else to research to see if it will help Project All Clear!
The next day, Jeremy and I went off to Milan for a 4 night stay so I could show him the sights that Shirley and I had seen on earlier visits this year and new adventures. We based ourselves at the ADI Doria Grand Hotel who kindly provided a complimentary bottle of prosecco which went down very well since I am celebrating reaching the 18 month milestone since being given 18-24 months to live. Cin Cin!
Over 2 days we travelled by train, ferry and bus and explored Como, Cernobbio, Moltrasio, Torno, Bellagio, Menaggio and Lenno. And had a goodo time! The towns on Lake Como are all so different from each other. The memorable Moltrasio was a ‘real’ town with one café, bar and shop and locals said ”buongiorno” when passing. And we replied something similar. Here’s our delicious apple tart from the shop. (This was the ‘cake’ highlight of the week! This was the only Italian ‘cake’ of the trip! )Whereas the beautiful Bellagio with lots of tourist shops, bars, cafes and popular with Americans feels very different and serves coffee at three times the price!
So to heighten our entertainment we decided to visit places that didn’t end with a letter ‘O’: Brunate, Mottarone, Stresa and Arona. ‘A’s’ and ‘E’s’ but not ”A&E”. No, we had an accident free, (but not incident free – to be explained), visit up Mount Mottarone – two cable cars and a chair lift to the top some 4000 feet up. No stumbles. No gashes. No blood. Just brilliant views over Lake Maggiore and then….. gusts…..that closed the cable car and delayed our descent! We were at the half-way station and by the time the one bus arrived to rescue us there were 3 cable car loads of people! On a positive, we had a scenic drive through the villages on the slopes and back to the bottom. You could say getting back to Stresa was a little stressy…We think Stresa has a French Riviera feel to it – huge hotels, attractive long promenade with lots of seats, lots of greenery and lots of tourists until around 6pm when it was noticeable that everyone had gone back to their burrows. We found a restaurant next to the sea and had it to ourselves. It was blowing a gale! Maybe why? Napkins dispensers, ashtrays, menus, chairs were flying and sliding in the wind. But Jeremy and I sat it out and enjoyed our vino and fish dinner… Cin Cin! We didn’t have time to visit Arona in the end. Shame. Maybe we’ll stick to towns ending with the letter ‘O’ – less drama:)
On our last day we walked all round Milan and ascended the stone stairs (919 of them) to the terraces of Milan’s Duomo for fab views over the roof tops of Milan. And descended them too…If you are going to do it then buy your tickets on line as the ticket office queues are so long and arrive early to avoid the long security queue.
So farewell. To the last foreign trip of the year before the second round of chemo commences…