An Unexpected Outing

March 28 An Unexpected Outing

Savona, while charming, is small and we saw most of it yesterday so it was with relief that we made arrangements with Davide, our driver from the airport, to go on an excursion. Carolyn thought going to Milan and Lake Como would be great, so that’s what we did.

We set the alarm for 7 but woke up on our own. We went to the complimentary breakfast, wow! There was a hug assortment of food. Many different breads, muffins, hard boiled eggs, some fruit, sliced meats and cheese and lettuce and tomatoes. There were also many dessert type pastries. We both enjoyed ourselves. I had a hard boiled egg and several pieces of crusty French bread with jam. I also had coffee with hot milk. Carolyn made a little sandwich and also had some hard boiled egg. Our view was of the gardens and the sea, so lovely, even with rain coming down.

We went back to the room to gather everything we needed and met Davide in the lobby at 9am. Then we were off.

We decided to drive to Lake Como first and get to Milan on the way back. We drove for almost 4 hours. Along the way there was an accident. Davide slowed to ask the people if they were ok, they said yes, and then as we drove along he called the police to report it. Chances are they were tourists and I am sure that was helpful. He is a very kind man.

Soon after we and arrived at Lake Como in a drizzling rain.

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Davide showed us where to go and also where he would be. He sat happily in his car watching a movie on his ipad while we strolled around.

First thing was a trip to the bathroom and a coffee. This was accomplished at a small, outdoor café. No toilet paper. Oh well.

Then we took pictures of the Caduti Monument on the edge of the lake. It is a modern looking monument commemorating Como’s fallen of WW1, constructed in 1931 in a futuristic style and at 33 metres high is an imposing monument. We took some pictures and then walked over to the lakes edge.

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It occurred to Carolyn that perhaps we could get a boat tour of the homes on the lake. We walked along the harbor and asked around and then found a water taxi that would take us on a 30 minute tour. The cost was 50E each, and we were fine with that. The tour was very nice and we saw many of the beautiful homes. Unfortunately George and the others live far away on the lake on a private road and were too far for the boat to go. We enjoyed our ride anyway.

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Back on shore we headed back to the car, stopping to look at anything that caught our interest. There was a very well done European Resistance Memorial. This monument to the European Resistance Movement is dedicated to the many Europeans who were condemned to death – it comprises stones from the Nazi extermination camps and the tragedy of Hiroshima. We got several pictures but could find nothing in English.

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We walked and took pictures and ended up at a beautiful little building called the Volta Temple. The entire building is dedicated to the life and works of Alessandro Volta. He died in 1827 and the temple was built in 1928 to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of his death. Volta was a great physicist and invented many things most notably the electric battery. It is a lovely building with excellent displays.

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We next returned to Davide and headed for Milan.

When we arrived in Milan, we were a little disappointed. It was not much to look at. Davide took us to the big shopping area known as Corso Venezia. We wandered about, but honestly, we could see the same, perhaps better, at South Coast Plaza. We did get gelatos, I got chocolate and Carolyn got chocolate chip. It was very cold, but so worth it. We stopped at a restroom in a place where the lower floor, known here as -1 level was like some odd hipster version of a Parisian Club without the smoke and booze, instead there were fraps and gelatos. Crazy man, crazy.

We next found a store called the HIGHLINE outlet. It was pretty cool, with designer seconds at very low prices. Carolyn tried very hard to love one of the Valentino purses (80E) but they just did not suit. I found that there is a designer who designs purses, shoes and wallets just for me. Each is inscribed “RB”. I bought a pretty Robin’s egg blue wallet with my initials on it.

We were pretty much done by now, so we stopped at an ATM to get more Euros. It was difficult to get into the locked ATM building, but we somehow figured it out. Once inside we each got 250E on our debit cards. Then we went to find David, waiting and watching his movie. He suggested we might want to eat before we left and we agreed. We went to a charming Panini Restaurant. Carolyn had a Madrus Panini which had turkey, lettuce, tomato, cheese and curry sauce and almonds. The roll was warm and crusty. I had smoked salmon on warm crusty bread. I also took one look at someone’s table with French fries and ordered them. The sandwiches were awesome and the fries were delicious and shaped to make a little boat for scooping ketchup. YUM!!!! Lunch was about 35E with tip.

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Davide was parked nearby and we were more than ready to come to the hotel. We got back about 6:20. We took some pictures with Davide, who we had become very fond of. We paid Davide 210E each, and well worth it. All together we spent 260E on a faboulous day! (Food does not count, one must eat). We were sorry to say goodbye to Davide, he was wonderful!

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We are now back in our room, in our PJ’s, tired and happy and looking forward to boarding the ship tomorrow.

Carolyn says; “I finally checked Lake Como and Milan off my bucket list, hooray hooray, it was a fantastic day. Rain, fog and all.”

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