19 April 2015
Nice to Lake Como
From hanging out with Djokovic to stalking George Clooney ;). It was not a secret that Mr. Clooney had a villa in Lake Como and this was our next destination. It so happened that our friends Katrina, Alfred and their family also lived in Como and we were going there to visit.
The day began really early as we had to attend church back in Nice Ville. We left at around 8am and walked to the train station. As we waited for our train, a French old lady came up to us, speaking in French, holding a cigarette. We weren’t quite sure what she was talking about, she was pretty calm, didn’t look like she was angry, in fact quite the opposite. I told her, “I don’t speak French”, she didn’t understand me haha. She pointed at her cigarette once again and pointed to the train tracks and we figured out that she was asking whether she still had time for a smoke before the train arrived. Then she spoke again, I believe she was asking us what we thought of Nice, and I said “Very nice” haha. She pointed to the sun, spoke more French, which we translated to “The sun is out, it’s a nice day today”. She asked us if we were Japanese. I said “Filipino”. She smiled and continued to smoke. The train eventually came.
The church was 15mins walk from Nice Ville station. We attended the service and went back to the city centre to buy a souvenir and then went back to our hotel to pack as we were to catch a bus from the airport to Milan, Italy.
The bus trip was 6 and a half hours long, including three stops, one for lunch, and two for toilet breaks. It cost less than €40 (way cheaper than flying). We drove via the coastline. I didn’t bother taking pics the whole time, a few pictures when we saw some interesting views through the window. We arrived in Milan at around 7pm. Our friends picked us up from the bus station and off to Como we went. It took around 40mins. Before reaching their place, we stopped at the Como city centre to get some gelato at Amoruccio. Katrina ordered a tub with four flavours.
For dinner we had a pork adobo, a Filipino dish of pork stewed in soy sauce and vinegar. It was delicious. Afterwards we had the gelato for dessert, it was probably one of the best gelato I had tasted.
20 April 2015
We started our day with a hearty Filipino breakfast of garlic fried rice with spam, eggs and hotdog :). I really missed this breakfast, we had these every Sunday morning before church back in Australia.
Alfred and Katrina took the day off so they could show us around the lake. I asked Alfred if he knew where George Clooney’s villa was and he said that he did and so that is where we headed first #stalkmode. Apparently we weren’t allowed to stop at the front of the gate and so he took us a little further from the place where we could see it from the water’s edge. See photo below :). The location was top secret of course ;).
Next up we drove to Menaggio, where Alfred’s main office was. He worked for a real estate/property management company and he was planning to show us one of the mansions he maintained. We made our way to the dock where we could hire a boat as the mansion was on the other side of the lake. It actually didn’t cost us anything as he knew the boat operator #connections. It was quite a nice day to be on the water, the sun was out. The breeze however was a little chilly and became more chilly as the boat went faster. We told him to slow down a little. Before heading to the mansion, our captain Alfred showed us Villa Gaeta. Alfred told me that some scenes from the James Bond film Casio Royale was filmed here. Next was Tremezzo another town by the lake then Villa Balbianello, a vila at the tip of the town of Bellagio. It looked very pretty, especially the gardens that surrounded it.
To top the boat trip off, we were taken to the mansion that Alfred managed the renovations for and we were in awe of how pretty it was. The place was old but it was beautiful. The courtyard had an iron gazebo with vines weaved through it. The garden was well maintained. The wealthy owners only used it as a holiday house during the warmer months and so they were not there when we visited. The mansion was right on the edge and so it had an undisturbed view of the crystal clear lake. For a split second, just standing there by the water’s edge, with the mansion behind me and the lake view in front, I felt was it was like to be George Clooney ;). If only I had the money… I would get a place at Lake Como too.
Part two of Lake Como coming soon. 🙂