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Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Difficult Road to Lake Como

We woke up with an unresolved dilemma. In short words, it's kind of hard to decide if we should choose the "easy" road or the "difficult" road.
Husband always said that I have better 'instinct" than he does, so he really would like me to make the decision this time. Frankly speaking, I knew very little about these "easy" and "difficult" road that he was talking about here. But I knew his original plan was based on that "difficult" road, so I said we should just stick to it.
After taking a simple breakfast, off we went to our next destination at around 8 am. We would visit some lake towns scattered around Lake Como, the 3rd largest lake in Italy.

Mercure Hotel Bristol is lovely, especially it gave us 40% discount, that only cost 160 for 2 nights.

The weather for that day was super duber good. Finally, we get to see the cliff in front of our hotel with no clouds blocking it.

So long Leukerbad.

Same like the day before, we have to drive on this "retardant" road again.

Yes, the end of the "retardant".

Husband said we need to cross the mountains by Simplon Pass to reach the Italy border.

Stopped over a gas station for refill. That's our rented car, Fiat Bravo.

Not too long later, we reached the Simplon pass.

Simplon Pass (2008 m) is a high mountain pass between the Pennine Alps and Lepontine Alps in Switzerland.
This road was original built by Napolean for military purpose. These days the old pass road is a modern, Swiss-engineered highway all year round.

Same like the other pass, the scenery along Simplon pass is beautiful.

Stone eagle of Erwin Friedrich Baumann on the Simplon pass.

For quite a long time, there was no other vehicle on this road except that motorist and us. So, it's quite relaxing.

There seem to be some hiking trails started from here.

Passed by a small village, but we didn't stop to check it out either.

We have been driving behind this motorist for quite a long distance. He drove as fast as we did, so we didn't feel that we need to over take him.

Husband said this would be a "difficult" road, so we didn't make a detour from here.

We just drove straight follow the sign board all the way.

This motorist didn't make any stop too.

The check point at Italy border.

Luckily the officer didn't stop and check our car. Saved us some time.

I felt the difference as soon as we enter the territory of Italy. In Switzerland, things (including the building, roads) are more organized, systematic and clean. While in Italy, things are more casual, that make Italy a very unique and special place to me.

There are quite some charming small towns along the road. But since the time was nearly 12 noon by then, and there is still a long way to go before we reached our destination, so we have to make sacrifices.

The road has become increasingly narrow to the extend that the space is merely enough to allow 2 cars opposite each other to cross it. Also, the road is so zig-zag that we could only run 40-50 km/h on it. We got to drive even slower under certain circumstances, for instance, when there is a bicyclist in front. Sigh....

By then, we realized the road is more "difficult" than our expectation. And too bad we couldn't have judged its difficulty from the map. I started to groan inside me, and felt regret to have chosen this road.

There is no way to turn back, we didn't want to turn back either. So, we just got to move on with a very slow speed. By then, poor husband had been driving for more than 4 hours already.

Luckily the boys didn't make too much noise, otherwise this journey would become too unbearable. Having nothing to do, we talked.
At first, we talked about having vacation together for the many upcoming years, even after they grow up later. They welcome the idea. Then I said I hope their future girl friend would like to go with us too, because if they don't, then we won't be having funs together.
William think for a while, then he asked if his future girl friend doesn't like us, can he "cancel" her? Husband who kept quiet all the time said immediately : Sure, you can "cancel" her anytime you like. And I added oil on fire somemore, told him that not that he can "cancel" the girl before married. Even after married, he can "cancel" her too. That's called divorce.
I gave him an example...if daddy and I get quarrel all the time, and doesn't feel happy to live together, we will settle in a divorce. After the divorce, we will need to solve a problem fast, which is he and kor-kor will need to choose with whom they want to live with. William said he want to follow me, and he also said that kor-kor should follow daddy. He asked have we solved the problem?
I told him basically we have solved the problem, but doesn't he want to see his daddy once in a while? He said of course. So I made a quick arrangement, like he will go to stay with his daddy during summer holiday, and kor-kor will come to stay with me like that. He asked where will they be going then? I said I'm not sure where we will be living after the divorce, maybe daddy will live in Germany, and mommy will live in Alaska, so they just need to go to where we live lo...
From his look, I can tell he was in a total serious state of mind. Being the kind of person who wants to know arrangement in detail, he kept asking me a lot of questions about the life after his parents get-divorce. But I get bored with the nonsense, so I wanted to drop this subject fast.
I asked him not to worry, cause I don't think this is going to happen. He then asked me have we solved all the problems then? I said yes, firmly. And finally we ended this conversation after a 30-min discussion.

Still, we were moving slowly on this road...but the scene is getting interesting from here on wards...How to describe it?

If we weren't been here, we would never know there is such a beautiful place hidden in this isolated mountain range. And this place can only be accessed by going this rediculous road. Like said, every bad thing got its good side.

Along this road, there are numerous small villages. All look very interesting to me.

We would like to stop over for a while, but too bad there is no place that we can park our car conveniently.
Not just that there is no space at all along the roadside, when the tenant open his front door and want to walk out from home, he will need to watch left and right to avoid being knocked down by the vehicles . How weird.

A seemingly bigger town.

Another village...

Another village..

Another village...

Another village...I really lost count already.

After driving for nearly 5 hours, finally we reached one of our destination, Lorcano, at around 1 pm.

Locarno is located on the northern tip of Lake Maggiore in the Swiss canton. I felt weird to be back to Switzerland again after driving a long way to Italy at the first place...

It's quite disappointed to see the modern city setting at here. Locarno seems a large and busy place, mostly though not all modern. Anyway, the place is still too modern that it doesn't attract us who come from a modern city. After a while, we decided to leave.

Probably because of fatigue, husband couldn't find his way out from this city to our next destination. He then stopped by a small shop to ask for the direction. The owner told him to just drive along the lake side will do.

We drove for another 45 minutes, and arrived at Lugano.

We were really fatigue having travel a long hour in the car by then. So, we decided to take a break in Lugano.

We drove around the city to look for parking, finally found one somewhere near to the lake side.

After we parked the car, we walked to the lake side happily. It was such a nice feeling to walk outdoor again after a long ride in the car.

The lake side looks very lovely.

A very popular destination in Lugano is Lake Lugano. The lake is about 50 km sq in size, 63% of which is in Switzerland and 37% in Italy.

Lugano lies at the edge of Lake Lugano, which is situated between the lakes Lago Maggiore and Lago di Como, south of the Alps.

We strolled along the lake for some time...

A sleeping tree, cool.

I asked them to sleep on the glass, they gave me other pose instead, like siamese twins.

Both of them got sun tanned after the mountain trips.

The colors of this place is so distinctively beautiful.

Feeling a bit hungry, we walked to the town center to look for foods.

Sons wanted to play water spot, but we got to say "NO", cause we still have a long way to go after this.

A bit too hot to sit here...just for taking photo only.

We would like to take the gondola to go up here for lunch, but we were running short of time...

We simply walked in to a restaurant that offer typical Italian foods.

We have so get used of the American type of Pizza, so Italian pizza tastes rather dry and tasteless. Frankly speaking, we prefer the Pizza Hut's pizza, which is more juicy in thousand island sauce.

Panini (Italian sandwich), I like the banquet, but not the meat loaf inside it. For me, the meat taste too strong, which I really can't stand it.

Ice cream is famous everywhere in Europe, quality is guaranteed.
After lunch, we left Lugano immediately. Again, we were told to follow the lake to the place we wanted to go next.

The view of Lake Lugano from a higher evelation.

We then drove on....

I was really confused of our where-about at that time, cause sometimes we seem to be in Swiss, and sometimes we seem to be in Italy.
This time, we were blocked by an officer who claimed he couldn't find the info that he needed from our passport, though there is a clear immigration stamping on the page. So, we have no worries about it. He then went to click his computer and made several phone calls, finally he got to let us go after 20 minutes. Until today, I still thought he was trying to ask for something.

After that little bumpy incidence, we continued to drive along the lake side.

The road is still as narrow as only 2 cars can pass through it.

Anyway, the scenery is very beautiful...that had balanced up the boredom to travel on this narrow road.

This place looks like a nice place for living.

Once in a while, the road will lead us away from the lake and by pass some small village instead.

But the road is always that narrow. We just couldn't understand the reason why they made it so small?

We just got to tolerate this speed limit, really tested our patience.

Ok, back to lake side again...

This anonymous lakefront village is very Italian feels. We wanted to stop for a while, unfortunately there was no place to park our car along the road.

Anyway, husband stopped a while so that I could go out to take some photos.

Absolutely relaxing to live here.

On the other side, the town seems pretty old...

Too bad I have no idea what it's called?

The time was around 3 pm by then, but our destination was still no sight to be seen. To be honest, I get anxious for this.

Again, we passed by many many small towns, but none of them are our destination.

Also, we have not seen the lake for quite a while already, wonder if we got lost? But there is only this road and no others, so we just got to have faith on it.

Luckily, this stretch of road is broader, so husband could drive faster to end it fast.

Another town...

About 20 minutes later, we saw the lake again. Whew....

From here, I think we have finally reached Lake Como. And husband said we should be near to where we wanted to go...I really look forward to it then.

Although the time was nearly 3.30 pm, I get less worried since then....


Gargles said...

Amazing the boys can take it so well! If that's us in that car, I would have thrown them off somewhere about 1 hour! Unless I drugged them to sleep first. Btw, do you guys drive looking at maps? Maybe it's time to buy a GPS device. Can load the country's map which you are visiting and use it there everytime you guys travel.

jessylee said...

hahaha...drug them to sleep is a good idea.
I will keep that in mind.

Yeah, we wanted to buy a GPS device since last year, but keep putting it off. Talking about procrastination...anyway, if the driver think he can manage it, just let him lo.

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