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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 1 & 2 - Stresa Town

The boat carried us back to Stresa at around 11.40 am. Since the time was still early to check in our hotel, we had decided to walk into the town to kill some time. 

Stresa, situated in an ideal position on Lake Maggiore, is the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. The town is famous for it overlooks the Borromean's islands, i.e. Isola Bella.

Used to be a fisherman village, Stresa began to grow in the 19th century with the opening of the Simplon Pass in 1906. Since then, tourists and merchants could reach Stresa more easily. In fact, Stresa had later became a stop on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express service. 

There are many shops along the streets, selling interesting items....

For example, fruity beverages in beautiful glass container.

Also, there are many Gelato (ice-cream) stalls along the streets that had captured son's attention. 

Finally, we succumbed to buy them a double scoop ice-cream cone for both of them to share. Their mood was elevated licking on it. 

This shop sell many beautiful items. But since the owner didn't like her sold items being taken into photos, we can just only admire it on the spot. 

Anyway, itchy tourist like me snapped 2 pictures of those beautiful glasses & bottles from the outside display window. We did check the price for a series of glasses that we like, it costs € 370 / 6 glasses (HK$ 3700 / 6 glass).  My my, really too expensive for my liking.

Anyway, we did buy 2 beautiful items from another shop. If not because some of them are too heavy and fragile, we would have bought some more. End up, we had spent long enough in the shop until sons became restless for our purchase. 

We left the shop at around 1 pm, just the right time to check in our hotel. We retired our 1st day in Italy to sleep at 7 pm local time. Gosh, it's really been a very long time for us.  

We all woke up at about the same time, at 2 pm. Since we couldn't sleep anymore, it's really not easy to drag until 6 am when the sun finally rise. After brushing and changing, we couldn't wait to go out for breakfast. Husband said there is a mobile market in Stresa for every Friday morning. Sounds good to me. 

Husband drove back to Stresa town and parked our car at the same parking lot. When I stepped out from the car, somehow this woman who stood at the hotel's balcony had captured my sight. Guess she woke up very early too. 

The time was around 7.30 am. 

As expected, all of the shops were opened yet, even the market was not open yet. This is the shop where we have bought some beauties on the day before. It won't be opened until 10.30 am, sigh. 

Feeling hungry, but there wasn't any shops opened so that we could go for breakfast. Luckily, we found a small bakery shop somewhere around. So, we bought some freshly baked pasta-like bread to feed the hungry kids first. 

Again, William said the bread is super delicious. Well, I agreed too.

Flowers behind the bench we were sitting on.

It's a huge difference comparing the west to our east, especially when we are talking about the working hours. In eastern countries like Hong Kong, it's a joke when one said they can't find anything to eat in 8am, alright. 

Since the market we intended to stroll was not opened yet, we simply walked around the town area. One good thing about being an early bird, is that there isn't many birds who would block your way. We felt that we are the only living human at here. 

This is a beautiful town with many beautiful corners...

The flowers are beautiful too...

Those shops are still no sign of opening, even though at 8.30 am. I started to wonder if they will be opened for breakfast time?

Saw some beautifies at this shop too. We had decided to come back again to buy it, when the shop was opened later on. 

This porcelain figurines are very beautiful, the price is reasonable though. Too bad it was very heavy to hand carry back to home. 

All these the same too.

Anyway, we have bought a candle stands, something like the one on the right hand side, just smaller in size.
They are truly handmade, from Italy. So, each one of them are unique, with no duplicate with one another. 

We then walked across the road to the lakeside promenade....

That's Isola Bella...could see the whole garden from here.

Luxury hotels are located all along the lakeside.

A photo session....

At around 9.30 am, we walked back to the town area, and good to see some of the shops were opened.

Those 3D oil-painting about Stresa Town are very beautiful. We bought 2 of them home. Good thing about shopping in Italy, is the price is fixed. So we don't need to worry about price negotiation or being cheated with sky high price. 

Finally, the market was in place. It's rather disappointed to find that nothing special was sold here. Every stall sell more or less the similar things, like fruits, low quality shirts, handbag, shoes etc. We lost our interest in the market very fast. 

This is the only stall that sell foods. Husband had bought 4 roasted chicken drumsticks, they said it tasted good. 

At around 10 am, we drove back to our hotel. This is because William kept pestering us to take him back to the hotel so that he could swim in the pool for one more time before we checked out and headed to another place. 

On the way back, we could see Isola Bella in a closer distance. I could still remember vividly that beautiful garden when I visited the island 2 years ago. 

The other side of Isola Bella

From far, the island looks like a floating city, awesome.

After the kids done with their swimming, we checked out the hotel at around 12.30 pm.

Before departure, we went to a nearby mall for a quick lunch. Husband found a small Chinese restaurant the day before when we went there to take away the foods. That was the last time we eat rice for this whole vacation. 


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