Day 1

“What goes around comes back around”

Once the planning and packing are completed, there’s not much left to do on our part. It’s all up the airlines now. Delta was great at getting us to Milano. Some of our travelers on the JFK to Milan leg were less than polite or accommodating, but I will save that for a later blog.

For now, suffice to say that, we are here, happy and healthy. Our rental car experience was as it usually is, but this time with a very agreeable Dollar agent suggested the go cart I had rented would not accommodate both my passenger and our luggage. So I upgraded to a four door Fiat diesel standard transmission vehicle with less than 2000 kilometers on it. It is very nice and has enough umph to get us up and over the mountainous terrain we will be facing the next two weeks.

We landed as scheduled and departed Malpensa in our Fiat at 10:15 and arrived at our hotel: The Grand Victoria Hotel in Menaggio at 11:45ish. There are villages like this one, one after the other, the entire western (and eastern shore from what I can see) of Lake Como. Views and vistas rendered oohs and aahs from my navigator as we rounded twists and turns in the road. My focus was avoiding the head on traffic, so I missed much of the reasons for the gasping exclamations of “the views.” But I was able to cut my eyes enough to see what was in effect, “eye crack.”

I have been to “thin places” on this planet. I count Carlton, Oregon as one, and I now know why Lake Como is such a treasured destination for the world’s population. An ancient glacier lake formed by platonic shifts and hydronic forces of nature, it now serves as the backdrop for spectacular human communion.

Our Grand Victoria hotel is empty save for us and one other party, whom we have not seen or heard. I expected Jack Nicholson to greet us at the concierge desk when we checked in. Being here “before season” has its benefits: we get the place to ourselves, and the shops are closed, thus saving us a lot of time and money.

Ross at the Grand Victoria Hotel, Menaggio, Italy (taken from Julie’s new iPhone 7 in “portrait” mode.

Buona sera!


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