Lake Maggiore and Milano
Posted by kernelbob on August 13, 2009
This morning we woke up in Locarno, Switzerland, on the north shore of Lake Maggiore. We’d planned to hang around Locarno until 1:00, then catch the autostrada to Milan and drop off Mito. But we’re not so good at following our own plans these days.
Instead, we left Locarno at 9:30, drove along the west shore of Maggiore, then turned right at the town of Intra and headed up into the mountains. Anne’s guidebook described a road as having “switchbacks not for the timid”, so that’s where we went. It was a single-lane mountain road that snaked its way up to the town of Aurano. Aurano is carved into a very steep hillside. The houses are made of stone, and some of them even have stone roofs. Up the hill from Aurano, we found a promontory that overlooks Lake Maggiore and spent a few minutes there trying to photograph the lake through the clouds.
Then we drove on, and stopped at the first restaurant we’d seen for 90 minutes. I don’t know exactly where it was. My first clue that we were in for something special was when the owner/maitre d’ sat down at the table with me to discuss the menu. He said that he had never served “vegetables” (vegetarians) before, but when he learned that we eat cheese and eggs, his mood brightened. We ended up with a full traditional Italian meal, with the best bruschetta we’d ever tasted, slabs of three different kinds of local cheese, polenta, and tortelonis. And wine. Just a little, because we still had more switchbacks not for the timid to navigate. A delightful meal, and totally unexpected. We thought we were just stopping to use the bathroom. (-:
Anyway, we eventually found our way to the autostrada, then stopped at a truck stop to map our route into Milan in detail. That sorted, we went in. We only got a little lost before we found the hotel, but we couldn’t find the car rental place. It turned out to be a booth inside the train station. We returned the car at 17:53, seven minutes before it was due.
So we had another long day with Mito.
Our hotel in Milan is being renovated. It will be quite luxurious in a few months, but right now it’s in “pardon our dust” mode. The air conditioner works, but the Internet is only in the lobby, not the room.
Tomorrow, we’re planning to go to the science museum and a shoe store. But you know we can’t follow our plans…