Mexican In Hong Kong, Italian In Cernobbio and Walking Lake Como


Pre-Departure – Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Hong Kong International Airport

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Saturday 28th

Tomorrow night, The Princess and I will be winging our way to Milan on a Cathay Pacific jet.

The flight leaves Hong Kong early on the morning of the 30th but technically we start the trip on the 29th.

We are packed (not so lightly) and ready for our three week adventure of touring.

Sunday 29th

Well, we are about to walk out the door for the airport. The bags came in a little heavier than both of us expected. You would think we would have got this right by now!

We just enjoyed a lovely feed of Mexican at one of the local restaurants here in Discovery Bay so we don’t anticipate eating much on the plane – particularly at 0200 HK time.

I had best get dressed for the trip and finalize the bag packing before walking out the door.

At The Airport

We are checked in at the airport and ready to board.

It’s 0030 so we are both ready for a sleep! I don’t think it will be long before we are

“zoned out” and looking at the inside of our eyelids.

Ciao!

Day 3 – M Day – Minsk, Malpensa, Milan, Miralago

Malpensa, Cernobbio

Monday, 30 May 2011

Enroute to Milan

I am writing this over the interior of Belarus – approaching the city of Minsk. We have been airborne for around 9 hours. From Minsk we will fly over Warsaw down through the Czech Republic, over Austria and into Milan.

The Princess is attempting to get some shuteye in the last three hours of this 12 hour flight. Neither of us has had much luck sleeping so we will definitely be resting this afternoon in the hotel.

The flight has been wonderfully smooth however, the very loud two year old in front of us and the quite cool cabin (read icy) temperature has made sleeping a bit of a challenge.

Malpensa Airport

Well we have arrived back in Europe. It’s 0730 and we arrived to a beautiful morning here in Milan – 14 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

I used my new EU passport to enter Italy – a seamless effort! The guy took about 3 seconds to process me. I’m not sure if he even opened the passport.

Our bags were on the belt when we arrived so we went in search of the Hertz rental counter in quick time.

With a few Buon Giorno’s floating around we were offered a German plated car for the hire – a substantial saving for the one way rental. It means waiting for 30 minutes but at this time of the morning we are not too phased.

So, with some time to spare The Princess and I have found a place to sit and enjoy an espresso, a nibbly and some vanilla tea in the sky lounge in the airport.

Apparently there is a Starbucks here but we didn’t find it. Probably not a bad thing.

Driving to Cernobbio

Well, we ended up with a fantastic new Ford Focus for the hire car and after checking it over we hooked up our trusty Nokia phone GPS and headed off for Cernobbio.

The drive went without a hitch – our surfer dude talking GPS negotiated the streets with precision and after about 40 minutes of driving we arrived in the beautiful little lakeside town of Cernobbio.

Walking Cernobbio

We had pre booked Hotel Miralago before we left Hong Kong . We use a variety of websites to book our travel and we are never disappointed with the results of our bookings – Hotel Miralago is no exception.

The staff were wonderfully helpful and changed our room so that we could check in early so, before long, The Princess and I were walking into the most delightful room overlooking the Piazza and onto the shores of Lake Como. Wow!

The sun was glistening and reflecting off the water and the sound of the piazza’s fountain was gentle and soothing.

We spent little time unpacking and changing into some clothing that matched the temperature – warm and with very little humidity. Perfect.

I went and parked the car and picked up some brochures and The Princess sorted out what we wanted to take with us on a walk around the streets.

We were both quite hungry so it didn’t take too long to sniff out an eatery – Cafe Posta. We liked the look of the outdoor dining area and the choice was perfect on so many levels. The staff were friendly and willing to help us with our Italian the food was “to die for”. Or, in Italian (as we learned) – Buonissimo!

Our main host, Sissi (short for Alessandra), is a sweet girl that spoke some Chinese and was keen to learn about Australia, Hong Kong and Canada. She recommended some delightful food – a veal dish with tuna sauce and an incredible paninni full of Parma ham, cheese and rocket. The side serving of fresh bread and local olive oil was almost a meal in itself and made us realise that if you are going to eat bread it had better be with lashings of virgin olive oil!

Eating food here is an experience and not just something you do to fill a need.

Another server, Elisa, was very patient as we asked her questions about Italian wine. In the end she poured us some delightful white from the Balisicata region and it was the perfect compliment to the amazing food. So much so that we had two glasses each.

What a wonderful way to start our time in Italy.

We’a are’a quickly’a learning’a that most Italian words end with an ‘a so we figure’a that if we throw a lot of ‘a’s at the end’a of our words’a then we will’a be

Understood’a.

We bid Sissi and the staff at Cafe Posta arrivederci and took a walk around the quaint backstreets of Cerenobbio before heading back to the hotel. We poked our heads inside two beautiful churches and took some video and photo’s and also soaked up some of the streetscape in this lovely little town.

We opted for an afternoon nap back at the hotel – pretty much following the lead of the locals.

A perfect way to let lunch and a couple of beautiful glasses of wine go down!

Walking The Lake

After a quick shower and wake up we were on our way for a walk along the lake front toward Como.

The walk would take around 50 minutes if you didn’t stop but we were not in a hurry and our aim was to take lots of photos and video.

The temperature for the walk was perfect – about 25 degrees. The sun is not setting until around 9.30 at this time of the year so we had plenty of time to take in the spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

The walk took us past some ancient Villas (Villa Del Grumello, Villa Olmo, and some great lakeside restaurants.

We watched the Lake Como Aeroclub floatplanes take off and land and the ferries come and go as we dodged runners and cyclists that shared the sometimes narrow pathway.

We arrived in the city fringe around 8.30 and found a place to sit and eat dinner – appropriately named Tourist Cafe. The setting was great and the wine and food were excellent. Another top meal here in Italy.

Despite it being summer, the ferries and buses to Cernobbio had stopped running so, short of walking, it was a cab ride back to the hotel. Mental note – it would have been cheaper to hire a car than to take a cab!

A wonderful first day here in Como and we look forward to three more days of hiking, boating and driving this picture perfect area of Italy.

View From Hotel Window
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Lake Como From Front Of Hotel
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Classic Italian
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Cafe Posta Delight
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iPad Updating
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Double Shot Delight
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Alps Under Wing
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