after venice, we took a couple of days to enjoy the picturesque lake como, in the italian alps. neither one of us really knew much of anything about lake como, so we really didn't know what to expect. we heard it was close to the alps, but even that didn't register with us. the whole time that we were looking forward to this part of our trip, we were both just hoping that the weather would be clear enough for us to be able to see the alps. i guess we were both just imagining that there was a lake, and then in the near distance there was a mountain. and since we arrived in the evening, we really didn't get a very good look at our surroundings as we rode the bumpy, narrow road on the hour-long bus ride between como and bellagio, where our hotel was located.
so imagine our surprise when we woke up the first morning to discover that lake como was not next to the mountains, but actually in the mountains! it's an alpine lake! truly in the alps! hooray hooray for mountains!
the mountains have always felt comforting to me. i feel safe. i feel embraced. literally. embraced. like a huge hug. it's a very tangible feeling for me. i feel sheltered by their shadows, by the rain and wind and sunshine that they bring, by the steadiness and predictability of their silhouettes and the feel of their stones. it was like coming home to be in the mountains, even though these specific peaks were in shapes and forms i had never seen before. but it didn't matter to me. i felt loved and protected.
we were there during the 2-week lull in the tourist season, when the resorts do their maintenance and cafes take a break and the locals get their town back for a little while. almost everything was closed -- all the little restaurants and boutiques -- but i was honestly glad for it. i think if those places would have been open it might have been a distraction for me. all i wanted to do was sit and look at the mountains in the sunshine, and if the shops would have been open i would have been busy buying souvenirs of the mountains, instead of actually interacting with them as i had hoped for.
i still get a peaceful feeling thinking of lake como. it's seriously the closest thing to paradise i've ever experienced: mountains, a lake, palm trees, italian food, sunshine. it makes me exhale.
lake como is shaped like a wishbone, with two long separate arms that extend from one northern branch. bellagio, where we stayed, was located at the peninsula that extended into all three parts of this wishbone-lake. here is adam in the morning standing at the northernmost tip of bellagio.
the sun was shining bright that day but because of the direction of bellagio,the village itself did not receive much sunlight. so we took the short ferry ride to next-door varenna, which faced south and was bright and sunny everywhere. this is us on the ferry.
i have a mary necklace that i take everywhere with me. whenever i'm near water, i always bless my necklace with that holy water. mary has been blessed by alaskan glaciers, russian rivers, fountains in catholic churches around the world, unexpected desert waterfalls, oceans, mountain streams, and now, water from lake como.
a pier in varenna:
drinking coffee at a cafe' in varenna. that's all i wanted to do. just sit, drink italian coffee, and look at the world. siiiiiiiiiiiigh.
the ferry ride back. this is the
peninsula of bellagio, with the town as seen from the ferry.
waiting for our bus back to the city of como, where we'd take a train to milan.
one more look before we leave.