Onward then, we get off a station in Italy and after finishing off with the passport control we go to a restaurant at the station. We had some pasta, pizza and wine. We still had some time till our train to Como and my son had it all planned. On the way, he had spotted a toy train parked outside the station. I inquired and as it turns out the toy train circles around the town for a 20 minute joyride. It was fun, we had gelato on the way, enjoyed our ride and we returned to the station in time. We boarded our train to Como. The train cannot be compared to the Bernina Express but was quiet comfy and was on schedule. The train was full of school kids, on their way to a picnic perhaps and they were singing in Italian all the way. We got down at a station before Como and head to the ferry dock, which was about 100 meters from the station. We took a ferry to Bellagio. After doing some online research I had opted to get a hotel in Bellagio, as it was well rated by other travellers. So we arrive at this cute little lake town and head to our hotel. Our hotel was just a couple of minutes walk. When we get close to it, I realised that the hotel can only be accessed through a flight of stairs. My son rushes up the stairs and my wife follows him. So here I am with a pram, two bags, a kiddie trolley bag and a flight of stairs. After considerable workout, going up and down the stairs, on a hot Italian day, we finally get to the reception and check-in. In an hour’s time, we were ready to go and explore the town. After those stairs, I did deserve a cold desert. I ordered for strawberries and cream and my wife ordered for Tiramisu. We are yet to find a place that serves better Tiramisu than the one served at that small restaurant by the waters at Bellagio. My son spotted some ducks at the lake and we went feeding them. We went exploring around the town and then went for dinner and tiramisu as the finale.
Day 6: We rented a boat and spend the day on the waters of Lake Como just soaking in the views, looking at the surreal villas (Villa Balbianello from Casino Royale, Villa Erba from Ocean’s 13) and watching the sea-planes takeoff and land. It was amazing. My wife and son were petrified at first knowing that we would be sailing by ourselves and I would be at the wheel all the time but they were soon ok with it. We had a map giving locations of all the villas on the lake but midway through our journey it flew off. So we could identify half the villas on the lake and speculated the rest. After our boat ride, we returned to Bellagio, fed the ducks, had Tiramisu and a cappuccino.
Day 7: We wandered through Bellagio, it was strikingly beautiful. Around noon we took a ferry to Como, had lunch there. Como is almost like a big city or at least we felt it that way after Bellagio. Went some kiddie shopping and rented a car. We drove the car from Como to Bellagio. The route for the most part is overlooking the lake. It is quiet difficult to concentrate on the road and not take in the spectacular views. We had dinner at Bellagio, followed by the best Tiramisu in the world.
Day 8: After breakfast, we drove down to Venice. Driving in Italy is more like a professional sport but I prefer it for the flexibility it provides. The approach to Venice, the bridge is majestic. We went to the rental to return our car and started walking towards our hotel, which was not far. Also, by Venice standards, the rooms were pretty spacious. Parked our luggage at the hotel and we were off, making our way through the narrow streets of Venice. Through swamps of tourists following the live music playing we got to St. Mark’s, the atmosphere there was electrifying. We spent the evening listening to live music and just being at the square.
Day 9: We went around Venice. No Agenda, just going wherever we like. We visited the Dodges palace. It was very interesting, my son, however, had a ‘slightly’ different view. We had to make up for the torture we had put him through, so, we, got him to a Disney shop. He bought a small Mcqueen trolley bag from there. The red colour bag has become an essential part of his life and features in all our travels. He spent the evening just zooming through tourists with his bag and through the pigeons.
In the evening we took a Gondola ride to see Venice by night and it did not disappoint. It was magical, seeing flood lit Venice, as we went through the canals. After our ride, we wanted to go to our hotel. We stopped at the Rialto Bridge en route and clicked some pictures. Grabbed some dinner at a restaurant close to our hotel.
Day 10: We went to the glass factory, I thought it was quite overrated – let’s leave it at that. The ride to the island, however, was good and my son loved it. We loved the approach to Venice, to the main square from the waters, a fantastic sight. The day was at our disposal and we went leisurely around Venice
Day 11: Our flight to Barcelona was in the afternoon and in morning after breakfast we wanted to go St. Mark’s one last time. As it turns out, it was the hottest day of our trip and we were exhausted by the time we reached St.Mark’s, which was a good 15 minute walk from our hotel. Well we ended up spending a lot of time at St.Mark’s and then suddenly we realised that we were too tired and also late for our flight– so walking again to the hotel was not an option anymore. We wanted to take the public transport ferry. So we headed to the stand and learnt that there was a public transportation strike! The only thing that was available was a Water Limo. It was PLUSH, it has its price tag, but, it was the only option available . The driver let my son take the wheel so that was pretty cool. Also, looking at the onward traffic – “boats” and so many of them was amusing. We got to the hotel in time and rushed to the Airport. On to BARCA!