Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wonderfully Little To Do

An hour from the busy city of Milan, Lake Como is a popular getaway for both Italians and tourists. We headed there last weekend for my birthday weekend. Although the weather was not ideal (rainy and overcast), it really did not matter as we wanted to do nothing other than relax and take in the sights in a leisurely pace. To accomplish this goal, we decided to stay at a family run bed and breakfast (our first experience at a B&B). Located in a sleepy hill town (Trezzone) on Lake Como, Villa Tres Jolie is an absolutely stunning stone property that was painstakinly restored by the owners about 6 years ago. This was not just a bed and breakfast but a retreat as it has multiple terraces overlooking the lake, a hot tube, a turkish bath, an extensive library, a complete gym, and mountain bikes for guest use. Dani and Giulio were a wonderful resource on the area and were always willing supply information or ideas. Schlopy even made friends with their dogs Judy and Dido.

While it would have been very easy to not leave the B&B for the entire three days, we did manage to explore the area a bit. We travelled on the lake ferry to the small, quiet town of Varenna where we walked along the lake as well as the more posh town of Bellagio where we did some window shopping and had a great lunch. We also visited the medievel town of Chiavenna where we went for a short hike in the hills and enjoyed a wonderfully rich hot chocolate. On the last day, we drove the entire length of the lake through many small villages and finally saw the sun while bumming around the larger town of Como. The best part of the weekend was the fact that there was no big sight to see or artwork to stare at. We basically slept, relaxed, ate some (ok, lots!) great pizza, drank some wine, and enjoyed the scenery. Now I know why George Clooney loves this area so much!

Au Revoir.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lake Como, Italy Pics

View from our Bed and Breakfast

Hiking in Lake Como

Small town of Chiavenna

Another view from our B&B

Village of Bellagio

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Impulse Shopping and a Good Cup of Joe

I am neither an impulse shopper (some people even call me cheap!) nor a huge coffee drinker. So, this makes yesterday's events a bit unusual. While out and about with the intent of running a few mundane errands, Jignesh and I headed to Interdiscount with the hopes of finding an adapter to replace one that recently blew out. Well, we did not leave with an adapater but with a Nespresso coffee machine! Yes, we have been wanting one for quite some time. Yes, it was on sale and very reasonably priced. Yes, it is a small, basic model. And yes, it is the beginning of my birthday week. Despite these excuses, there is no denying that this was an impluse buy. When (if ever), I do make an impulse buy, I hold off on opening the package or tearing off the tags in case I want to return it (which I usually do). However, these was no chance this was going to happen this time around as Jignesh tore into the box as soon as stepping into the house. He also fixed a fuse that has been broken for weeks and rearranged our kitchen all to accomodate our new gadget. I have to admit that for the first time, I am not thinking twice about this impulse buy. I am looking forward to waking up every morning, popping a small capsule to the machine, and enjoying a tiny but delicious cup of joe!

Au Revoir.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Since moving to Switzerland, I have developed a huge love for cows. So, of course, we could not miss Desalpe! One of the most well-known moutain festivals, Desalpe celebrates the end of the grazing season for all the local cows. After spending four months in their moutain homes, flower decorated herds parade through the streets as they return to the lowlands for the winter. Adorned with thundering bells, huge groups of cows leave their mark (literally) on the village. St. Cergue, a small village at the base of the Jura and only a short drive from Geneva, is where we witnessed this Swiss tradition. We had sun filled morning watching the cows take over the streets, browsing the booths selling local specialities of chesse and meats, and listening to folklore music. Except for Schlopy getting kicked by a cow and finding it impossible to avoid the overwhelming cow dung (it is like sand from the find it everywhere for weeks!), it was a great way to spend a Saturday!

Au Revoir!

Desalpe Pics

Let the cow parade begin

A cow bell display...some of them are huge!

Moooo over, cows are coming through!

Do you like my hat?

The St. Bernard, a common dog in Switzerland

Using cow bells to make music!

The Alphorn, a traditional Swiss musical instrument