Friday night began my crash into some sort of muscular pain and general achiness that would prevent me from adventuring to Como on Saturday. After heading downtown to do some field research into my personal style with Marina (in case you all haven't noticed, she's awesome) and finding some cool quality finds at Zara and an entire mess of what I cannot pull off at Guess and seeing Ben Harper chilling in Piazza Duomo, I headed home slightly achy to a home of people who all didn't want to do the requisite shopping for the vening's supper. So we headed for Bavarian food. Right. It was the heartiest meal I've had for my entire trip, meat and potatoes. Argh, yes, delightful. Besides the oggling of the waiter from all parties being served by this man named Jacopo, the atmosphere at Kapuziner was skewed Bavaria with strong beer and waiters who look like they've all walked out of a Ricola commercial. And the Italians just love it.
Saturday I woke up sweating like mad (think pools) and with aches all over my body and a general feeling of unwell, but still I managed an adventure to the Esselunga (a cheaper and much more friendly version of GS) with Dorota and Matilde. I don't know what it is with me and supermarkets. Centers of wonder and meeting... food, it brings people together, it sustains life, how much more important can you get? The rest of my day was spent with 'In Praise of Slow', my sweat, and painkillers. I slept plenty, took a bath, listened to crazy Italian music and proceeded to go to sleep at 10.30pm.
Which brings us, most gladly, to Sunday at 7 am when I woke feeling energized and ready to start my trip to Como. I had originally planned for Saturday but due to health reasons and 'weather forecasts' (which said rain although the entire weekend was blue-sky sunny) decided to postpone/cancel the trip. But I was happy to wake up in good energy on Sunday. Before I knew it, I was fed, showered and dressed and on a train to Como and arrived by 10.05am. Arriving in the mountain and lake dominated lake country with coloured stucco houses perched on the mountainside (in sum, picturesque), I toured around a bit to visit the Duomo, the lake side and some sidestreets before heading uphill for a hike.
I wanted to go to the lighthouse dedicated to Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the battery and a native of Como. Although Let's Go has pointed me in the direction of great deals and beautiful monuments, they unfortunately failed this time only giving me the oh-so-specific directions of 'turn left at the pink church' in order to find my hiking trail. Instead, I decided that perhaps the lighthouse would be on the way to Brunate, the only advertised hiking route around. Stubborn stupid Stefan, in your manliness, you should just suck it up and ask for directions. I thought I knew where I was going. After 10 minutes I met a French 19 year old guy who seemed to be the only other person attempting the vertical climb. We chatted along the way, going ever higher and getting to no real destination without signage anywhere. I thought I would be done within a half hour.
An hour and a half of climbing and drenchfully sweating (I should have taken off my shirt to tan instead of the triangle that I achieved from my V-neck shirt), we finally arrived a Brunate for a panorama of Como. Nothing breathtaking or thrilling, but it was the journey that mattered not the destination (oh life lessons abound in this crazy trip, eh?).
I tried to speak French with Jerome when we met but it kept coming out as Italian (with mais coming out as ma among other things) so we just ended up, strangely enough, speaking to each other in Italian. He is in Italy completing a month of work in some sort of engineering company before heading back home to Normandy. Anyways, at the top we decided the funicular would be a better mode of trasnport down to food and wandering about Como. (TIP: take the funicular to Brunate if you really want to go, unless you want to hike forever aimlessly)
Once again, my boat plans in foreign places were thwarted. Unlike the strike that happened in Venice, this time there was an F1 International Championship of Powerboat racing in the basin of Como (picture rocketships on water racing around like F1 cars). Goodbye Bellagio and Villa Carlotta! The closest boat stop, to which Jerome and I walked in the afternoon, was about an hour away walking, leaving no time to return for my train home.
Anyhoo, the afternoon we just wandered about, passing villas by the sea (more upscale land version of Venice), bridges, boats, and people watching the race (along with one enraged bicyclist complaining of the traffic). I snapped plenty of pictures and headed home on the hottest train I have ever been on. Como was pretty and awesomely located, but I wasn't tremendously impressed. Perhaps I should postpone my judgement of the lake country until I see Bellagio and the like.
I returned home to upload my photos and fell in love (more to come tomorrow). I don't usually rave about my photos, but wow, there were really too many to love. I had taken 100 photos that day and a good 30 were really nice. Good light, good mood I guess. It concluded a wonderful day: early morning of good feelings, a crazy hike, a new friend, leisurely strolling, more suntanning, beautiful photos. Oh yea and a crazy amount of sweat, both from Saturday's strangeness, Sunday's hike and trainride home and the evening's night of crazy dancing with Matilde, Davide and Emmanuelle at a truly fun and wild outdoor club close to where I have been living. We had a great time admiring the people, taking in the club, and dancing to hiphop, saccharine pop (and some cartoon music) and house. Oh the hotness, it just makes you sweat a little more.