Hope you won’t get disappointed but this time, in order to get from Lugano to Lake Como – to be more specific in Menaggio, we did not take the train. As it ain’t any. We took a bus. And maaaan, that bus ride was something!
The bus had to cross the mountains and a lake, but this time what kept me stunned was not the landscape (which was beautiful indeed), were the narrow streets, on which two cars could not fit in the same time. The winding roads were so tight, so the driver, before taking a curve had to use the horn, so he could warn the potential drivers coming from the opposite direction. It was really something. The bus ride was full of adrenaline – as I felt more like in a roller-coaster, and gorgeous scenery – as the landscape was slowly and gently changing from Swiss to Italian.
After approximately 40 minutes the crazy bumpy ride ended. Menaggio is a small Italian town on Lake Como. As you might already know, there are 4 well-known towns on Lake Como – the high-life Bellaggio, mystical Varenna, the shy Menaggio and sunny Tremezzo. All these towns are packed with beautiful villas and out of this world gardens. They are very close to each other – usually 10-15 minutes by boat or bus. If your budget is limited, I recommend to accommodate in Menaggio, as it’s quite affordable and photogenic.
Coming back to my story, in spite of the bus adventure we arrived safely in Menaggio. We booked a nice small hotel, as we planned to spend here 3 nights. As this trip was planned to be done by train and to move from one place to another we adapted our luggage to our needs – so we had a backpack and a 60 liters hiking rucksack (for my beautiful strong Hubby :P). It was a hot summer day, so we decided to find quickly our hotel so we could cool down in the garden pool. So, we took our our maps, and started the big search. After 15 minutes, our walk turned into a hike. Which kind of took us by surprise. We could not find any bus stop, and we had no idea if there is any stop near our hotel. We got quite angry when we realized that our hotel was located… kind of on top of the mountain! What got us more angry was the fact that in order to get there we had to go on a street without any sidewalks which had lots of traffic and tight curves. And we walked, and walked in the burning sun… uphill… with no water… and my Hubby’s mobile was ringing every 5 minutes as it was his b-day. The crazy hike took us around 40 minutes. When we arrived at the hotel we were so tired as we had just finished a triathlon – in our case carrying heavy rucksacks, hiking with no water, and avoiding the trucks which were speeding on the sidewalkless street.
After screaming at the landlord (as this info was not mentioned on booking) we decided to calm down, take a shower and start celebrating my hubby’s b-day by the pool with ice-cold beers.
Looking back now the hike totally worth its pain and anger. Honestly, it’s one of the strongest memories from our beloved train trip. Menaggio is a great town, with quiet narrow streets, surrounded by tall mountains, palm trees, colorful flowers and the lake, oh God the lake!
Hints: do take a hike (have lots of cold water and no heavy backpacks! 🙂 ), a boat trip, and of course, a taste of the gorgeous Italian cuisine! 🙂