That’s Bellagio above. Our hotel is the building immediately on the right of the boat that’s on the right – make sense?
She’s gone and done it. Not one pair of shoes but TWO! Bloody Paris. At least we are now in Italy!
This blog could have been titled Four Trains and a Ferry – that’s what we did yesterday. I was a bit nervous, the last train was a ‘local’ on which you couldn’t reserve seats and then we had to catch a ferry, about which we knew little.
I remember at one stage looking at a sign on the train from Paris to Basel that said there was a defibrillator on board and being thankful as I thought I might need it before the day was out.
It had started badly when they made a boarding call for our train. We walked the whole length of the train and couldn’t find our carriage. Walked all the way back (these are long trains!) and asked a conductor person.
‘No, not zees won, I haff deux trainz togezer. You are on ze zecond train. Justa keep working..’ (By the way, have you noticed how my French has improved? I can quote it verbatim now!)
Now, how would you know there were 2 trains bumper to bumper? Could have easily got on the wrong train. On the mile long walk back past the wrong train I rescued some Americans who were also lost. American was the most common language we heard in Paris after French!
But everything went amazingly smoothly, thanks largely to the effort of our wonderful travel agents Lynn & Lee-Anne at the Travel Studio.
If you are traveling, use them! (I get a spotter’s fee!!!). They’ve been brilliant.
When you use Eurail passes you still have to ‘book’ the actual seat, but you can choose 1st or 2nd class – take 1st class every time. Only a small fee relative to the cost of the train tickets but worth every cent. On our 1st train there were 5 Aussies in a total of about 20 people!
2 were sisters from Vic and were catching the same next train as us (Basel-Milano Centrale). We only had 28 minutes to alight and find the train in a huge central railway station, so we were all quite nervous.
They teamed up with us, and off I headed with a gaggle of girls in tow doing the hunter/gather thing. Couldn’t believe our luck, up an escalator and a sign right in front of us saying which platform to go to. Romped it in!
The other 2 sat near us so we were able to swap lots of travel stories. Ended up sharing toilet stories from around the world – thought I might be able to write a book on it! (BTW could also write a book on how to sit in the seat you really want as opposed to the one allocated to you.)
Scenery through Switzerland and into Italy was breathtaking. The photo below is just a small sample of what we were seeing:
Because of the mountainous countryside, we had to go through heaps of tunnels. We’d just be about to take an award winning photo and whoosh, it would all disappear. But we were able to get a photo of the inside of an Italian train tunnel, magic!
I’m not sure what I was expecting here at Bellagio, but I sure wasn’t expecting the sheer beauty of the place. It is spectacular. I’ve been trying not to put too many photos in the blogs, but below is one showing what we saw as we left Varenna and approached Bellagio on the ferry:
The one below is from our 1st floor balcony:
We planned to self cater for dinner last night, but we left our apartment in Paris at 6.55am and arrived here at 7.00pm. Looked at the menu for the in house restaurant and said ‘what the heck’!
When we were seated C bought out her book on gluten free and showed it to the waiter who immediately said, no problemo, we have gluten free pasta here-o!!!! Woohoo
By the way, I am already picking up the lingua franca and being mistaken for a local. I’ve discovered that the trick is to just add o to the end of words. Works like a treat!
Now, a serious question. We’ve found an unidentified object in our bathroom. I don’t want to a appear totally ignorant, but it could be either a bidet or a separate urinal. Given the toileting habits of the French, I don’t want to jump to conclusions.
However, I also don’t want to use it as the latter in case it’s the former! Can you understand my dilemma???? Despite having stayed at dozens of hotels, we’ve never actually seen one before, except possibly in Crocodile Dundee.
Here’s a photo to help you identify said object:
In addition, they have supplied us with bath towels but no obvious hand towels. However, there are these other ones that are more like tea towels. They are on a shelf above said object. C refuses to use them believing they may have been used for something further away from the face.
I’ve tried to explain the marvelous advances in washing machine technology and am happily using them as my hand towel.
C says my faith in the power of washing machines is touching.
That’s all for now