Notes from Paris to Bellagio

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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!

Hang on…..

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:

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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!

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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:

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The one below is from our 1st floor balcony:

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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:

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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.

And naive.

That’s all for now

Arrivederci

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15 Responses to Notes from Paris to Bellagio

  1. Mick says:

    Jim with a ‘gaggle of girls in tow’ … Sounds like a normal day in Hobart for you old fella. Enjoying the blog, keep up the good work.

    Cheers
    Mick

  2. Gail Foster says:

    Loved that award winning tunnel photo Jim!

    Gotta see those shoes Cheryl! Only two pairs????!!!

    Love Gail

  3. Jennifer says:

    Love the tunnel shot Jim , how creative , perhaps French impressionist Mr Monet had an influence on you, he wasn’t big on colour either .
    Your Hotel looks very nice but also a bit small , Are you sure this wasn’t taken in Lilliput?
    As for the thing next to the toilet, no idea however; I’d keep my face well away from those hand towels if I were you.
    Tenere al sicuro
    Jen x

    • Jim Wilson says:

      I think I’m coming on quite well in the creative field Jen, thanks for noticing. You will see from the photos in the next blog that the hotel has grown somewhat.

      Still using the ‘hand towels’!

      Ciao

  4. esther smith says:

    Have to say I was impressed with the tunnel photo also Jim…. What did Crocodile Dundee do with said bathroom appliance we all wonder…:) Jim can you have a very stern word with Cheryl about certain postcards that are meant to be coming my way! I know she is having too much fun buying shoes and gawking at famous Art and gardens AND sipping delicious wine but……. Am enjoying the blog very much…xx

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Esther it’s a scene from the 2nd Crocodile Dundee movie. You should watch it. I shall speak sternly to her about postcards and staying away from shoe shops, famous art and gardens and sipping too much wine!

  5. Greg Bain says:

    Ahhh – the art of photographie-o.
    Jim, may I zoom in and use that delicate area of deep charcoal grey in your Italian-o tunnel-o image?
    Greg

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Dear-o Greg-o, you are more than welcome to use any part of my photographo that you may find a useo foro

      Ciao

  6. BILL PERRY says:

    Meravigliosa fotographia ! or words to that effect.
    Mystery object: Jim, it’s for when you’ve had a hard night out on the tiles and you can
    only manage to crawl to the wash basin to brush your teeth!

  7. Lynne OCB says:

    oh oh! Jimbo: less toilet talk and more scenery!
    how bout an episode from Cheryl – and some pix of shoes?
    girls in tow? nothing’s changed Jim! love it!
    (PS plans for Mt Field adventure – to ease you back into the cooler climate – we’re now almost members of the ski hut and looking fwd to inviting guests – will try to install a bidet before then!)

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Ah Lynne, I can only tell it as I see it! However C is contemplating doing her own blog. I am encouraging her, but I suspect it won’t be very interesting at all.

      Next blog has more photos and mostly scenery, but can’t put too many in each one. Have well over a thousand now, we can have a slide night when we get home!

      Saw photos of Mt Field on f/book – looks good, but very wintery! More sun baking for us today!

  8. Helen O'Loughlin says:

    Hi Cheryl & Jim,
    I agree with Lynne, I would love to hear Cheryl’s take on your marvellous adventures (not that your blogs aren’t riveting Jim ) & a photo of the shoes would be nice.
    Your photos are wonderful! Really makes me want to visit Italy too!
    Helen

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