We had a busy day yesterday so I’m a bit behind. Our plan was lunch in Cremona then on to Parma to see the Mille Miglia arrive. It was a warm day so we went topless in Ruby. Cremona was a surprising place with a stunning bell tower. Then on to Parma, another lovely town which we probably didn’t do justice to as it was taken over by the race. Now every time you order drinks you get a selection of nibbles, this a very admirable Italian habit. These vary from place to place but you can get this much so you can understand that you soon don’t want dinner.This happened to us, and after watching a shed load of Ferraris and the first runners of the race, we made our way home and realised we hadn’t actually had a meal at all. Oh well, as they say, when in Rome…
I didn’t feel great this morning – it was as no-ones fault but my own. I had a beer with lunch and then two glasses of wine with dinner which is pushing my luck and the Elf and I shared a selection of puddings. That was monumental – hot chocolate pudding with English cream( that’s custard), fresh fruit salad with lemon ice cream, panacotta with raspberry sauce and chocolate mousse with mint cream. These were not small portions! And all that after steak with cheese sauce and roasties and Mohito chicken with rice and because we couldn’t decide who was having what we shared them. We had a long walk round Brescia, tried on some dresses, sat outside in a deluge having lunch then walked to the castle. Anyone contemplating holidaying with me, be warned… we have had two days where we did 20,000 steps and those weren’t all flat by any means.
This was our morning view today with a blue sky and sunshine, Ruby resting on the grass ready to take us to Brescia. It’s an odd thing but even in Brescia on the day the Mille Miglia starts you wouldn’t realise anything was happening unless you got to the city centre and then you might wonder why some of the roads were shut. It was as a wonderful day, just as it should be, but a bit of an “us” thing so a bit odd for me. This amazing creation is an Alfa, so, yes, it might break down but what an amazing thing to break down in. If you have ever considered the link between wealth and good looks come to Brescia. There is a hugely disproportionate number of good looking people, old, young, male, female, whatever is your taste you will find it there. And yes, I still find Italian motorbike police strangely disturbing; it’s something to do with boots and tight trousers. Ady understood.
Just a little aside from the main event and please be understanding because this is how it is. Looking at a thousand watch shops in Lucerne, we found ourselves in the Hamilton shop and naturally the chap tried to sell me one. “This is very nice for a lady” he says. ” I have that one at home ” says I, “and a steel Ventura. And my husband had one of those, an Elvis Ventura and that one. You don’t sell the badges do you?” “No” he says and gives me one (picture above). “Perhaps your husband might like this ?” While I hesitated wondering what I should say he went on, ” Ah, you have left him at home”. Well yes we have… still pondering. “This new Hamilton has a reversible face so a watch on one side and a host of gadgets the other. I’m sure he would be interested in the heart monitor”, he says. At this point we smile and leave. Some things are best unsaid.
We had a change of plan today. We were supposed to have stayed at Weggis and left for Brescia tomorrow morning. But firstly Mille Miglia had for some reason changed the days of the race this year. It has always been leave Thursday, return Sunday. This year for no apparent reason it is leave Wednesday, return Saturday. I only found out last week so my plans needed some adjustment. We thought about leaving Weggis early Wednesday and tearing to Brescia but that was fraught with hazards. So we decided to leave on Tuesday and stay somewhere else Tuesday night. Although this might seem expensive as Weggis was already paid for, in fact Switzerland is so astronomically expensive to eat out in, we could get a room and a meal for what a meal alone cost in Switzerland. It was also forecast to rain all day. So, after a leisurely drive to Bergamo we walked into the town, looked in some shops and had pizza for supper.Pizza or cake or maybe both.
The weather forecast for today was undecided. The only certain thing seemed to be that it would rain and when it started it would pour for hours. So we togged ourselves out with boots, raincoats and umbrellas and obviously it didn’t rain until much later in the evening. We were going to Lucerne by boat, there is no point in staying on a lake if you don’t enjoy the water. We found the many watch shopsthe Lindt shop – yes these are all chocolates and the brown glossy wall at the back is warm liquid chocolate. It smells divine in there. We had some lunch and explored the city.We found the cathedral where someone was practising their melodies on the organ.We ventured up this clock tower, climbing up ever worse flight of stairs, always thinking that we’d come this far, we might as well go on, until the last ghastly steep, very high stone steps took us up to the Bell. Then we had to come down and that steep staircase beckoned us. This time we could see through the rail to the bottom of the tower, a flimsy, shiny rail polished by the sweaty palms of other intrepid adventurers who like us now realised what a terrible mistake they had made. It was quite awful but it had to be done. Our legs were stiff with terror once we reached the bottom so we rewarded ourselves the only way we could – with tea and cakes.Then the boat home and a nice meal out, we used the umbrella this time, and were met outside our hotel by these two.
There is no polite way to say this…it was ******* freezing cold and raining when we left Bannes this morning. Fortunately we had the joyous accompaniment of “Accordion hour” on the radio which did a lot to cheer us up. As we drove into Switzerland it stopped raining and we soon found our hotel. It was such a pretty place it’s a shame the weather was so gloomy. We had a little walk and hatched our plans for tomorrow, gave some thought to a meal and ended up back at our hotel where we were thoroughly spoilt. I had an Aperol spritz, a small glass of Pinot Grigio, a goat’s cheese soufflé and some kind of veal in puff pastry with these little round things . They told me they were beans, they were very nice but not at all bean like in texture. We were quite “cheerful” by then and had much discussion on what they might have been. I didn’t eat them all. But it was a lovely meal in a lovely place with highly attentive and friendly staff, all eager to find out what an espresso martini was so they could make one for the Elf.