My English friend and I traveled to Lago di Garda by train from Verona. As I mentioned in my previous Italy post, we caught the bus from our hotel to the Verona train station that morning and easily hopped on the train. Of course, before leaving the hotel, we took full advantage of the breakfast buffet by stuffing our bags with as much fruit and individually wrapped pastries and crackers that we could fit. Looking back, I do wish I had eaten more pizza and pasta while in Italy. I have eaten a lot of Italian food since being back in the states and even the best doesn't come close. And while we were there to eat, we also had to make sure we had enough euro to get home.
Walking out of the train station I immediately knew it was a bad day to visit an alpine lake. It was cold, gloomy and a bit depressing. People flock to this lake for the mountain views and water activities, none of which was to be seen. The lake is dotted with several small islands and even those were hard to make out in the distance.
We walked around the town hoping for a break in the weather. Groups of people sat outside sipping on wine and eating small lunches, and, at a different time in my life, a gloomy day in Lago Di Garda would be perfection. But, expensive lunches and window shopping with euro price tags just wasn't part of the plan.
We walked along a path and found a little beach with chairs to sit upon. The view may have been covered by gloom, but Kerrie and I kept each other laughing with chatter and gossip about who-knows-what. After all, we were in Italy, I guess life could be worse (insert sarcasm). Like most touristy towns and villages in Europe, Lago Di Garda is lined with lovely bright a cheery buildings that bring you back to a different time and place. I can only imagine its beauty on a sunny day.
We headed back to Verona in the middle of the afternoon and hoped to get a good (substantial) dinner before going to bed early. We had to be up bright and early the next morning to travel to La Spetzia and Cinque Terre. After arriving in Verona, we went to the bus stop and waited for the next bus. We waited...and waited...and waited. We finally found someone who spoke enough English to tell us the buses weren't running...again. All I could think was, what are we doing wrong? Unfortunately, this time, we didn't have a free ride back to the hotel on bikes. Kerrie and I had two options- taxi or bus to the airport which would get us about two miles from our hotel. We asked several taxi's about pricing, and everyone said the same thing- 20 euro. After much debate, we finally bought a ticket for the bus to the airport (5 euro), waited in line to get on, and explained our situation to the driver (yay! he spoke English). He asked why we weren't taking the train back to our hotel? Kerrie and I looked at each other and laughed meanwhile thinking, wait, this has been an option all along? Apparently, a local train stopped about a half mile from the hotel and only cost 1.25 euro. I couldn't believe how much time we had wasted trying to figure out local transportation solutions.
We made it back to the hotel and, once again, encountered dining option problems. Sadly, I can't recall what we ended up eating for dinner that night, but I seem to recall buying a bunch of food from the market across the street that didn't resemble Italian food at all.
I was happy to move on to a new part of Italy the next morning. What was to come was going to be good, I could feel it... and it was.
(note- these photos were edited to look brighter than it actually was that day. Personal preference.)
^^ real life. I pack way too much and an example of lunch.