Saturday, July 14, 2012

Funicolare to Brunate

Our adventure for the weekend took place in the small town northeast of Como. Brunate is a quiet community situated in the pre-Alps surrounding Lake Como. To reach Brunate, we took a quick ride on the funicolare (cable car), which departed from right here in Como. Round trip tickets were very inexpensive (5.10€ each) and the ride took less than 10 minutes total up the steep mountainside. Originally our plan was to ride up in the cable car, take lots of photos and eat a picnic lunch before hiking back down to Como, following a zig-zag trail along the funicolare route.

We wound up hiking up even further from the station to the Alessandro Volta lighthouse... Since we're living in Piazza Volta, we feel a special connection with this great man who invented the battery... Let's face it, having no batteries would make modern living very difficult! :) We also knew the views from the lighthouse would be spectacular. Sooo up we hiked. Up. Up. Up. We took a trail to the lighthouse and then the more smooth, paved road back down. The views were breathtaking, looking down over Switzerland, Como and Cernobbio. (More about Cernobbio here.) The small town was a refreshing stop, since Como is usually pretty crowded on the weekends; Brunate was extremely quiet and peaceful.

Taking a breather on our hike up... 
Here's a video clip of our view once we arrived at the lighthouse. Today it was a little overcast, so the sky is not crystal clear. That might also have something to do with smog from Milan... at any rate, the view was pretty awesome. Here's a quick look around:

To the right along the shoreline is Cernobbio, to the left out of the frame is Como.
From the lighthouse, you couldn't see much of Como - there were trees in the way. 
Zooming in on the shoreline of Cernobbio.

Who parks their motorcycle on the back porch? Italians do. :) 
Another creative parking solution... The homeowner was watching us take this photo. No shame.
I guess this is the only way you can own two (identical) cars living in a town with no parking spots.
I wonder if that hydraulic lift uses Parker hoses. Hmm!

I had a lot of fun playing around with my camera. It's easy to get carried away when you are surrounded with tons of beautiful architectural detail and an endless array of flowers and plants. :) 

We walked down from the lighthouse and had better views of Como at a lookout point just down the street from the funicolare station... Here is Como! 

There's our place! Can you see the statue of Volta? 
After returning to the funicolare station we decided hiking down to Como might be pushing our luck a bit... Eva was wonderful, but it had been raining on and off - and we didn't want to get soaked on the way down. We ducked out of the rain for a coffee and some delicious lemon cake before riding the funicolare back into Como. (I think this little restaurant was our first celebrity spotting, but neither of us knows exactly who the celeb was... oh well!) 

Here's one more Eva pic for the grandparents. :) She was a sweetie today, happy as always.