Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Road trip to Switzerland - from the Black Forest to Lake Como

Although the drive from Nijmegen to Martigny can be achieved in a day, we decided instead to take a detour on our way here at the end of January and spent 5 days on a mini road trip with our friends that were visiting - from the Black Forest, Germany to Lake Como, Italy.

The cute little snow village of Baiersbronn was our first destination. We didn't arrive until after dark when it was snowing prettily and after checking into our B&B, we headed out into the village for a nice German meal. The place we ended up at was, as the B&B owner put it 'for old people' (imagine lots of fake flowers & old German men yelling at each other) and although no-one spoke English, we managed with our poor German and enjoyed some schnitzel for dinner. I was most disappointed though that there was no Black Forest cake on the menu :-( We took off early the next morning and because of time limits, didn't get to have much of a tour of the Black Forest - luckily our drive back to the highway was quite scenic.

From Germany we crossed into Switzerland somewhere north of Zurich and made our way down through Lugano and crossed the border a bit further south into Italy. Although there is customs when you cross in/out of Switzerland, the change between Switzerland & Italy was still really obvious - the roads narrowed, nothing was quite as neat and tidy and the drivers became crazy.

We rented a beautiful villa in the tiny village of Griante, on a hill overlooking Lake Como. It snowed while we were there and was mostly fairly cloudy but still - it was a lovely spot. It cleared on the day we were leaving though and the snowy alps finally appeared! The villa was HUGE, I think it could house 7 people so was more then enough space for the 4 of us. It was quite fancy but seeing as we were there in off season, an absolute bargain for our time... I'd go back to it again :-) We spent the few days there relaxing, eating (pizza, pasta, gelato, espresso, Italian hot chocolate & the best tiramisu I have ever eaten), celebrity stalking (George Clooney's villa :-) ) and doing a bit of sightseeing in Como town. It was a really laid back few days and a break in Italy was perfect, even in the middle of winter.

Next trip to Italy - Italian riviera or Cinque Terre I think :-)

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