Sad day. Our Lake Como vacation ended.
We left the small town on the east coast, drove north to the end of the lake, and turned south to make our way along the west coast, which we stared at for the past to weeks. This route was an alternative to the way we came, which included a ferry trip across mid-lake. I wanted to inspect the villages hugging the lake shore all the way down to Como, which we had seen only from the boat. We continue to marvel at the old villas and marvelous vegetation planted by the original owners. If one had the time, this would be a good route for on foot, because a driver must concentrate on the narrow road, crazy drivers, and wide trucks.
We stopped a mall just over the Swiss border, which features all major designer brands. Big mistake. Prices were ridiculously low for desirable products. This is not a good place to take a woman...
Italians might be good at hanging houses on step hills, but Swiss can build tunnels. Although I enjoy driving over the Gotthard Pass, we decided to use the tunnel. One spends about twenty minutes under a large mass of granite, with the chance of some idiot veering from the oncoming lance. This requires less time than using the pass, but is far less scenic. A switch to circulate air within the car is advantageous.
To reach Interlaken, where we plan to spend a few days, requires a trip over a pass that is 2200 meters in elevation (you can look up the conversion). The road winds up many switchbacks, with breath-taking views up and down. Guard rails are not a feature of this route, which is closed by snow in the winter. More photos are not possible, because I chose to concentrate on driving.
Interlaken is full of Japanese tourists, who seem to be required to ride the train to the top of the Jungfrau, much like Muslims must travel to Mecca. We can see the peak of that famous mountain from our hotel room--the white bit in the center of the below photo, which resembles Toblerone on a bed of whipped cream.
We plan to travel to a small town opposite the Jungfrau: Murren.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.