Thursday, 8 May 2008

Italian Dream Part 1 - Bonjourno!

We drove down to Italy straight from Sittard. it was in total of 9 hours including the 4 stops we had at the services for Aidan to stretch and run and fuel (both our tummies and car) to fill. i was excited since it was my first trip to Italy. passed Switzerland, and the view was simply beautiful, every turn was a picture opportunity, you dont know where to turn snap first! i was even more excited when i saw the snowcapped mountains, eventhough it was raining. gosh, there's too much to tell. i really feel that i have to write about every single thing but i should make this simple and hopefully enjoyable to read.

To Porlezza (the butt clenching stretch!)

We had to endure small roads from Lugano (Swizerland) to Porlezza (Italy). by this, i really mean small, SMALL narrow roads. i was clenching everything - my butt, my fists, my lips, my jaws, my toes, everything! i swear to God the road was so so small! the Italian drivers added my stress level everytime they drove pass us - they drive really fast. i suppose they know their way and besides, they drive small tiny cars. we on the other hand drive an estate approx 2.5 mtrs long and about 2ish mtrs wide (hardy, feel free to correct me). and to add to my stress level and blood pressure, Hardy was enjoying that whole stretch of road and kept saying "hey, this is fun" after turning at every corner. i kept giving him a mean stern look.

We have the cliffs on one side, and the lake on the other. i couldnt even enjoy the scenery let alone snap photos! i was biting my lips everytime a car passes by. a couple of inch "makan jalan" to your left, you'd hit the cliffs, a couple of inch "makan jalan" to your right, and you'll ended up in the lake (nauzubillah). the roads were as the malays would say "ngam ngam" (just enough) for 2 cars, and some you'd have to wait for your turn. andddddd...... there were so so many tunnels!!! tunnels here, tunnels there and everywhere! a few tunnels you'd have to wait for your turn as they were way to small to fit 2 cars.

This is definitely not something you'd want to go through if you have a weak heart! and most importantly, if you're driving, you need to have strong driving skills (thank god i wasnt driving!), and those not driving, you really got to trust that person behind the wheels! and for penakut passengers like me, please brace yourselves passing through from Lugano to Porlezza! but it was such a relief once we're done with that stretch and the view was worth it!


After a good half an hour stretch of "butt clenching torture", we arrived at Porlezza. the place where we stayed for 6 days. it is right at the north, the tip, the end of Lake Lugano. Hardy booked us a family home, very spacious, very clean, very nice, new, picturesque scenary from our balcony. the place was very popular amongst the Dutch! left, right, behind us were the mountains and just infront of us was this spactacular view of Lake Lugano. you'd even enjoy the mountains when you open the bathroom window!

We stayed on the 2nd floor, and what a view we had!

After a much well rested night, we woke up to a bright sun shiny morning and headed staright out. we went round the porto, and walked to its town. and by mid day, we were starving. what else but Pizza and Pasta (and Italian Coffee for some!)

You must be thinking this must be a dead town. how come there isnt anyone walking? well, the thing with Italy (at least this part), they close for lunch from 12.30pm to 3pm! so remember that when you go visit!

We decided to drive down to Milan the next day as the weather was not on our side at Porlezza. Milan was just 60kms and that's about an hour drive from where we stayed. finding a parking was a little bit challenging though but we managed well thanks to a salesperson in MuiMui! now, to drive into Italy is one thing, and to drive into Milan is another thing! i dont have such courage nor patience for such things! i suppose God is fair, He gives you a partner, that completes you! hahaha!!

If you're in Holland, you will see a lot of men in suits on a bicycles. but in Milan, you will see men in their italian suits on scooters! they are REALLY stylish and their suits are REALLY nice and well made! Italy is definitely home for good fashion! there's a lot of history to this city, but i'm not a history person, Hardy is! they say a picture says a thousand words (though these photos dont do justice to these places). if only i could share this experience with you guys in real life, i would, but pictures are the best that i can do. so i'll leave you guys to it to enjoy!

There you have it, our first part of our spring vacation. more pictures coming up in my next few posts! and as i'm writing this, my dear husband Hardy is in Milan, again! but this time he's there for work. i dont mind going to Milan again... *clears throat* (to hardy: i'll plan the trip next time!)
I'm tempted to go on, but its very very late.. i should head to bed! good night everybody. till my next post!


k.ct said...

thanks so much za for sharing wif us wpun sampai mati pun blum tentu i boleh sampai sana, at least with all the beautiful pic, terubatlah sket ke'frust'an i sbb x dpt pergi tmpt2 mcm tu lagii...hehee...
(malaysia pun x abis pergi dik...hahaha..)

milena's fav aunt said...

omg kak sume picturesque and mcm postcard..u guys must be ecstatic kan dpt g Italy??nxt tyme i nak ikot..nyeh..nyeh..

nina said...

hey zaza, i drove to Milan tau when we were on vacation in Switz.. it is just an hr or slightly more from the place that we stayed.. i like driving kat milan, guess why? coz driver kat sana lebih kurang like driver kat malaysia.. boleh tukar lane suka2 hati, and hon kuat2, then angkat tangan marah2.. hahaha...i then sesat kat the town itself, in between shopping complex.. u r right, the road is sooo small, and some are only one way, so if u lost yr way, u got to go longg way to find the right one..
cepat la zaza, bila nak jalan2 kat sini..

zuraida said...

zaza.. bestnya. thanks for sharing your experience & photos. Kalau k.zue ni tak taulah sampai bila pun mungkin tak dapat gi sana. i'm happy for you!

IbuHaziq said...

bestnyer.....more pictures pls....looks like aidan is having so much fun too hehehe

mº¿ºsh, brecht & nora said...

Thx for sharing the photos as promised Z - Italy looks so inviting, macam nak pergi besok ; )
Looking forward for more pictures, hv a gd rest of the week, hugs.

Nina said...

OMG, Za, best nya!!! When you wrote about the 'butt-clenching torture' being the narrow road in Italy, I can understand how you feel. Hahahaha... If I were in your position, my mouth will not stop 'bising' and how we wish that car manufacturer invented brakes, steering wheel etc on the front passenger seat. Hahahaha!! Anyway, the pics are marvellous. Should have a pics of you there too. :P Take k dear. Love Nina London

I am Ann said...

hurry up next post!

Luthie said...

Thanks for sharing Za, nice stories and photos..looking at those I also cannot wait to step my foot in Switzerland..bertahun tahun sudah hidup di Europe tapi belum sampai di Switzerland, kesian kan..pergi Italypun setakat border saja...ada lagi more updates/photos?

Luthie said...

I am Looking at the map of the place where u live, you´re not far from Germany border kan? Next time makan angin lah ke Germany. Wah so nice u, near to Belgium, Paris, Luxemburg, Germany....!

Wiz said...

Thanks for sharing zaza. My hubby screamed behind me " Lake Lugano !" when he saw the pics. Very very nice place. Won't mind going there again.

Wiz said...

Sorry, I mean Lake Como!