European Vacation – Day 3 – Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

On Sunday afternoon Tauck provided us with the options for our tour.  They sent it up like room service.  It was delivered by the hotel bellman along with a large Lindt 70% cacao chocolate bar.  Tauck offered two options.  Cancel the tour and go home.  They have a reimbursement schedule based on whether or not you booked your airfare through Tauck and had trip insurance.  We are aware of several couples that chose to depart.  The other option is to make the best of it.  The revised schedule uses buses for three days to see the sights instead of cruising on the riverboat.  However we will be staying on a riverboat as our hotel. But all is not lost.  The last two days of the trip we will be on the ms Inspire and we will cruise the Rhine River from Rudesheim to Düsseldorf and on to Amsterdam.  It is only the depth of the river east of Rudesheim that is too shallow.  Yes, we are continuing our European vacation.
After breakfast on Monday we hopped on the coach bus and drove one hour to Lake Como. Lake Como has been a vacation destination since Roman times.  Lake Como  is an upscale resort area known for its dramatic scenery, set against the foothills of the Alps. The lake is shaped like an upside-down Y, with three branches that meet at the resort town of Bellagio. At the bottom of the southwest branch lies the city of Como, home to Renaissance architecture. 
We took a ferry boat ride to Bellagio for shopping and sightseeing.
After visiting Bellagio we took the ferry to the Locanda dell’Isola Comacina restaurant.  It is located on the only island on Lake Como.  The food is good homestyle cooking with huge portions and many courses. We did not leave hungry.
The waiter served cheese chunks from the end of a long sharp knife.
The owner explained that many years ago a priest cursed the island and said anyone who tries to open a restaurant will experience a painful death. Several people tried to open a restaurant for many years and they all died painful deaths.  Then the current owner asked a priest how he could break the curse.   The priest advised that if a fiery drink was served with every meal no harm would come to him.  At the end of every meal the owner whips up a mixture of coffee, sugar and liquor to make a coffee flambé and serves it to each guest.
Benny the restaurant owner is serving coffee flambé so he will not die a violent death.
We spent the afternoon cruising on Lake Como and viewing the many grand villas along the shoreline.  The actor George Clooney owns a villa on Lake Como.
Priscilla found a nice seat with a view in Bellagio.  The hedge is trimmed to look like the back and sides of the bench.
Bonus photo – we have only seen two types of vending machines in Italy.  One vending machine dispenses cigarettes and other vending machine dispenses snack size Pringles chips.
 Tomorrow we depart Milan and take a  train ride through the Alps to Basael, Germany.