One of my favourite things to do is plan holidays.. especially at this time of year when it’s so cold and dark here in the UK. I love finding new places to visit, reading reviews from other travellers on where to stay and what to visit, and generally the excitement of getting onto a plane to somewhere I’ve never been before.
With that in mind I wanted to share with you a trip I went on earlier this year which can be done in a few days!
It was one of those holidays where we didn’t know where we wanted to go or have any idea how long for… I had some time off work as did my partner and there was the small matter of me turning 30 (which we won’t discuss on here.)
Some of our best holidays in the past have been spur of the moment, wine fuelled decisions to book a cheap flight somewhere with our good friends and then figure out what we’re going to do there once that decision is made… so with no destination in mind I took myself to the Ryanair website to see what was on offer.
Before you roll your eyes at Ryanair, yes I know… but trust me on this one!
Ryanair fly to Milan Bergamo airport which is about 50km from Milan. I didn’t fancy going to Milan itself but I’d heard that Bergamo was worth a visit and only a 20 minute bus ride from the Airport straight the centre of town for a couple of euros. So.. we booked the flights.
Bergamo is a city split into two parts – the Alta (upper) city and the Bassa (lower) city. The two are connected by a funicular (always a bonus) and it’s the ideal mix of old town with cobbled streets and tourist tat, and new town with nice shops and restaurants.
We stayed at Liberty B&B, I can’t remember how we came across it but I thought we’d booked a B&B and it turned out we’d booked a 2 bedroom apartment! The apartments are situated in the lower city and are a 5 minute walk from the train station (the airport bus will drop you here) and the funicular up to the Old Town. I loved the way the apartments are decorated with frescos on the ceiling, original floor tiles and a mixture of antique and modern furniture. Quality!
We spent two nights here which was a perfect amount of time to explore the city before checking out and heading onto our next destination. (Scroll down for why check out what a nightmare…)
You’ve made it this far! Thanks for staying with me. So it was the morning of our check-out and I had it in mind that I was going to start this blog and wanted to take some bloggery type photographs of the breakfast that you get delivered to your apartment.
Whilst I was busy doing this, the coffee I’d got brewing on the stove exploded covering me and pretty much the entire kitchen in a pebble dash of scalding hot lumps of coffee grounds. Not the start to the day I’d hoped for and then panic set in as to how we were going to clear up in the half hour we had before checking out. It was EVERYWHERE! The next half an hour is a blur of us franticly trying to clean the kitchen whilst trying to pack up and get our stuff together. The more we cleaned the more it seemed to get worse… I was scrubbing at the walls but then the paint started to come away on the sponge. At one point I was in the shower with a table cloth trying to get stains out of it whilst coffee lumps bled off me. Classy!
In the end I went upstairs and confessed to the kind owner who was really understanding (or just wanted to get us out of his apartment) and we left with the breakfast shoved into my holdall.. racing for our train to the next part of our trip.
The kitchen before disaster struck….
Sorry about the blurry image here… it was a photograph taken in haste! This was about 20% of the mess is caused. Awkward!
And here’s a pic of the remains of the breakfast along with the coffee sodden clothes I was wearing
I appreciate I’ve gone off on one a bit here so back to the holiday, the next part is to take the train to Lake Como, and then a ferry to Bellagio. You can do this in a couple of hours and it’s a scenic ride.
Bellagio is a small town situated on Lake Como which is really popular with tourists so we were grateful we went off season in April (it was busy already then, but can get heaving in the summer months). We stayed at Hotel Bellagio which is right in the centre of the town and the rooms have stunning views across the lake.
From Bellagio you can base yourself to go on ferry trips across the Lake to other towns around the Lake. We went for a boat trip to see ‘Villa del Balbianello’ which features in Casino Royal as the hospital James Bond recovers in.
We spent a further couple of days in Bellagio before taking the ferry and train back to the airport to head home.
The railway trip along Lake Como
Hotel Bellagio is the tall white building.
View from our room at Hotel Bellagio
Villa del Balbianello. James Bond woz ‘ere
Having a cheeky Negroni by the lake before heading home
I hope this post has inspired you to start your travel plans for 2014. Please let me know if you book a similar trip or what mini-break adventures you recommend!
Here are the links to the places we stayed:
Liberty B&B Bergamo: www.libertybergamo.com
Hotel Bellagio: www.hotelbellagio.it