Bella Vita - Das gute Leben part 9
We awoke from a very comfortable night's sleep and yes, it was before the sun rose...why would today be any different! I threw open the curtains and opened the large window to feel a wonderful breeze. No in-room coffee or tea provided, so that would have to wait until the hotel served breakfast. We grabbed our jackets, camera and tripod and quietly exited the hotel. There was nobody on these narrow well worn medieval streets. We found a nice spot on the edge of the lake right next to the castle to set up the tripod. The sound of the waves gently rolling in was soothing as the sky turned a warm blue. Click!
Time for breakfast and coffee! Back at the hotel we confirmed with the front desk that we would like to stay another night. I think we realized we were exhausted after 10 days of hiking the Swiss Alps and climbing many hills and stairs around Lugano, Stresa, Florence and Chianti. So see LBI2SXM and Carol we do require rest! Plus we hadn't walked the couple mile shoreline around the peninsula yet, nor had we climbed to the top of the castle or walked the Roman ruins...ha! So let the walking begin!
We decided to start the day by leisurely walking the rocky shoreline around the tip of the peninsula. Didn't see many people at first, only a lone swan riding the waves to shore, it was fun watching him/her successfully beach itself. It was a beautifully warm day, t-shirt weather actually! Donna immediately started finding "lake glass" and small bits of pottery and terracotta, she was in her happy place filling her pockets. We walked past the hot springs with the light smell of sulfur in the air, one lone gentleman appeared to be relaxed in the small shallow pools lined with stone. We will come back later!
The views of the lake and the Italian Alps were amazing on this walk. At the point there were tall cliffs exposing the remains of the Roman villas, cool. We saw very few people on this walk, but families of ducks were everywhere and they were very friendly.
After a couple hours of climbing over rocks and navigating small trails we found the village again. We entered a part of the village that has some very fancy villas. We walked through that part of town a while peaking through gates making comments like "this is where we'll bring this person and that person" ha! One place had a fierce guard dog that was tired of his job and wanted desperately to walk with us.
Our legs weren't done yet, it was time to climb up into the impressive Scaliger Castle, but first a quick stop in the 12th century church the Sant' Anna della Rocca. This church is small but very beautiful architecture and wonderful stained glass and frescos. The parts of the castle that we saw were very bare, few relics remain in courtyards etc. I believe there is an interior tour, which we didn't take, that may offer more of that. The architecture of the castle is really amazing, obviously they wanted water access. Construction/dredging projects were underway while we were there. Standing on top of the well preserved walls I could imagine shallow draft fishing vessels coming and going in its heyday!
Once we exited the castle via drawbridge, cool, we went back to the hotel to grab a bottle of vino and head for the hot springs. We weren't as brave as the man we saw earlier in the day (7th photo), but our abused feet sure appreciated the soak! The springs are actually scolding in some spots, I read 69 celsius or 152 degrees fahrenheit!! We spoke with a Russian couple that were reclining in the pools seemingly not affected by the high temps generated from 2100 meters below sea level!, they said to direct outside water into a pool by moving rocks around, that worked great to bring the temps down to a really comfortable level, ahhhhh!!
After soaking our feet and a couple plastic cups of rosso we went back to the hotel to freshen up for another mystical sunset then a terrific dinner. We were so glad we decided to slow down and spend an extra night in lovely Sirmione. And by the way, our feet felt awesome all night!!
To be continued...ciao!