The day started early with a short warm up with Ellen Neumann at 8am (short because 10 minutes in there was thunder and then lightning, so we stopped…though we were the only ones on court who did!) Rosemary Everett and I started our singles match at about 9am, but the clouds over the mountains grew ominously darker, and there were loud claps of thunder (I never saw lightning though), increasing in frequency as our match progressed…and then the rain started, first with some big drops, then it began to pour. I was up a set and a point away from 4/0 when we had to stop. The courts actually dried quickly, with the help of the excellent court maintenace person who used sponges to soak up the puddles remaining once the court was pretty dry. We warmed up again (not with our match balls of course), and I managed to win the remaining points and the title.
I didn’t have any other match scheduled (we play our first doubles tomorrow afternoon), so, after lunch I decided to go to Lake Como. I really had no idea what I was doing or where to go. First I was going to go to Como, but apparently from there you go to take a boat to some more interesting part of the lake. I was on a train to Como when I realized this…hopped off and walked to the bus stop…the bus goes directly to Menaggio on Lake Como and takes about an hour. Since I hadn’t booked a ticket (which has to be done over the phone apparently), I waited till everyone with a reservation boarded, and since there was room still on the bus I was able to pay the bus driver directly and board. The drive was pretty for the most part and involved some very narrow tunnels and hairpin turns (very tight for a big bus…the driver had to honk the horn in warning before some of the turns). There was also a lot of traffic on the road.
After leaving the bus I went to the tourist information office to ask about what to do in a few hours and to find out when the last bus was to Lugano (the bus to Como actually…there were no more direct buses to Lugano). 7:05 was the last bus, and there was an interesting walk through old Menaggio which led past the remains of a castle, and past some of the many churches in the town.
It took a couple of hours to wander around and I ended up back at the lakefront. Lake Como is as pretty as Lugano, and the town seemed quite lively. I got to bus station early, but realized I didn’t have a ticket…I asked around and they were sold in a small store..it was the last bus and would not have been good if I had not had a ticket! For one thing I had forgotten to bring any euros and Swiss Francs were not going to work in Italy. The bus arrived 10 minutes late and fortunately was not full yet, so I had a seat. There were a LOT of Americans on the bus…the ones near me were from NorCal, and it is true, Americans are loud! The ride was along the lake so I saw more of Lake Como and it was beautiful.
The bus arrived at Como late but my train to Lugano was also five minutes late so I arrived just as it did, and the bus I needed from the Lugano Station to my apartment was also a bit late so all my connections worked out…it still took two hours.