We flew from Seattle to London on a late afternoon flight arriving in London the next day, Tuesday. We flew business class and the seat configuration on the 747 has the seats facing the opposite way so that your next door passenger faces you only inches away. There is a privacy divider but when the seat is extended flat, it means the inside person has to step over your foot rest to get to the aisle. However, the seats are adequate and we were able to get some sleep.

After a short layover we caught the next leg for Milan on our way to Lake Como. On arrival we ended up in a large crowd of people trying to clear immigration. Many people on an Asian tour and no real lines. It took us 45 minutes to clear. In the meantime, there was a lot of crowding in "lines" and an Italian woman, nearby, shouting at an Asian for crowding in front. She carried on long enough immigration opened a window to clear her. A young woman tried to cut in front of me after we had been in line half an hour. I tapped her on the shoulder and said she was behind me. She drifted off. Our luggage came quickly and we were met by Lugafrom Lake Como. He is a very knowledgeable young man and to be highly recommended. I'll provide a phone number for him. The drive to Lake Como is like the Amalfi coast, narrow, windy road with cars passing only inches away.

It was a forty five minute drive to our hotel which is down at lake level. It was a lovely, very old villa that has been restored into a wonderful structure. Unfortunately, our suite was in a separate, newly constructed building. The person who designed our large suite thought they were in a W Hotel instead of a classic Italian villa. The suite was very modern. Aluminum strips along the floor, wood tables painted aluminum, modern prints on the wall. Stark, metal looking and very cold impression. It was a very large suite with a comfortable bed and two balconies,but a disappointment to us. What was really disappointment was the food that was very sub par.On departure, our driver confirmed that most guests complained of the food since a new manager had taken over and a new staff employed.

We had a delightful dinner one night at a old home in the hill area above the lake. It had been remodeled and was lovely inside with roses on every table as well as large orchid plants around the room.  The service was very good and the food even better. It almost made up for the bad food at our hotel.

We also were driven to Lake Lugano in Switzerland, only forty five minutes away. A very beautiful area with a shopping area of high end things. In one watch store there was a Patek Phillipe which had been priced at $195,000 on sale for $166,000, a true bargain I passed up.

On Friday we made the drive from Lake Como to Venice, but we stopped in Verona on the way. An old walled city, Verona has a many attractions including a Coliseum. We spent an hour and a half there including lunch. It was a nice break in ourride to Venice. In Venice Luga pulled in near the water taxi, hauled our luggage to the boat and it was quickly loaded. It was a quick 15 minute ride to the dock where our hotel was located on the Grand Canal. The hotel is a small hotel and our room was facing the Canal with windows that opened up. Below us was lots of boat traffic of every kind. Many Gondolas, working through the water taxi's, the ferrys, and the other boat traffic including small boats. Some Gondolas had a man playing an accordion and a man singing. It was a very unique sight.

We had little to unpack for only one night and took a walk to St Mark's Square where there many hundreds of people milling around. Heavy pedestrian traffic on the narrow streets. We ate in the hotel that night. The next morning, Saturday,  we got up early and had coffee. Not so many people in the Square that morning. Afterwards we returned to the hotel and finished the small amount of packing needed. Our luggage was taken to the dock and loaded on a water taxi. Off we went to the area where the cruise ships are docked. Our luggage was taken and we went by shuttle bus to the ship. We were checked in and went to our suite. When our luggage arrived we unpacked and went on deck for the usual music and sailing routine, including the life preserver and safety drill. There are only some two hundred people on this small ship, the Seabourn Spirit. The food was excellent and the bed comfotable last night. Today, Sunday, we are underway to our first stop.


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