The day held a surprise, a destination neither of us expected to see during our stay. It began with our enquiry at the ticket office for the various boats that tour Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. Our Italian was basic. The lady issuing tickets spoke barely a word of English. But we were confident enough we’d booked a tour around the lake.
Only when we made the first stop after departing from Stresa did we began to wonder if this was, in fact, a tour. No one greeted us, no one offered any form of commentary. No matter, we were travelling the shore of the lake and sitting under the sun with food and drink on hand. What more could we desire?
We were intrigued when the boat stopped at a tiny island with a single dwelling. And, later, we sailed into Locarno. ‘Isn’t Locarno in Switzerland?’ We agreed with each other it was. Not a place we’d expected to visit.
Everybody left the boat. We were unsure of our status as visitors to a land not part of the E.U. and decided to stay until the boat continued its journey. I popped down to the bar for refreshments only to startle the crew engaged in their break. I was told we mustn’t be on board. This was the end of the journey and the boat was uninsured for passengers until it was ready to depart again. I ascertained it would be returning to Stresa, and they confirmed it would set off again in about an hour and a half, but we must disembark in the meantime.
It was an unexpected visit to another land, and we wandered the shore for a while until the time came to board again. The boat was, in fact, a ferry for the lake. The return trip was the reverse of the outward journey, and we returned to Stresa as the sun was setting behind the mountains, which is when I took this picture.
We arrived back at the hotel with just enough time for a shower before dinner, and amused other guests with our tale of a surreptitious visit to a different land.
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