Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Europe Memories Refreshed

It's exactly 3 months since my last post but memories of our Europe holiday are still fresh. On my computer is this picture that keeps reminding me how much I missed Lake Como. It is already winter time there now, and the hotels are closed and there is virtually nothing to see. Our tour manager Andrew had said our trip was the last for the year and possibly the best time to see Lake Como and take the Bernina Express train ride up the Swiss Alps to St Moritz. If I ever go there again I have to go at the same time and hope the weather stays the same.

We have no plan to travel this year. Being in the loveliest place we ever been before I hate to spoil it by becoming disappointed with a lesser place. However there's one spot that I like to go. It is to Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro offered by Riviera Travel, UK. They also offer lovely tours to several European destinations worthwhile going.

While in London I was happy to introduce Regent's Park to my wife and friends. This picture is etched in my memory. It is the boating lake inside this quiet and scenic park, one of the loveliest royal parks of England. I'd love to laze upon its lawn on a summer day gazing at the clouds above. In fact I did exactly that a year earlier when my daughter and I went to London.

The original reason for organizing this holiday was of course the Cliff Richard's 75th Birthday Tour Concert. Thanks to my traveling companion who insisted we must watch him perform at the Royal Albert Hall, London, I chose October 14 concert because that fitted in nicely with our tight itinerary. Turns out it was the right date. Sir Cliff celebrated his public birthday on stage right before our eyes and the entire concert was filmed and made into a DVD which I bought a copy from Amazon, UK as a fitting souvenir. Unfortunately the roving camera didn't capture us seated in Stalls M about 30 metres from the stage. Anyway here's a rare picture taken before the show began. My only regret is not meeting Cliff in person but I salute his agility and showmanship, and he's 7 years older!

I told my wife I have 3 regrets, excluding the one about not shaking Cliff's hand. My first regret was not touching the water of Lake Como. We stayed right next to the lake, in Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, and there are steps down to the water line. And I didn't venture down to touch the water from the Alpine snow! Here's a picture of how I close I was. Well, that's not me but my classmate who joined us with his wife. The four of us had a very memorable week together.

My second regret was not touching the snow at the Alp Grum Restaurant station when the Bernina Express train stopped for us to come down for a photo shoot of the stunning Alps around us. How could I miss this opportunity while I was busily engaged to taking pictures I forgot to play with the snow! But my classmate did and I did him a favor taking this shot.

However Andrew helped take this remembrance shot of my wife and I with the snowy Alps behind us. It was a moment we truly relish.

My third regret was not touching the Avebury Stone. Can you imagine standing inches away but not touching this historic stone? Unlike the Stonehenge which is not accessible close up the Avebury stone circle is open to visitors. Maybe in a hurry due to rain I snapped some pictures and left without feeling the stone. This picture was taken by my wife.

However the visit to Lugano, Switzerland mollified my regrets somewhat. I've shared many pictures in a previous blog but here's one I like well. The fountain reminded me of the one in Lake Geneva when we first visited Switzerland in 1985 with our 3 children age 7 to 11,

And this last picture is a parting selfie of us with the Lake Como on the rooftop of Grand Hotel Cadenabbia where we made our home for a week.

And eating our daily breakfast and dinner in its restaurant.

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