Tic Toc - We're in the Swiss Alps

Trip Start Jan 01, 2012
Trip End Feb 24, 2012

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Where I stayed
Villa Porro Pirelli Induno Olona
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did
The Shops
The Lake
The Church
The Swiss Alps

Flag of Switzerland  , Swiss Alps,
Saturday, February 4, 2012

Just dropping into another playground of the rich and famous.... seems to be becoming a habit of ours!

We only got a 4 hour visit to Switzerland, so apart from admiring more breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps, surrounding the beautiful lakeside city of Lugano, paying a visit to the lakeside church which dates back a 1000 years, and finding out that Stuart excused his ignorance about removing his hat in church, by telling the church deacon that he didn't know because he was Jewish, there wasn't much time left for anything really, so, we went shopping.

Stuart's birthday is coming up in Rome, and I need to buy him something to commemorate this very memorable European birthday of his, so what better thing than a Swiss made timepiece, purchased in Switzerland? Well it's either that or a fur hat in the Russian style!

The watchmaker stores in this town outnumber all other retailers. There's more of them than there are restaurants, churches, clothing boutiques and shoe stores....and their prices range from what we can afford up to what we'd earn, combined in a year! In fact I'd go so far as to say they're a touch anal about precision time pieces. At a new stand, we saw 8 different monthly magazines dedicated to watches, clocks and their associated technology! Sheesh......just look at your iPhone FFS!

Suitable timepiece acquired, we played in the snow for a bit, visited the church, looked in the window of the shop that sold full length fur coats, toyed with visiting the Louis Vitton store, decided against it, and then hopped back on to the bus for the final leg of our journey today to our hotel in Varese, a little town about 10km from the Swiss border.

The hotel, was a beautiful surprise. It's a converted 18th Century Palace, set out in chateau style, with underground passages to take you to your room if you don't want to brave the snow and sub zero temperatures. Every room is full of exquisite antique wood furniture, with intricate carvings, altogether very, very posh and you're left feeling extremely special for having stayed here. A little bit of a mix of paradise and fairy tale elegance, that I could definitely get used to.
The grounds are sprawled across the side of a mountain (of course) and are littered with beautiful statues, vases, and muted soft white lighting at night, which reflects off the snow and makes you say "aahhhhhhh". Because it was once a palace owned by some obscenely rich royal or noble, it has it's own church complete with frescoes painted long ago and a total of 10 pews in two rows.

To cap of the beauty of Chateau Porro Pirelli, Hotel Varese, the whole place is blanketed in pure white, thick snow, that, until we arrived, was devoid of footprints.. it's the stuff that dreams are made of. Just leave me here, I'll survive, really!
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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