My third Roadtrip
Bags packed, minibus loaded, group photo taken... Lake Como here we come!
There’s a reason that I’m so excited about this part of the road trip. I should explain. I was part of 2016's September EuroPhoto Roadtrip but had to fly back early due to work commitments so I had missed photographing around Lake Como. Consequently, I have been very much looking forward to today. Off we go then…
After a quick diversion to Milan to drop off the lovely Nadia at Malpena Airport, dodging one or two kamikaze drivers on the motorways, we arrive in Como centre for Stop Number One. Here’s where I will mention the daily challenges which Andrew sets to give us a focus for our ‘freestyle’ photography. A great idea and, after three blazing hot days, today’s challenge is to capture an image using the ‘Sunny Sixteen’ rule – f/16.0, 1/125th, ISO 100. Shouldn’t be a problem, except that the heavens decide to open just as we park up for our first Como break! Still, I manage to get a couple of shots across the lake with a moody sky and mist on the mountains. We take the opportunity to stretch our legs and to have a leisurely coffee and/or ice-cream, as the mood takes us.
Back on board and winding our way along the narrow road which follows the shore line, we pass through picturesque villages with amazing views of the lake. I find myself daydreaming about wandering along the little streets with my camera... I am gazing out of the window at the jaw-dropping scenery when our tour guide (aka Andrew Appleton) announces that George Clooney has a house on Lake Como. Maybe we should stop there for a Nespresso?
We arrive at our hotel in Gravadona as the rain subsides. It has cooled down the temperature and the air is lovely and fresh. The rooms here are fabulous! Light, airy and with all the mod cons. Everything here is delightful. The balcony with a lake view, the sweet on the pillow and lovely attention to detail – right down to the rose on the bath towel. The shower here deserves a special mention; it’s awesome! Huge with three water sources: overhead, hand-held and massaging wall jets of water. Having settled in with a glass of Prosecco, my partner in crime (Alexa) and I go exploring before dinner... and when I say exploring, I really mean we are off to check out the shops and have a closer look at the lake. All absolutely fantastic! There is an inquisitive ginger and white cat taking in the proceedings and it even follows one of the group part of the way into village. Obviously wants to see what we are all up to!
Dinner is a veritable feast. I have to admit to being a bit of a fussy eater but the waiter is so helpful and accommodating. And the language is no barrier at all. I order a delicious salad followed by Tiramisu but others are more adventurous and tuck into a selection of local produce, including fish caught that morning in Lake Como. Now that’s fresh. We have had some great meals along the way but this is definitely the best.
After dinner, we have a couple of drinks to round off the evening. It’s a sociable crowd and everyone has gelled so well. Yes, we talk photography but not exclusively and getting to know each other a little has made the whole experience more enjoyable. Our parting conversation is about catching the sunrise over the lake. This involves getting up early to meet at six and take the two-minute stroll down to the lakeside. Well, you know what they say: no pain, no gain!
The next EuroPhoto roadtrip.
If this has woken up your creative juices then take a look at out next Roadtrip, the Swiss and Italian Lakes in September 2017.