Saturday, 1 September 2012

Limone, Lake Garda

Monday 20 August. Once again we are up to catch the 9:00am ferry from Riva, sailing down Lake Garda to Limone.

It's the first stop on the ferry's way to Malcesine. We arrive at Limone after 40 minutes of pleasant cruising down the lake and arrive to an almost deserted landing stage. Once the ferry is tied up to the jetty though, people start to appear from where they have been hiding from the sun!

Limone is spectacular in that the sheer cliffs fall almost vertically into the lake. Here tunnels have been blasted through one section of cliff to make a throughway from one side of Limone to the other. Shops occupy caverns within the tunnel.

We make our way through the shops with only a few near monetary losses and have our morning intake of latte machiatto at this cafe bar.

From where we are we have a good view of the lake and watch the ferries come and go whilst we have our drink. The small piazza where we are has a fountain and a small viewpoint with benches.

Then it's back into another row of shops. Fran's purse is jumping in her pocket, desperate to get out and fling money around... She stops to touch a leather jacket - as an ex-leather worker she can't walk past a leather shop without both breathing in deeply and casting a critical eye over every piece. Luckily this time it is just touch and go...

We pass a museum of tourism that looks as though it might be diverting for a few minutes but as I've rushed Miss Franny past the shops, she is not going to be tempted by a museum...

We come to a wide promenade and stroll along enjoying the sunshine that is cranking up the heat and encouraging tiny beads of perspiration to form and roll down my back. I hate it when my hair gets all flat and plastered to my head... well... I seem to remember that I do...

It really is hot. We sit down for a moment with a limonate - a lemonade. Very refreshing. It is decided that I can go in the museum on my own, leaving Fran free to go looking at the shops.

"Take your time..." says Miss Franny, "no need to rush in this heat..." Oh dear... this sounds expensive...

The locally produced drink is limoncina, a lemon based liqueur packaged in a range of bottles some of which are shaped like the lake as seen from above or on a map.

I go into the museum. It has a few 3D exhibits and a whole host of old photographs, tourism adverts and posters and snippets of history about the lake's past including industries and the ferries.

The exhibits include old cash tills, marked in Lira and quite nostalgic for anyone who, like me, has spent part of their working life in a shop. There is a jug and ewer set on a stand, a reminder of hotel rooms (or any bedroom) in the days before running water.

There's a huge book of clippings from when the James Bond film crew descended to film the car chase from Quantum of Solace that opens the film. A few show a crane fishing a rather banged up Aston Martin out of the lake near Torbole...

We head back to the landing stage to check on times. We decide to have lunch and then go back. Standing in the sun, reading the timetables, we realise why everyone chooses to find some shade rather than queue for the ferries!

And on the way back to Riva, there's a good view of the road tunnels, right at the bottom of the photo. It is through these that Daniel Craig as 007 James Bond, throws his Aston Martin about in a desperate chase and gun battle with the baddies!

The tunnels and roads were made by Mussolini's army during the 1930s.

Large versions of the photos: all the photos from this holiday are now uploaded to Flickr and can be found in this set.

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