arrivederci, italy

still no better weather to see us off from the hotel du lac.  we ate one last toast-free and fresh orange juice-free breakfast (our respective grouses) and finished the packing.  lou went off to get the car while i settled up with the rather gloomy owner, or rather, son of the owners who had been in charge on our honeymoon.  as i guarded our luggage i noticed he checked people out without any cheerful word of thanks or wishing them well on their onward journey.  giacomo would have been horrified!  at the last moment as lou was taking out the cases ‘gloomy’ suddenly started to talk about ‘the diary’ and diving into a cupboard presented me with a print of the hotel and a birthday diary, full of pretty prints of bellagio, something i will use and treasure.  family run hotels are a quirky bunch with a certain charm.

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we drove down the como side of the lake ignoring the bleating gps.  in como she became demented as we followed signs to the motorway on our own as the road she wanted us to take was closed with no deviation signposted.

then a familiar motorway drive in the sun towards milan, turin and then a right turn for the aoste valley.

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through the mont blanc tunnel (sweaty palms) and out into clouds on the french side.

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not much snow on mont blanc this time, i noticed.  onto annemasse to a hotel we hadn’t used before.  no wonder i couldn’t find the campanile on the internet.  the place where it used to be is now an empty piece of waste ground!

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the comfort inn lived up to its name, pretty and pink with tea and coffee (take note ibis styles) and biscuits (take note hilton maidstone).  there was a special dinner and breakfast deal with a nearby restaurant of which we took advantage.  that night we ate a three course meal, with a choice of two ‘plats’ for each course, wine and coffee included and no pasta in sight!

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