Thursday, 7 January 2010

Rest & Rejuvenation

My husband is a commissioning engineer and travels over the World with his job.  I would love to travel with him but certainly couldn't justify some of the airfares... However on this occasion, he was driving to this particular job... based in Italy.  

It was going to be a long drive, approx 940 miles so it was decided that I would go with him.  It meant he had someone to keep him company and I got to have a well needed break.

We drove over, stopping at the Holiday Inn in Strasbourg on the way.  The hotel was based on an industrial estate near the airport but that meant it wasn't hugely busy plus we got a room upgrade *grin*

I took my SLR camera and captured some of the amazing scenery.  So completely taken back by Switzerland... such beauty, absolutely breath-taking!

One question though... how many tunnels!!

Our home for the week was in Lake Iseo, which is the fourth largest lake in Lombardy and is in between Lake Garda & Lake Como.

We were made to feel so welcome at our hotel - International Hotel - our room was beautiful and walking out on to the balcony you could see the lake

While my husband worked at an alluminium plant in Rodengo Saino, I spent my days relaxing, going for walks by the lake and around the town, reading and enjoying the culture.

My favourite time was sitting in a cafe with a Daisy Waugh book, a prosciutto, olive & goat cheese panini, sipping on a latte macchiato and enjoying the view...

When husband and his colleague had finished work, the hotel staff would have cold beers waiting for them and a glass of wine for me along with a generous serving of antipasto.

Evenings were spent at a beautiful restaurant - Lido dei Platani - which overlooked Lake Iseo and had the best sunsets!

Here we would sample local dishes as well as the local tipples *hic*  I especially liked the limoncello and have found a recipe to make my own :D

After a week of total relaxation, I was sun kissed, rejuvenated and ready to face the World again.  We drove back along the motorways but came across an accident in one of the tunnels in Switzerland.  Luckily Tom Tom Traffic gave us ample warning and diverted us to another route.

Some people might find it a bit daunting driving through back roads that led around the mountains rather than through them but the views were amazing! Plus we got to avoid a 45min delay

Think you'll definitely agree......... The views are simply breath taking!!

We made our way into France, and again stopped overnight to break up the journey...  Its at this point I want to tell you about our hotel... not because we would recommend it, but so you can avoid it...

The En'so Hotel.... which is owned by Best Western and based in Reims, France.

It was undergoing renovations to the restaurant when we stayed (which the website didn't point out) but we were only there for one night so weren't too worried.

The reception staff seemed to tuck themselves away in the bar and only came out when a guest appeared.

Our room was so small you could just about swing a cat and the bathroom had been a definite after-thought. The toilet had been wedged into a little alcove and the shower although it could fit 3 people in, the tray wasn't very deep and the amount of water that came out of the UFO sized shower head ended up spilling out into the bathroom.

The following morning when we checked out, the amount was more than just the room and it turns out 3 beers had been added to the tab.  When we disputed this the receptionist huffed, tapped away on her keyboard and then pushed the chip and pin machine towards us, requesting our card.  When we asked to see a copy of the bill first, she rolled her eyes, and then proceeded to answer the phone.  It turned out to be a friend and she happily chatted away, moaning about how she had a couple of impatient people (she also didn't realise I understood a little French)

We asked for the bill again but she waved her hand and continued chatting.  In the end I spoke to her in French telling her that we wanted the bill and to stop chatting to her friends on the telephone.  She tried to blame it on the computer being slow but she was the only one that was slow.  It wouldn't surprise me if it was the staff that were having the beers and adding them onto rooms... most people tend to want express check outs which means they don't see the bill until they get home.

Needless to say we won't be staying there again...

When we got to the Eurostar terminal there was only one thing I wanted... Burger King Whopper!!! 

Arriving home to creature comforts we definitely agreed that Lake Iseo is definitely a place we want to return to!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a wonderful trip for you and your husband! There's just nothing like meandering through Europe. Glad you had such a great time, and thanks for sharing your photographs!