Our 1961 holiday at Tremezzo on Lake Como, Northern Italy.
(A call at Paris "en route")
Avenue de Grande Armée
(Taken from coach).
Our holiday started on 27th May, 1961, when Ted and I took the 10.30am
train from Swansea (High Street) to London, thence to Chelmsford, where we
arrived at 5.30pm. We stayed with Phyllis over the week-end and on the
Sunday, Arthur and Gladys came by car with Jill, Mother and Nan (who was
spending a week at Kings Lynn). Ken having already come in on his
motor-bike, the whole Walker family were together for the first time for
very many years. We had our photo taken on the lawn.
On Monday at 7.0am, Phyllis, Ted and I set out on our journey, arriving
at Victoria Station, London, by 8.30am. From there we got the 9.0am train to
Folkestone and then across the Channel to Boulogne, where, after passing
through the French Customs, we caught our train to Paris, arriving there at
about 6.0pm. We got to the Hotel Rocroy, near the Gare du Nord, and soon had
a wash and a meal, then went out to see Paris by night.
Arc de Concorde.
(Taken through Coach window).
Lake in "Bois de Boulogne".
We were very favourably impressed with Paris - we walked along the Grands
Boulevards with its fascinating shops, the Avenye de L'Opera to the Louvre
and the River Seine, from there past the Arc de Concorde along the
Champs-Elysées and right ahead of us everything was flood-lit. The
fountains were beautiful and the shining Obelisk with the top of the Arc de
Triomphe behind seemed to form a cross of light until we got near enough to
find they were two separate monuments. We stopped for coffee at a
Café which spilled over on to the pavement. Beyond the Arc de
Triomphe with its ever burning flame - tribute to the Unknown Soldier, and
the flowers laid there fresh every day - we entered the "Etoile" Metro
Station and caught a train to Barbès, from there finding our way back
in the dark to our Hotel.
Next morning, we were taken by coach on a sight-seeing tour, and saw by
daylight many of the places we had seen the night before. We were taken
round the Cathedral of Notre Dame, with its beautiful old stained glass
windows, some of which dated from the thirteenth century.
Restaurant de Croix de Catalon,
in Bois de B., Paris.
Label on tea bag.
At the foot of the "Arc
de Triomphe", Paris.
The rest of the day was free, so we made our way to the Gare du Nord
Restaurant, where a door opened on its own at our approach. There we ordered
bacon and eggs and chips, strawberries and cream and tea - and this had to
be done in French as no-one there spoke English. The Head Waiter told us
that the "Bois de Boulogne" would be a pleasant place to spend the
afternoon, so that's where we went - via the Metro once again.
We enjoyed ourselves strolling leisurely in the warm sun, near the lake,
through the woods, sat in the flower gardens and sipped tea under the trees
at the Restaurant de Crois de Catalon (with the inevitable two tea bags in
the teapot). We returned by a different route, past the fair at Carousel and
up the Avenue de Grande Armée as far as the Arc de Triomphe, where we
sat in the sun for a while before catching the Metro back for an evening
meal after which we made our way to the Gare d'este for our night train to
Bazzoni Hotel, Tremezzo.
(Where we stayed).
We reached Basle at about 5.30pm and there had breakfast in the
Refreshment Rooms, of hot milky coffee, fresh, crisp rolls and plenty of
butter and jam. Although Ted made us well aware of the fact that he
considered the good old British breakfast of bacon and eggs far superior,
Phyllis and I enjoyed the change.
Soon we were on our way to Lugano with a panorama of sheer beauty through
the compartment window. We passed Lake Lucerne surrounded by snow-capped
peaks, and eventually climbed higher and higher till we passed through the
vamous "Pfaffensprung" spiral tunnels and so through the St. Gotthard
Tunnel, which is 9¼ miles long and the third longest in the world.
All this way the weather had been clear and sunny byt when we emerged from
the tunnel, the scenery was shrouded by heavy mist which as we progressed
became a heavy steady downpour of rain all the way to Lugano.
From Lugano Station, a coach took us, via the village of Oria (where we
had to stop for Customs examination as at last we were in Italy) along
winding lakek side roads to our destination on Lake Como; and the rain still
We were very pleased with the Hotel and with the interesting little
shops, mostly under cover in Tremezzo, but we wished that the mist would
lift from the hills around the lake.
The next day the weather was unchanged and we went on a boat to Bellagio
in the morning and hunted for presents in the charming little gift shops
along the front of the lake. We would have gone further afield but the shops
were fortunately under cover, and already our feet were uncomfortably wet.
That afternoon we had a "round the lake trip" with a stop at Menaggio. We
were glad to catch the boat back again to get under cover from the rain and
we arrived at the Hotel rather earlier than planned.
Veranda of our room in Bazzoni Hotel.
In front of Villa Carlotta,
Everyone was happy the next morning to find the mist had disappeared and
the sun was shining for our coach trip to St. Moritz. The scenery was
wonderful above and below, as we threaded along the narrow steep roads with
their breath-taking hair-pin bends, and I was happy to see so many deep blue
gentians growing, as I'd never seen them like that before. We stopped for a
good lunch at the Maloya-Kulm Hotel. We found St. Moritz very picturesque,
but we hadn't brought our camera !
For the rest of the holiday the sun beamed on us, and we enjoyed all the
various trips arranged - Lanzo (up in the mountains and overlooking Lake
Lugano and Switzerland), Lugano itself, Como, and of course, Milan.
Our visit to Como included a ride on the furnicular railway to Brunate,
where we had a very good view overlooking the town.
Lake Como from Hotel Bazzoni.
At Milan, after visiting a well-known and very unusual Cemetery, we saw
the original "Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci, and climbed to the top of
the Cathedral roof as well as seeing the interior. The descent of the
three-hundred dark steps caused Phyllis considerable difficulty and it
wasn't till we got to the bottom that she realsed why. She was still wearing
her sun glasses! The Scala Opera House was most interesting and we paused
for breath (it was a hot day) and iceream at the pavement café just
outside. Then we went back through the Arcade to the left side of the
Cathedral, where there was a large departmental Store and we had just enough
time left for a quick look round it. The journey between Milan and Tremezzo
showed completely contrasting country, as we had to cross the broad, flat,
well cultivated plain of Lombardy with its yellowing fields of wheat, red
and blue with poppies and cornflowers, before arriving back in the now
familiar Lake District.
Villa Carlotta Gardens, Tremezzo.
However, all good things must come to an end, and our last meal in the
Bazzoni came all too quickly. Ronco St. Anna wine will always take us back
there in memory; and we are not likely to forget our struggle with the long
thin yards of slippery, delicious, spaghetti.
We had a good journey back, ahving an hour to spare at Basle, we made the
best of it by having a cooked supper there. Our train left Basle at 12.40am,
I believe, and so to Calais. The boat sailed for Folkestone at 12.45pm and
soon we were back at Chelmsford, suntanned and happy with our memories and
one or two carefully selected treasures (including the musical table I had
After a night's much needed sleep, Ted and I arrived back in Swansea on
Friday 9th June, in time for me to get some shopping done near the station,
then a taxi home.
.......... it was a lovely holiday, but nice to be back.
Nearly the same, but .....
Gardens, Villa Carlotta,
(Belaggio should be on far
side of Lake!) →
↑Lakeside Cafe, Cadenabbia.
Maloja Kulm, with Monte del Forno.
Serpentinen, Maloja, with Kulmhotel
and Piz Lagrev in background.
With this ticket we had trip in boat on lake as shown marked by arrows.
← Azzano - spot where Mussolini
and his Mistress were shot.
Wayside Shrine at Azzano.
Lanzo. Overlooking Lake Lugano
(Just before thunder storm).
In Lugano Park.
"All in the day's work."
From Roof of Cathedral, Milan.
Como from Brunate.
This Group entertained us with Folk
Dancing and singing at the Bazzoni
Hotel, one evening.
Just arrived back home. - Broomfield
An after-thought -
That photo. on the lawn, Broomfield.