According to About.com (Italy Travel) source: “Lake Como, Lago di Como in Italian, is Italy’s most popular lake and also its deepest. Lake Como is shaped like an inverted Y giving it a long perimeter. The lake is surrounded by beautiful villas and resort villages as well as hiking paths and it’s popular for boat trips and water activities. Lake Como, a popular destination since Roman times, is a top romantic travel destination and a great spot for photography.”
Well, the place does remind me of Lugano, Switzerland which I visited last year. Both have similar landscape since from Como it’ll only take less than an hour to the Swiss border. Another place that comes to mind is the Lake District of England. My family had the chance to see for ourselves the equally fantastic English Lakes in 2003. We stayed in a rented small flat in Windermere then ventured our way to Keswick (the Holiness landmark) and a town called Kendal, famous for its Kendal Mint Cake and hand made butter fudge.
My guide took me to one of the high points of Como di Lago via an old foniculare (an inclined railway) built as early as the 1800s. Whilst at a viewing deck, I asked a friend to take this picture. Now seeing this makes me think of many things – particularly those that are close to my heart (and head).
Been thinking of Willie A. too, my good friend, he’s in pain battling with brain tumor. I continue to pray for him and his family, especially Susan. Willie is scheduled for another brain tumor surgery on Sept. 1st.
This photo also makes me think of some uncertainties I face in my life. My time in Baguio to a certain extent, shielded me from life’s realities. Real life exists outside of the comfort zones of a highly subsidized lifestyle (both spiritually and materially). Lately, I feel like I’m getting tired having to depend too much on charity. At this stage in my life, it may seem late to think about this having lived this way for the past 23 years working as a pastor, bible school and seminary lecturer, and now a denominational official. Ah, time is too short here in Como to get a better picture of what I can see at the moment, but of course, my faith in God remains my strength in this time of uncertainty – ontological? Not really sure . . . .
After that brief soliloquy, all I needed was a very delicious Italian gelato. Summer in Italy is slowly fading out but it is still warm during the day. And gelaterias, I was told, remain open even as late as 11 pm. I have to confess though, I had gelato twice yesterday, hmmnnn, maybe ‘another twice’ before I leave for RP next week. Talking of gelato, did you know that it is “Italy‘s regional variant of ice cream but it differs from some other ice creams because it has a lower butterfat content. Gelato typically contains 4-8% butterfat, versus 14% for many ice creams. Gelato generally has slightly lower sugar content, averaging between 16-22% versus approximately 21% for most ice creams. Non-fat milk is added as a solid. The sugar content in gelato is precisely balanced with the water content to act as an anti-freeze to prevent the gelato from freezing solid. Types of sugar used include sucrose, dextrose, and invert sugar to control apparent sweetness. Typically, gelato and Italian sorbet contain a stabilizing base. Egg yolks are used in yellow custard-based gelato flavors, including zabaione and creme caramel.” (Wiki!) Now there you are, Wikipedia works with blogs, but not with formal research papers as it sometimes have questionable sources. Wiki gets the credit in this blog!
Now I wouldn’t say my gelato experience was totally guilt-free. I wish I have my six-year old Jan Isobel with me (Alyssa & Justin too), she’d be on cloud 9 with all kinds of gelati available (and accessible). Our ice cream back home is very sweet and I have been successful in avoiding it (sometimes!). But with gelato, that’s another story . . .