I've probably said this before, but I love Stresa. It's as if they combined the best of Italy and Switzerland and put them into one little town surrounded by stunning mountains and lakeside scenery.
That day two weeks ago, my first goal was to do something energetic, so I got the cable car up to Mottorone (Ok, so not that energetic!) and set off for a bit of a hike. This is where I finished up:
If I hadn't been starving and short of water, I would probably have done the 2.5 hour walk back down to Stresa, but under the circumstances I decided that it would be better to go back to the cable car. In the interest of diversity, I decided to go back a different way, and it turned out to be steep, exposed and definitely longer than the way I came. The sun beat down and the sweat dripped off me and the half hour back to the cable car seemed endless. I arrived looking as though I had been swimming and was too embarrassed to sit in the restaurant to eat, so after mopping myself down in the toilets, I bought a sandwich and found a place to hide among the trees to eat it.
Then I got the cable car back down to Stresa and jumped straight in the lake, which is probably what I should have done at the very beginning. Hiking at midday in 35 degree heat is not good for your health!