Telegram received by Enid from Ethel Osborne that Marganit is full up - no rooms to be obtained but could get four single rooms at Hotel Moderno, Rapallo.
I sat at the edge of the lake and read The Times - Polly did packing. Lunched in the hotel for the first time - After lunch we took the boat and rowed out on the lake round Isola Bella and landed later at Isola Superiore (Pescatorre) and had coffee and chocolate and most excellent sponge cake at Piccolo Albergo Verbano. F. Ruffoni, Prop.
This is a charming little albergo - very simple and clean and with bedrooms looking over the lake - eau courante and a bathroom. Not central heated but with a little sitting room or lounge with a stove in, and nice chairs.
Pension terms 40 lira.
Later in the evening a letter arrived from Ethel Osborne describing the rooms at Hotel Moderno, Rapallo, and we sent a wire to her to take the rooms for us for Friday next.
Tuesday, 20 October
Baveno - Bellagio
Left Baveno 8.50 am by steamer to Luino. Electric train to Ponte-Tresa - changed to train to Lugano - wait of 2 hours - lunched outside a café on lake front. Steamed to Pollezzo - Train to Menaggio. This was an unpleasant part of the journey as we were very crowded and the carriage stank of cheese! Steamer from Menaggio to Bellagio. Enid went on ahead when we landed here and sampled the hotel. Polly and I had two rooms connected and Enid and Pippa ditto on floor above. Terms 50 lira by arrangement. Eau courante. Quite good food, clean and comfortable. Actually on edge of lake. Might be rather noisy perhaps in the season; but very quiet now. Some hotels already closed.
We all felt rather seedy today. Swiss customs here. The frontier is a bother as change of currency is very confusing.
Wednesday, 21 October
Bellagio - Lake Como
After lunch we went in steamer to Lenno - walked about and had tea at St Georgio Hotel which had sent us terms. Nice place, all visitors almost were English - terms 60-70 lira per day. Closes for winter end of October. An albergo just opposite landing step remains open all winter and we think this is where Lil Le Mesurier and party stayed some years ago.
Polly and I walked to Caddenabia and caught a small steamer back to Bellagio. Enid and Pippa stayed on at Lenno in the hotel till a later boat. No letters at the post office for us.
Thursday, 22 October
Bellagio - Milano
Decided to move on - telephoned to Milano about rooms - Took the steamer leaving Bellagio at 1.30 for ? and drove to station. We had registered most of our baggage through to Rapallo. We had a desperate struggle to get into the train at Como, where it was raining.
On arrival at Milano drove in 2 taxis to Hotel Roma and got rooms: 1 for Polly and me with bathroom at 93 lira, and 1 for Pippa and 1 for Enid on same? floor - Comfortable and expensive but dirty. Took a walk in Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelli and had excellent dinner. Then Enid and Pippa went to cinema - Polly and I walked round the Duomo and then went to bed as I felt seedy and full of cold and flu.
Friday, 23 October
We went over the Duomo then took a taxi and visited San Ambrosiano which is built on the site of a temple of Bacchus. At this church St Augustine was baptised. Drove about and saw the Castello - old hospital. Also saw the famous picture of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which is far finer than I had expected, especially if you stand well away from it.
We lunched and dined at the Hotel Roma which is not a posh hotel - very dirty.
Enid and Pippa went to a cinema in the afternoon.
Saturday, 24 October
Milano - Rapallo
We left hotel at 8.30 and after a long wait at Milan station boarded a train which took us through to Genova where we changed into a train for Rapallo. There were thunderstorms all along the route and the whole country was deluged. When we reached the hilly country it was a wonderful sight to see the torrents of water in the rivers and rushing down the mountains.
We were met at Rapallo by Ethel Osborne and walked to Hôtel Moderne where Ethel had engaged rooms for us - Polly and I one room with 2 beds - facing sea. Enid a room immediately above ours, and Pippa a room at the back.
We had some tea at a tea shop and then Polly and I went to a dentist, Dr Ballia, as I had a very painful tooth. We dined at the hotel and Ethel dined with us.
Sunday, 25 October
Polly and I spent morning in writing letters and business. In the afternoon we all three went for a walk - very under the weather.