la crucetta...

One morning while walking the cobblestone lanes around Menaggio, we chanced to meet an older gentleman who was very happy to chat with us. He mentioned that we should take the short walk up to la crucetta -- the little cross -- where we would find some interesting history and spectacular views of Lake Como.

He said it was about 20 minutes away, just stay to the left around the golf course.

Game to take the old gentleman's suggestion, we set out. But our first attempt to find la crucetta failed completely. After a couple hours on winding roads and dodging traffic, we got hopelessly lost in a suburb-type development without any escape.

Still, not to be thwarted, we later found a printed instruction guide for the walk at the tourist informatin center. It pretty well followed the instructions we understood from the old man, about 20-25 minutes, following the goat path around the backside of a golf course.

So early one morning we packed a lunch and head out once again to find la crucetta. You can actually see the little cross on a peak high above Menaggio. We lifted our eyes to skies, and set our feet moving upward toward our destination.

Twenty minutes of hiking turned to 45, yet we kept going. 45 minutes turned to an hour and a half, still upward we strived.

Meanwhile, the skies grew ever darker, colder. The sweat on our lightly-clad bodies chilled and we shivered. We never found a golf course. The only thing that looked like a goat-path was blocked off by a contruction project.

At the two-hour mark, we became sure this was some kind of a joke. The people of Menaggio don't really want outsiders to find this la crucetta thing. They just want to laugh at us for being so naive and gullible.

And do you think we could find a little cafe on this route? Anywhere else we walked around Italy, we had to dodge the cafes and restaurants crowding the way. But today we couldn't find an espresso or a cup of hot chocolate to save our souls.

Yet we perservered.

Lake Como, Italy. October 2009.

Graflex Crown Graphic 23, 80mm Heligon, Neopan 400.