But not before some shopping!
24.08.2012 - 28.08.2012 82 °F
To Shop or Not to Shop...
Ascona is definitely the place to shop with all the sophistication expected of Switzerland. Streets are clean, flower displays oppulent and watered. Most store staff speak English and ARE FRIENDLY!
Ascona from the water
The town itself has a really comfortable vibe. Parking is easy either on-street or in the underground carpark. Some streets are wide and modern whereas those housing small boutiques catering to every taste, and specialist food (cheese, pasta, hams) shops seem to be along the small cobbled streets, which are largely pedestrianised. But the Falke (they of outstanding tights, stockings, socks etc) stand-alone store was my favourite. It's fabulous but guys don't panic; next door is a boat 'shop' to salivate over. There's a real-life specimen on display shining like a film star's new veneers, its leather seating Botoxed to smooth unlined perfection and wooden decks that will never see a stiletto. And right next door to that...a cosmopolitan bar/restaurant. This is also clearly 'car strut street'. They are all here; Ferrari (of course), Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Bentley. All parked, cruising or revving.
Head downhill and you will come to the promenade on the edge of the lake; much prettier than all the other places we had seen. There's the ubiquitous row of restaurants all selling pretty much the same thing (pizza, pasta, lake fish) but there is a warm, friendly atmosphere and LOTS OF SMILES! Early for your ferry? Order a drink, pay straight away and it'll be a simple hop, skip and jump on to the boat's deck.
Sadly it's Goodbye to the blissful Eden Roc and Hello to put-your-other-head-on-if-you-are-flying-Ryanair. TIP: go through last. The first 85%'ish passengers for this flight were told by a po-faced member of Ryanair staff their bags were probably too big. Now while it can be mildly amusing watching people attempt to wear all their clothing so their bag will shove into that flippin' measuring box thing it's all so unneccesarily stressful. As it started to dawn on the the aforementioned 'po-faced one' we were almost at take-off time, all checking went out the cattle-shed departure lounge windows (if you'd flown Ryanair out of Milan you'll know exactly what I mean) and she practically threw us on the bus. Shame. I was feeling thrilled we wouldn't get that bloody trumpet fanfare when we landed in Stansted as we were clearly going to be late.
I think Ryanair should be renamed Supermarket Sweep as the first 30-45 minutes seem to be taken up with the sale of scratch cards, duty free, food (that's truly what they call it), sweets, magazines, newspapers, puppies and kittens. Ok, I made the last two up but you get my drift. By the time they came around with drinks I'd totally lost interest. One blessing: we weren't flying EasyJet and we didn't have to sing Happy Birthday to cabin staff member Wayne, Britney or Chelsea.