We’re Getting Wed!

Wedding planning is going to be a big part of our lives for the next 11 months. It’s an exciting time for us with lots of ideas floating around and I’d like to share some of that with you if I may.

I’ll start of with a little background. I met Vicky at a black tie do for the local Ramblers organisation and we started seeing each other about a month later. That was 8 months ago. You may think that that’s quick but when it feels right, what’s the point in hanging around going “Will I? Won’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I?” Life’s too short! Don’t get me wrong; we both have our moments but we’re adult enough to admit when we’re in the wrong and make amends.

We like the outdoors and so I had the bright idea of proposing on a mountain summit on a fantastic day with glorious views in all directions. How romantic is that!! Unfortunately, British Weather had other ideas. Every summit we were on was either blowing a whooley or a white out. Not what I’d envisaged at all so I kept putting it off until the next summit and then the next….

We went to Wales recently for the weekend and scared ourselves silly on Tryfan; another opportunity missed.

And so it was that on a cold and windy day, in a white out on the top of Snowdon, I finally popped the question. I didn’t get down on one knee simply because the ledge we were sheltering out of the wind on was far too narrow for that kind of thing. (It was quite funny at the time watching seagulls trying to regain some dignity after crash landing because of the swirling wind.)

So the idea behind this thread is to keep you up-to-date with how we’re getting on. Feel free to leave any suggestions, comments, etc. at any time. Friends got married recently so there’s an open invite to them to come around to ours, ostensibly for some food but we’re planning to bleed them dry of any useful info. or tips they may have for us.

So where are we today? Vicky (rather obviously) said “Yes!!”, the venue, wedding car, photographer and registrar are all booked. We’ve been ring shopping and it’s been short listed to 2 possibles. (I bought a token ring for the asking.) However, we’re going to browse for a little longer before deciding.

That’s about it at the moment. There are times when I feel we’re in good shape with preparations and others, when I look at the To-Do list, when I just think “Argh!!”

Lake Garda, Italy

Lake Garda came highly recommended from a number of people. It seemed that there was something there for everybody. We weren’t disappointed! I’d also been told that it was an expensive place to visit but I think it depends on your tastes and where you stay. We had some really nice food and wine for a lot less than you’d pay in the UK.

We arrived at Verona Airport at about 11am with the temperature already in the low 90s. The transfer to the hotel took about 90 minutes even with several drop-off points along the way. The tour rep did his thing en-route to the hotel which I thought was a good idea – saves time having to turn up to an orientation meeting the following day. However, I’m not sure everyone appreciated it so soon after the flight.

The family-run hotel was really comfortable. The room didn’t have air-conditioning but it was still quite cool with the wooden blinds kept shut. The en-suite bathroom was tiny and a bit cramped but it served it’s purpose well. I thought that being next to the main road around the lake was going to be a problem. The road can get very busy during the day but I can’t say I really noticed any traffic noise from the room. The restaurant had some really nice food albeit very simple. Overall, it gets a thumbs-up!

The cable car from Malcesine is the easiest way to get to the top of Monte Baldo. At over 2,200 meters, there is a path you can walk up/down but I wouldn’t recommend it; the heat would zap the energy from all but the toughest walkers. From the top of the cable car, it’s an easy walk to a platform where the views are spectacular. From there, you can see for miles and miles in every direction. Not far from the platform, there’s a cafe where you can sit and take in the view. Even in full sunshine, it can still be cold if the wind picks up.

We decided to be a little more energetic and do some hill walking along the ridge. We’d bought a walkers map of the mountain range which showed a path further along the top that leads back down to Malcesine. We walked for about 3 hours, covered 2 peaks and still didn’t find it. We didn’t want to get caught out on the mountain in the dark so we turned back in the end and got a cable-car back down instead.

To get to the lake from the hotel, all you have to do is cross the road and you’re there. I tried to do a few early morning swims but failed miserably for 2 reasons:

  • the water’s freezing first thing in the morning ; &
  • the lake is taken over by wind-surfing and 1 or 2 kitesurfers

Both sports are very popular around the lake shore in the morning. On the eastern shore, the sun doesn’t rise above the surrounding mountains until after 9am. As a result, the early morning is fairly breezy. Once the sun does rise, the wind dies down completely but it means the wind-surfers have the beach to themselves for most of the early morning.

Fishing on the lake doesn’t seem to be very popular around Malcesine. There are fish in the lake; some of the restaurants have a speciality fish dish. It’s main ingredient is a cross between salmon and trout and it’s very tasty!

There’s a lot of boating as you would expect. Boats are continually zig-zagging the lake with a number of car and passenger ferries crossing the lake at various points.

There are a number of organised tours of the lake, visiting places like Tòrbole – the most northern point of the lake – and Sirmione on the south shore.

Malcesine itself is quite a nice little town. I don’t know how busy it is in the winter months but in the summer, it’s packed. Lake Garda is close to the Swiss/Austrian border and it would seem that people from these countries ( and Germany ) get away to Lake Garda in the same way as people in the UK go to Blackpool for the weekend. However, the nightlife in Malcesine isn’t quite the same. There is a nightclub but it’s nothing like those of the UK or other Mediterranean resorts.