Friday, January 23, 2009

20Jul1864, A Fairy-land Dream

STRESA, Wednesday, July 20th, 1864.
—This hotel (des Iles Borromées) is in keeping with everything else here, by being unlike anything I have yet come across ; deliciously cool, with its stone floors, high rooms, and spotless cleanliness : hardly so much as a whiff of tobacco to be met with ! We sat blinking at the lovely blue lake, blue mountains, blue sky, for some time on the balcony. At 5½, we went in an open boat, shaded by an awning, to the Borromeo Palace, and round the other island. The most delightful afternoon of luxurious enjoyment ! The palace and terraces, the glorious tropic flowers and trees, and the all-surrounding loveliness of the view from the island, was like a Fairy-land dream. I have not seen my old Fred so enchanted before. Then we rowed about, watching the golden sunset light up all the hazy mountains, sky, and water with tender light. I am getting hideously mawkish and sentimental ; so will change the subject, and end with the fact which is the real culminating point of all our delight in this perfect place :
No Fleas !

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