Part 2 of my travel story to Lugano starts with the beginning really. Because the first thing I did on friday after arriving was take a look at the lake. 😉 For the occassion I had borrowed Hermin’s bike and went bravely on my way. Camera bag around my shoulder and off I went. But uh… as it turns out a regular bike, a tight fitting jeans and a Swiss mountain are not necessarily good combinations!
It wasn’t all that bad but the first mountain was within a couple of hundred meters from the house so I had to get off the bike and walk the last part of the hill. That heavy camerabag around my neck didn’t help (excuses, excuses..) I know, I am a wimp.. High time to start cycling again here and train a little! But I did reach the lake and that made up for all the “hardship”. Gorgeous, despite the grey weather.
I got back around midday in the appartment and after a quick lunch (biking makes you hungry!) I figured it would be a good idea to go for a walk and discover the surroundings. But the weather was good and after checking with Google maps (I had been walking for about 1,5 hr when I did that) it told me that I was only 45 minutes walking away from Lugano center (Hermin lives in Figino which is close to Lugano)
So I appt Hermin (who was working that day) if she could pick me up end of the afternoon in town and I moved onwards. Walking paths in that area are a scarcity really, as they are non existent for the most part. Part of my route was along industrial area’s, busy highways and such. Not the most inspiring, but still because I took a wrong turn (Which you can leave up to me really) I ended up at the funicolare who went up to Monte San Salvatore .
I bought a ticket and up I went with the train. It’s quite high really and the views from the top are stunning. As you can see in the below pic it was still grey and cloudy which made the view less than perfect (you can normally see the snow covered mountains in the back) but it was still totally stunning and I was glad I went up.
If you’re close to Lugano than it is certainly worth a trip to the Monte San Salvatore. Pick a not so cloudy day though. There is a large restaurant Restaurant Vetta, on the top and while it gets mixed reviews on the net if the quality of the pannacotta is anything to go by than you can definitely risk a lunch there too.
After a couple of hours it was time to descent into the center of Lugano which turned out to be quite a walk still, as I was all the way on the other side of town. But the walk along the lake to get to the city center was beautiful, it was dry and I had my walking shoes on, so all in all a pretty good day!
I hardly saw anything of the centre itself because by the time I got there it was past four or five and I got a message from Hermin that she was on her way to pick me up. We would go back to the centre on the second day of Easter anyway to visit the easter market, but we didn’t know at the time that it would be raining and that half the market would be closed because of that weather. A pity but I’m sure I’ll have to come back!
After our visit to Verona on Saturday, it was time on Sunday for a visit to the direct area and we would visit a few nice towns around the lake. Despite the predictions the weather was lovely and sunny that day so perfect for a roadtrip.
We kept going in and out of Italy… I don’t think I have ever made so many border crossings in one day! And ofcourse we had to make regular stops on a nice terrace for a lovely cappuccino or a good sandwich (at bar Johnny) and … no trip to Italy would be complete without icecrea, (the one we had in Verona was begging for more!) so in Porto Cerisio we found a gelateria.
We should have known something was coming when the lady behind the counter started laughing when we pointed to the size of cup we wanted. It didn’t really look that big to be honest so we figured we would be ok. “Four flavors” she told us.. So we nodded yes. She started blabbing to the other ladies in the store and they all kind of started laughing and giggling a bit. Which should have warned us maybe but our Italian has never been that good so we figured it had something to do with our choice… And we understood why when she scooped up the first flavor and filled the entire cup in one go. Seriously? Imagine the pillar of ice when she managed to scoop up all four on top of each other. So we were going outside with about a pound of icecream. Each.
We had our hands kind of full so just a quick Iphone shot of our icecream… It was delicious but ridiculously much so we couldn’t possibly finish!
Next we wanted to find a place to eat at night so we went in search of a little restaurant that was recommended to us by a colleague of Hermin. After driving wrong for about ten times (how bad can a navigation system really be??) Hermin started making jokes about the restaurant probably being in an industrial area and so… guess our surprise when it turned out it was actually in an otherwise unpopulated area… Laughing like crazy we stopped, took one look at the overly lit place and drove away. Maybe we missed the meal of the century but in no way did it look very appealing. So we ended up after a bit of a search in Lecco where we had dinner at the local Indian. It was ok-ish but not the best meal. And remember a lot of places where closed due to Easter.
On the way back we mysteriously crossed the town of Erba three times… Another odd thing to happen. I did get a high Groundhog Day feeling, but thankfully we ended up home without too much of a hassle…
And just to show that it wasn’t us…. See the below picture from the navigation system? See that arrow in the middle of the lake? That is supposed to be us… I mean seriously!