Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Breakfast in Chur, lunch in Milano, dinner in Lugano

The funny thing about living in Europe, which I sometimes tend to forget after roaming around NZ, Australia and Asia for a while, is that in most places, it just suffices to take your car and drive for a short while to cross a border. This is so cool: in one day, you can do three or four countries! How amazing is that. It shouldn't surprise me that much though, because I am crossing a border every day anyway, but still.

I got this feeling again last Sunday, when Rosario and Victor had planned a trip to Lugano and kindly invited me along (would this have anything to do with the fact that Germaine is in my life? ... Hahaha I'm joking!).
Lugano is in the Italian part of Switzerland, straight south from Chur and very close to the Italian border. I took Germaine very early in the morning, picked up my two friends and we set off for the 1.5 hour drive south. However, after crossing the Alps (in a very hectic way ...) and approaching Lugano - which, by the way, lies in a beautiful area - we saw the road sign for Milano. It said: "Milano, 100 km".
Hmmmmm. Tempting.
Victor said: "Anyone in for a trip to Milano?"
Marie-Anne said: "Oooooooh! Why not!"
Rosario said: "It's all up to you, I just want sun."
So the decision was made pretty quickly, and indeed, why not - we passed Lugano, crossed the Italian border and headed for Milano.

We were so happy to have done that. While Lugano promised us a bright and sunny 15 degrees, in Milano we were surprised by a very decent 20 degrees and a fierce sun. There we were in our Swiss clothing: off with the scarves, jackets and even sweaters!
We walked around for a short while. We didn't have a lot of time since we still wanted to do Lugano, but on the other hand we were really enjoying the sun - or, that is to say, Rosario clearly needed the sun and Victor and me were happy to stroll in her wake :-) - so we just hung around a short while and then decided to go for lunch.
I was very good - I am still in my "Days without meat"-challenge, which is actually going pretty well, thank you for asking - so I ordered a cheesy pizza. What else do you order when you have 1 day in Italy? A certain someone though, cheated very hard, dropped all ties to the challenge and ordered what must have been the most juicy, delicious-looking steak I have seen in a long time. Sigh. I shortly cursed myself for my commitment to this challenge, but hey, commitment is commitment.

After lunch, we took out the time to see the beautiful duomo of Milano, where I had fun playing with light and photography. Not much came out of it though, but it's all about trying, isn't it?
Later, we headed back to Germaine and set off towards our original destination: Lugano.

This city is the largest Italian-speaking city outside of Italy. It is located on the banks of Lake Lugano and is facing south, which means it basks in the sun all day. It is the most popular destination in Switzerland and apparently attracts a lot of celebrities lately. I can see why; it has a kind of calmness but still some glamour to it that everybody would be jealous of.
When we arrived though - jackets, beans and scarves on please! We're back in Switzerland! - it was pretty quiet. Loads of people were strolling along the lakeside, restaurants and bars closing rather than opening, people sitting in the park or on the tiny beaches along the lake.

So did we - tired of all this sun (;-)) we just sat down for a while, staring into the beautiful sceneries and catching the last rays of sunlight. It somehow reminded me of Queenstown in New Zealand, but - how could it not be - a bit more European. What a great explanation, huh :-).
We only stayed for a short time, which I think was actually all we needed, so we were quite happy to have made the choice to go to Milano as well, and when the sun was gone and it got sensibly colder, we headed back towards Germaine, who still had a while to go.

We wended our ways through the Alps again, and lo and behold, in the San Bernardinopass it was actually snowing quite heavily! So for all you snow geeks out there: not to worry yet, the season isn't over.
Germaine, in the hands of Victor, got us home safely back to Chur, after a day well spent.
Breakfast in Chur, lunch in Milano and dinner in Lugano - how many people can say this? :-)

1 comment:

  1. Wow, cool trip! Yeah, we had a very warm weekend here last week... Chur is a pretty nice spot: it's in the middle of Switzerland and you're actually in the middle of the Alps! :) Hope to get you on FB, your blog in interesting... See ya!