Day 10 - Lugano, Switzerland

12:32 PM AirplaneFoodCritic 0 Comments

Good morning, Lugano!
We started out with all the energy in the world. I mean, here I am at the home of half my family. I have so much I want to get out and experience. I am stoked. I am excited. I am ready! Breakfast was a great start. One of the best breakfasts of all. Loads of fresh loaves of bread that you have to cut yourself. The Swiss yogurts, milks, butters and cheeses are better than anywhere else in the world. They have the happiest cows, despite what California commercials will tell you. They also have the cutest cows. I don't know how that adds to the taste of the products but it does! I had a great yogurt that had fruits and meuseli in it. I had coffee with cream, and I buttered the breads before I put on the meats and cheeses to make my usual breakfast sandwiches. I really should take a photo one of these days! Sorry I have not yet. I am shocked I have not yet. It is my favorite part of the day! I have taken at least one photo every morning at breakfast but it is with my camera and not my phone so there is no way to get it into my blog.

We have good internet here so I am able to talk to the people staying with our animals. Our cat sitters are telling me our cat is doing well but misses us. Our dog is staying at a friend's house and he is doing even better than when he is at home with us. It is like he is at camp. He gets to go to the beach and loads of walkies. We miss him so much though. We know he is in good hands but that doesn't make us miss him any less. We always talk about how he would like this or that. We talk about trying to get my Swiss passport and moving here. Link would love this place. The air is fresh, there are so many outdoor activities. The people here are all healthy. The food is all local and real. Ahh, I love it here. Back to breakfast, I shouldn't be too surprised but this is the first place that had my favorite meat, the German Bologne. Oh man do I love that stuff. I love the salami too. Why is it so much better here than at home? Why is it more tender, more flavorful? I don't know. But it is. I made a couple butter, bread, cheese and meat sandwiches, had my fruit and yogurt and a pastry with delectable cherry jam on it. I had my juices and coffees and saved a packet of hot cocoa for later. In our room there is a little table with a tray. Most of our room have had little packets of instant coffee and come mugs available but I have not been interested. Yesterday I was just in the mood so I put water in the little electric kettle they provided. I got a mug ready. I opened the packet that was sitting with all the stuff. The packet said kaffee on it. I opened it and dumped the contents into the mug as the kettle was going off. I looked into the mug and it was just sugar! What?! They only left us some mugs, a kettle and some packets of sugar. I didn't realize because it is all in another language. I knew it would not be all that satisfying as instant coffee anyways but I was still disappointed. Oh well. So this morning I grabbed a packet of hot cocoa in case I wanted something later today.
Part of the store we did our shopping in. This display had bags of cheese for fondue on the left and raclette on the right. Ohh yeah, right up my alley.

After chowing down on brekkie, which was by the window with a whole, beautiful lake view again, we freshened up and walked across the street to the boat dock. We had planned a boat ride to a tiny lakeside town called Gandria, a visit of the town and maybe a drink, then take the boat to the town of Lugano to find the souvenir shops I need. If there is time or energy we want to take the boat to the bottom of Mt Bre and take the funicular to the top but that is only if we have time. We got the tickets which were WAY more expensive than I had planned. It is a ticket for the whole day and you can hop on and hop off but the times were not all that correct and it cost more than the gondola rides in Venice! Over 50 CHF later we were on the boat and cruising the lake. It ended up being pretty much worth the money. I just LOVE being on the water. The boat stopped at three or four little towns before Gandria. The weather today is a bit more cloudy than yesterday. It says it might rain on my phone but I don't think it will be an issue either way. We disembarked and I was like a kid all of the sudden. I went running up the streets. The town reminded me of Dino, a town nearby where we used to stay when we visited family. The smell of the wet chert and limestone stones just brought me back. I went bounding up and down the little streets that were all five inch high steps. There are no cars in this town. Up and up we went. I took a million photos trying to capture what I was experiencing. The grey stones, the bright green grass, the brown, wooden trellises with ripe grapes hanging from them. We passed a church and kept climbing. We came across a shop. It was the only shop we would see in town that day. It was a pottery shop where a husband and wife did all the crafting. The kiln was right there in the back of the shop. I fell in love with one of their designs. I wanted a bowl with the design of these delicate purple flowers on it but there was not way I was going to get it home even if I could afford it which I could not. I was able to talk to the owner and take photos of the kiln and the shop. I really wanted something from this store. The little dishes were hand painted with the name of the town written on the bottom. I got a brochure for next time. I normally don't care all that much for little pottery shops but that little design was just so pretty and I loved this town so much. The memories it brought back to me despite never having even been there!
The boat dock to Gandria, Switzerland. And a silly husband

After looking around the shop I continued bounding up the little stairs taking photos of every little alleyway and garden. We ended up at a road that ran along the very top of the town. It must have connected the town to Lugano and the nearby towns. We walked across the parking lot that lined the road and dropped back down some stairs. I wanted to head back down another side of the town so I could really see all of this tiny, hillside town. We ended up walking along a gorgeous green pathway. We were all alone. We held hands and breathed in the damp, cool air. Tiny bits of rain fell down. It was wonderful. The surroundings were just wet enough to bring out the brightest colors of everything around us. I was in absolute Swiss heaven yet again. We stopped and smooched and hugged and walked at our own pace back down the lonely path. We looked onto people's back yards and private gardens. I was jealous of them but I could only be so secluded on holiday. I could definitely rent a house here for a week though. I would drink wine, eat pasta and do puzzles and just be the two of us. It sounds like nirvana to me.
Part of the path we took back down to the dock on Gandria.

I misread the boat schedule so we ended up back at the dock 45 minutes early. The rain was coming down very sparsely but enough that we didn't want to sit at the dock so we walked up to the nearest restaurant. I asked in my broken Italian if we could have a coffee or a drink and they sat us in the back. We wanted to sit by the lake so we got up and walked over to a table nearer the lake. It must have been only for people who were eating whole meals because I asked if we could move and the waitress said NO!. So we asked for a food menu. The Hubs gets hungry every couple hours so he thought he could eat a soup or something. We got the menu and it was just freaking highway robbery. It was 40 CHF for fondue for one person. It was 60 CHF for two people to split a fish. No thank you! I think that because this place is so secluded they get to charge that much. We noticed yesterday that the prices in Lugano were higher than normal as well. The Swiss Franc (CHF) is practically the same as the dollar so there is little calculation to do in our heads...this stuff was EXPENSIVE!! We thanked them for their time and left. It looked like the waitress was pretty used to people seeing the menu and walking out because she was like....yeah, ciao!
Waiting for the boat in Gandria.

We went back down to the dock and found a sheltered place to wait. We met a cute little Swiss family with a little 14 month old baby who were on vacation from Zurich. The boat came and we had the whole ferry to ourselves besides the family. I was pretty tired from running all over the place so we sat in the back and I rested my head on my husband's shoulder and watched the unmatchable beauty go by. The boat stopped at a few little towns before the city of Lugano where we got off and did a little shopping. My aunt told me of a store that had souvenirs on the bottom floor so we found the store that was sort of like a Macy's and took the escalator to the bottom. Down there we did not find any souvenirs but we did find a food court and a grocery store as well as a shoe purse store. We were more interested in the food though. We decided to get food to snack on now as well as food for dinner tonight and to eat on our drive to Meringin tomorrow. We ran around the store like it was that supermarket game show. I got these tiny, one inch big salami sausages made from wild boar and two kinds of breseola, one freshly cut and one prepackaged. We got a couple cheeses, one was really stinky and one was a feta in a chili sauce. The Hubs got a couple grilled veggie salads, some fruits and an avocado. We got a bag of little breads, some chips and a screw cap bottle of local Ticino white wine. It was 73CHF worth of food but we figured with the super high prices of the area, we were getting a bargain by skipping dinner at a restaurant. We took our bags of food and walked the streets of Lugano again looking for souvenirs. We walked further up the hill this time. I finally came across a tobacco shop that had magnets, spoons, key chains and stickers. I started to buy a few things when the Hubs pointed out that most of the stuff I was buying was just Switzerland stuff and not specific to Ticino or Lugano. The prices were crazy high too so I put most of it back. I got a magnet that said Lugano on it, one for me and one for my brother. it was the ONLY thing that said Lugano on it in the whole city and it was not cheap. The spoon I almost got said Switzerland on it but it was 10 CHF. The ones in Venice were 4! I bought the magnets then when I walked out I saw stickers that said Ticino and Lugano so I went back in and bought that too. Armed with what we NEEDED to buy in this town, we walked back to the hotel. We got back at about 3:30, put the food in our semi cool mini fridge and laid down for a nap.
The view on the boat ride home from Gandria. 

Two hours later we woke up to rain outside our French doors. It was a nice way to wake up. We made a picnic on our bed and had the wine,cheese, olives and meats from yesterday and today. We never left the room again for the rest of the evening. We got a great rest and the view out the doors are so wonderful, who needs to go out? Goodnight, Lugano, thanks for another spectacular day!
Our dinner picnic on the bed. And a little Key and Peele to boot!

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