Switzerland Lugano 2000.08.07 - 08.08

The California of Switzerland

The title of this page is an overstatement, but it's how some people in Lugano like to think of themselves. To us, Lugano was a return to summer with a dash of Italy without leaving Switzerland. After weeks of cool wet weather in the northern parts of Switzerland, we were more than ready for summer. The Lugano area, being at the southern tip of Switzerland close to the Italian border, is separated from the rest of Switzerland by 3000-4000 meter mountains, giving Lugano a warm Italian climate even when winter conditions persist 100 km northward. The culture of Lugano is Italian but the infrastructure is clearly Swiss. People smiled and spoke with passion, emphasizing words with their hands, compared to the more sullen and rigid Germanic people in the north.

We found a cheap backpackers dormitory for the night. There we met a Californian surfer who had been traveling for 2 years. He spoke travels through Asia, Australia, and Europe "thanks to NASDAQ". His words sounded interesting, but the sharpness of mind, the sparkle in the eyes seemed to have dulled, like a rounded stone tumbling in an eddy. We all need to keep our minds engaged, our senses alert, no matter how we continue to progress through life. After only 2 months of travel, Wes started to feel the urge to study or produce something, be engaged.

An architecturally unique church called Corte di Sopra rests atop Alpe Foppa (1530 M / 5020 ft). A gondola connects Alpe Foppa and Rivera-Bironico, a train station near Lugano.

Wild blueberries along a hiking trail near Lugano brought back Wes' memories of family hikes in the mountains of Maine where blueberries grew in abundance.

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