Yesterday I took a very early flight from Barcelona to Zurich (6:05am), quite a shock to the system after the late nights of the tournament in Barcelona. However, early flights tend to be reliable and of course so do the Swiss. We flew over the Alps which looked cool from the air. We arrived nearly 30 minutes early into Zurich, at 7:30 and I was able to make an 8:11 train to the main train station in Zurich, connecting to go directly to Lugano main station. the train was uncrowded and really nice. I’d booked my ticket in the SBB app and had the QR code on my phone, very easy. Along the way we passed some gorgeous countryside…Switzerland is gorgeous.
I arrived in Lugano, intending to take a taxi, but none were to be founds, so bought a bus ticket, got off and walked to my apartment…the only hard part being a short walk on a gravely road, not conducive to pulling a heavy suitcase…my suitcase has really great wheels, but not mountain treads! And it was hot.
I’m staying at an apartment where, in order to enter the building or gym or apartment you need to download an app, fill in information, and download a digital key, but once done, it’s quite convenient (just don’t forget your phone when you leave the apartment! I dropped my bags in the luggage storage room, and went out to explore (check in was 3pm).
I decided to walk to the tennis club where I’m playing this week, to book a court for this morning, but it was lunch time so no one was there. I was able to get a cold drink and snack though along the way at the small grocery attached to a gas station, and was happy to find a store open on a Sunday only five minutes from my apartment. Swiss prices though are much higher than those in Spain.
I then decided to walk to Gandria, a small village on the lake which is now a part of Lugano. Last year we took a boat to Gandria…from the sea it’s very pretty with the colorful houses going up the hill from the sea…this time I meandered along the lake to Gandria, stopping often to take photos of the lake, the fauna bordering it, and the boats. Lots of people were wisely spending their Sunday dipping in and out of the lake and eating ice cream at the various “Lidos” (Part of the sea by a beach sectioned off for swimming and other aquatic activities) along the lake…you can’t just jump into the lake anywhere you like.
Most of the walk was along the lake or on the “olive trail” to Gandria. Gandria was famous for its olive trees, but they froze in the 1700s..and now are being reintroduced. (Lugano has a microclimate that allows for a lot of subtropical plants…I saw oleanders, banana trees (no bananas though), olive trees, agapanthus, succulents and cacti along the way…and lots of palm trees.) At the end of the route was Gandria, and I wandered through its narrow streets (there are about 200 inhabitants there). Gandria was pretty isolated till a road and tunnel were built, connecting it to Lugano and Italy.
It was quite hot, so I took a bus back to the tennis club, successfully reserved a court, picked up dinner items at the gas station store and walked to my apartment…which has 4 washers and driers for the building…it was nice to use them instead of hand washing my clothes which never seems to work well on socks!
Today I hit with Rosemary & Peter from Australia at 7:30, checked into the tournament (no t-shirt with entry this year though), and later went to a Swiss Lidl. It was pretty good, though prices are much higher than in Europe generally. There’s always something different in each country…Switzerland has a really good, thin French dressing (nothing like the American version), some different breads and lettuces. They also had a variety of olives and I picked up some really good ones packed in a plastic bag (not expensive).