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Report 1566: We Love Switzerland

By Kathryn J from USA, Summer 2008

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Page 9 of 12: Driving around Lake Luzern and Bellinzona 8/30 - 9/1/08

photo by Kathryn

Square of town hall in Bellinzona

On Sunday, our first full day in central Switzerland, we just followed the lake road from Weggis to Fluelen. We stopped several times along the way and got out to view the lake or anything else that caught our interest. We encountered a large festival - I think it was in Brunnen - complete with men with the large bells. We finally ended up in Fluelen, stopped for a very nice lunch of fish and salad and to admire the Ferrari's. Dennis was so excited because he saw no less than six Ferrari's in a 24 hour period of time. He even coerced me to take his picture beside one... We went back to Weggis by the highway and saw how quickly we could navigate the area.

The next morning was cloudy and threatening to rain so we decided to make the trip to Bellinzona through the St. Gotthard pass. It was an amazing drive - it was so cool to be going through the original pass through the Alps that was used by the Romans. The views were wonderful. It takes a while to get through the pass, but it was definitely worth the time.

We arrived in Bellinzona for a late lunch. I had pizza and Dennis had lasagna in the old town facing the Chiesa Santa maria delle Grazie church. I tried some of the local Ticino Merlot and liked it a lot. It was nice to hear Italian being spoken and the old town square seemed to be the crossroads for the locals as well as the tourists. We then wandered through the old town and climbed up to Castelgrande - the long, steep route. We both did a lot of huffing and puffing. I definitely recommend going up to the castle by means of the lift but the views of the countryside and the other castles were wonderful.

We traveled back to Weggis by means of the St. Gotthard tunnel. This is also an experience not to be missed. Being in a tunnel for 20 plus minutes is definitely not something you do in the States. It was amazing how they limit the traffic - and how they could engineer such a tunnel in the first place. This was also one of my favorite days of the trip. We love Italy so much, it was nice to get a little taste of it while in Switzerland.

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