Switzerland was my first overseas trip alone, I was always with fellow Filipino colleagues every time I travel to Japan between 2000-2001 and then stayed with the whole Filipino camp for a year when I worked in Saudi Arabia back in 2007. This time I need to travel alone to Lugano, an Italian-speaking city south of Switzerland and stay there for a week.
The journey started from Singapore Changi Airport, with a brief stop over in Bangkok then fly direct to Zurich and from here another 3 hour train ride to Lugano. I was advice by my colleague to immediately check my gate for my Bangkok-Zurich flight once I arrived in Suvarnabhumi Airport because apparently it is a huge airport. Luckily, I was in Bangkok for a short holiday a week before my Zurich flight so I was still “freshly” familiar with the airport, so finding my gate was not that stressful the second time around.
Despite the excitement, I was able to get some sleep during my Bangkok-Zurich flight. At the Zurich Airport, the immigration procedure was quite fast so I find myself picking up my luggage in a few minutes time. I was instructed to buy my Zurich-Lugano train ticket at the airport before I board the train to Zurich Central Train Station. I saw two Filipinos on the queue also buying train tickets, they were from middle east and was sent by their company for training in Switzerland. They said that they plan to take a look around Zurich first before they take their train and head to their final destination, they asked me if I wanted to join them so I decided to get the next train schedule from the original schedule prepared by my colleague and join the other two fellow to check Zurich.
After rounding the empty streets of Zurich for a few more minutes, we decided to head back to Zurich Main Train Station and wait for our separate trains which will brings us to our final destinations.
Upon arriving at Lugano, I took a quick cab ride to my hotel, and guess what? a Filipina is in charge at the front desk and she speaks very fluent Italian.
Hotel Zurigo in Lugano, my home for the rest of the week.
So it’s a sunday afternoon with much time to spare, I decided to go out with my camera at hand and check my “home town” for the week.
Lugano is a part of Switzerland located near the boarders of Italy so you can see lots of Italians around, most of them also working here. Just like Singapore which has 3 major race (Chinese, Malay and Indian). Switzerland also has Italian, French and German, with Lugano mostly Italians maybe due to its proximity to Italy.
The whole week has been very fast and its time to go back to Zurich and stay for the night for my saturday morning flight back to Singapore. I took the train again back to Zurich and arrived on a drizzly friday afternoon.
Hotel du Theatre, my home for my last swiss night in Zurich
It’s been drizzling the whole afternoon until night time so I was not able to get good night shots of Zurich.
One thing I noticed, almost all of their great building have bell tower, I wonder why 😉
Saturday day morning, I decided to wake up much earlier so that I could still roam the streets of Zurich for the last time.
It was a very short but very memorable trip for me, the people are nice, the food is great (but give big serving, which most of the time I cannot finish, hehe). Almost everywhere you turn, it’s like picture perfect. I wish I could have explored some more, maybe there were still some “fear” in me during that time since it’s my first time to travel alone. But hopefully, in the near future, if given the opportunity to go back there, will definitely explore every corner of it.
Transportation: The trains are very useful and the schedules are on the dot, cabs are reliable too.
Food: In Lugano, mostly the food is Italian influence so mostly pizza and pasta. Also it is here where for the first time I tried horse meat, I can’t remember how it taste or if I enjoyed it that time because I was preoccupied by the thought that there is a horse inside my mouth (yeah, I am not that adventurous when it comes to food. Hehe). In Zurich, the food is mostly German influence so you should try all the sausage as much as you can, even those that they are selling on local convenient stores are worth it.
People: They are warm and helpful, I remember my first day in Zurich, when we were roaming around Zurich and got lost, the first person we ask for direction immediately showed us the way.