This will be my second trip to Switzerland, and as what I have promised after my first trip 6 years ago (Please click HERE to read about my first Switzerland trip), that if ever I got the chance to go back here again, I will be “bolder” and explore more places. So even though the first 4 days of this current trip will be mostly a business trip in Lugano, we have set aside 2 more days to explore another city, this time we have chosen the Swiss capital, Bern.
Our Swiss Air flight will leave Changi Airport at 11:30pm of Saturday and after almost 14 hours, will land at Zurich Airport at 6:10am of the following day, Sunday. Later on I realized that I will not, ever take a direct flight if the travel is more than 10 hours ( unless its free and business class ;-p ) I mean seriously, I don’t know how I survived sitting on a cramped space for 14 hours ;-p
It has been our practice to go to the airport super early so if there will be any unforeseen “issues” that we might go through (like excess baggage, etc.), at least we still have extra time to deal with them.
Our plane left on time and an hour to our flight, dinner was served. Well it was dinner time in Switzerland but basically it’s a mid night snack for us. I think I finished all that was on my serving tray, super loved the cheesy pasta and perfect with the red wine. So much for “do not go to sleep with your tummy full” noh! The rest of the flight was spent “sleeping” or should I say “fool your body by pretending that your sleeping”.
There is not much movie choices on the entertainment menu so yeah, just close my eyes and pretend you’re on your dream place so you can finally sleep. Two hours before arriving, breakfast was served, unlike the dinner earlier where there are two menu choices, this time there is only one menu for breakfast. Love the bacon (who doesn’t? Lolz), the egg is a bit “dry” for my taste, but still I finished them all (I just love airplane food, haha)
And just before landing, the FA made rounds carrying a basket full of Swiss chocolates, I want to get some more but I’m afraid they might charge me extra upon landing ;-p but it was a nice way of ending a 14 hour
sleep deprivation flight.
Day 1/ 15 November 2015: Zurich to Lugano
Upon ariving to Zurich, we will travel another 3 more hours by train to Lugano, a city in southern Switzerland, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, which borders Italy.
We arrived Zurich a day after the terror attack in Paris, so the queue in the immigration line is quite slow and long. After getting our luggage, we proceed to buy our train ticket for Lugano. Though we arrived Zurich airport super early (6am +) the ticket counter for all the train service was already open. Initially we plan to buy separate tickets for Zurich Airport-Zurich-Lugano and Lugano-Bern and then Bern-Zurich Airport. Good thing we told the staff at the counter our plan and he just prepared one single ticket for the whole journey, and it was discounted as compared if you will buy every single journey ticket.
Swiss Federal Railways (German: Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB), French: Chemins de fer fédéraux suisses (CFF), Italian: Ferrovie federali svizzere (FFS)) is the national railwaycompany of Switzerland. It is usually referred to by the initials of its German, French and Italian names, either concatenated as SBB CFF FFS
After a 14 hour plane ride to Zurich, we have to take another 3 hour journey by train to Lugano. Leaving Zurich Station on a zombie mode. Should have listened to my colleague’s suggestion to fly to Milan instead and from there is just 1 hour train to Lugano.
The train interior is very nice and relaxing.
And so our 3 hour train journey began.
Nature’s color combination of green and blue is really the best, it is so relaxing to see this kind of view.
We arrived at Lugano train station by noon
The facade of Lugano Station building.
We were able to find our hotel, Hotel & Hostel Montarina easily since it is just a walking distance from Lugano train station. (Please click HERE to read our experience staying at this hotel). We were able to check in a bit earlier than the usual check in time. So after bringing our luggage inside our room, we did not waste any time and went out to check our “hometown” for the next 5 days.
Such a very welcoming view
The Cathedral of San Lorenzo is the main place of worship catholic of Lugano, it is the seat of the Diocese of Lugano, and dedicated to Saint Lawrence of Rome.
“LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura is a new cultural centre dedicated to the visual arts, music and the performing arts, which promises to become one of Switzerland’s most important cultural institutions, with the aim of promoting a wide range of art and establishing Lugano as a cultural crossroads between northern and southern Europe.” (from their official website: http://www.luganolac.ch)
“The LAC aspires to become the pulsating heart of a cultural network that it extends over the city boundaries – involving the public, para-public and private authorities already active in our cultural world; such as museums, orchestras, artists, cultural associations, libraries, educational institutions, art galleries, and collectors – which aims to build upon a common project.”
Across the street from LAC is nice area to enjoy Lugano Lake
And we started walking along Lugano Lake to enjoy the view from different angle.
I had a photo of this on my first trip so I decided to take another photo again, with a special participation of ducky 😉
After walking further along the waterfront, we arrived at this area of the waterfront (just outside Parco Civico). The google map says it’s Rivetta Tell but I cannot find any additional info about this.
The prominent part of this area is a statue of William Tell, a folk hero of Switzerland. His legend is recorded in a late 15th-century Swiss illustrated chronicle. It is set in the time of the original foundation of the Old Swiss Confederacy in the early 14th century. According to the legend, Tell—an expert marksman with the crossbow—assassinated Gessler, a tyrannical reeve of Habsburg Austria positioned in Altdorf, Uri. Along with Arnold von Winkelried, Tell is a central figure in Swiss patriotism as it was constructed during the Restoration of the Confederacy after the Napoleonic era.
We went inside Parco Civico (or sometimes refered to as Parco Ciani or Villa Ciani), a place where locals and tourists alike relax, strolling in the shade of century old trees. Many paths cross the beautiful flowerbeds, embellished by statues and fountains, and the perfectly maintained meadows.
The park is divided into two different areas. The first one, close to Villa Ciani, is reachable through the main entrance, English-style gardens: large flowerbeds and grassy areas sit in the shadow of trees and plants from all over the world
The second area stretches from the lake shore to the river Cassarate and has a “wilder” look: here you can find oaks, lindens, sycamores and maples, all indigenous to the region, as well as a playground area for kids.
Enjoying Lugano Lake with the sun setting inside Parco Civico
The gate along the lakefront in the park is one of the most popular sites for photograph in Lugano.
Though tired from a very long journey, we ended our first day very satisfied with a very nice view of Lugano Lake.
Day 2 – 4 / 16 – 18 November 2015: Lugano
The next 3 days was mostly kept busy with business but I was always excited by the end each day tp see what beauty I will discover on every corner of this city.
A very beautiful morning with Lugano Cathedral in the view
Shopping streets along Lugano town proper
During my first trip, I “accidentally” tried for the first time horse meat, I ate “safe” this time around ;-p
On the way to one of our “field trip”
On our last night, we went around again at the city center to bid farewell to this beautiful city
So we bid goodbye to Lugano, we really loved every moment we spent here. I hope to see you again after “God knows” how many years. Tomorrow, we will be traveling to Bern via Zurich.