Friday, September 28, 2012

Lugano, Como and Lucerne

After completing Ironman Zurich Switzerland, Kristine and I made a bee-line for warmer climes. Though Zurich had treated us well, race day's cold rain really left a mark in our minds. All we wanted after that long, hard day was some sunshine and a solid plate of spaghetti carbonara. We scoured weather reports for the various regions of the Swiss countryside and opted for the most promising option: Lugano, at the heart of Ticino, along Switzerland's southern border.

Lugano was idyllic. The city managed to combine the best of the Swiss with the best of the Italians. The city itself was beautiful, clean, and well-run. The food was fantastic. The landscapes were breathtaking.

By the time we left Lugano, both Kristine and I were trying to puzzle out a way to actually just up and move there. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a town quite so much. I'll never forget the first meal we had there - an absolutely brilliant Italian dinner at a tiny restaurant with a market-fresh menu of only four items - or the sunset views from the top of Monte San Salvatore.

After several incredibly relaxing days in Lugano, we decided to visit Lake Como. After a white-knuckle journey by bus along Lake Lugano, we arrived in Menaggio and then hopped aboard a ferry to Bellagio. We had arrived in the true Italian paradise.

Lake Como is a much more tourist-centric locale, filled with this hustle and bustle of many visitors seeing sights, and for that reason, we liked it slightly less than Lugano. Our time in Lake Como was no less enjoyable, however. We spent our days wandering around the town, watching ducks and ducklings, exploring gardens, learning to make pasta, and eating fantastic Italian food.

Unfortunately, no vacation can truly last forever. After an absolutely amazing week together, it came time to make our way back to Zurich and ultimately back to the real world.

We did manage to delay the inevitable by one night, however, and decided to spend it in Lucerne. We were again treated to perfect weather, and were surprised to discover a vibrant and entertaining music festival just a few blocks from our hotel!

Switzerland is a gorgeous place, and I will forever look back on this vacation as one of the most amazing trips I've ever taken. And best of all, I got to share it with the love of my life. Now... how soon can we go back?!