Zurich holiday - Conn and Lugano
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Switzerland speaks four languages (and English!) We were based in Swiss-German Zurich and visited Biel / Bienne which uses German and French. Today we begin in the canton of Graubünden where they speak Romantsch, and end in Italian-speaking Lugano in the canton of Ticino.
We took the train to Chur. The post bus to Flims stopped in villages for housewives with shopping and school kids and daily life. Our walk circled from Flims to Conn and back. Shades of Heidi in the Alps and Julie Andrews singing the Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music.
Easy walking, clearly signposted, with sights to see and an outstanding restaurant for our lunch. Very busy but they found us a table. Salad with fried mixed mushrooms - it has taken decades for South African supermarkets to provide a choice beyond white champignons. For lunch he suggested pear ravioli. Pear?? But the filling was rich and thick like marmalade, made with dried pears, and served in a buttery sauce with good rye bread. Elderflower syrup to drink and meringues to finish.
Flowers along the way. The rosebay willowherb we saw in London. Harebells and buttercups. Two endemic wild orchids.
Our path wound along the houses and out of town. Past a wooden water trough and fountain. Farmhouses which look more like holiday homes for city slickers. I still use the wooden pegs for my washing, once bought in Switzerland as Berghilfe to support Alpine farmers thru the winter months. Each peg has been carefully smoothed off so as not to snag the clothes. Disappointed when we saw Lake Cauma, pay to enter, and HORDES of people.
I have seen this spotted burnet moth on English garden blogs ... so I recognised it when we saw one eye to eye.
The Rheinschlucht (Ruinaulta in Romantsch) is one of the sites to see. I remained down here, where I could photograph the viewing platform 'Il spir', built in the shape of a common swift with spread wings. He went up for the dizzying view of the Rhine River carving its way through the landscape.
On the First of August we took the train to Lugano, passing the little church of Wassen three times as train winds up the mountain. Real tea on the train - colour me happy.
The weather was mixed, some heavy cloud and rain while we were on the train. But Lugano was picture postcard perfect.
Campione d'Italia is an Italian enclave seen through the railing. The hillside covered with houses is Monte Bre. My pink hat is below Monte San Salvatore and houses in Paradiso. We walked along the shore of Lake Lugano with the promenaders enjoying the Swiss National Day. For once I had been up early enough to see Zurich in national costumes heading for the parade. Lunch on the train. Home to a supper of cherries, peaches and apricots.
As we flew home we could see Baden Powell Drive along False Bay and our own home in the distant valley.
I invite you to join us at Elephant's Eye on False Bay. Please subscribe as you prefer
Pictures by Jürg and Diana Studer
(If you mouse over teal blue text, it turns seaweed red.
Those are my links.
To read or leave comments, either click the word Comments below,
or click this post's title. If you are in email or a Reader, first click thru to the blog)