The Escape to the South
It was a looong wait for spring to finally come to Europe this year. This is a photo-essay of our escape from the cold and wet weather to sunshine in the south:
From sweaters, coats and umbrella into picnic at the lake in a simple blouse and jeans attire, with the sound of waves splashing against the boats and not water from above drumming against the windows – yes this is what I call a plunge into spring! And it happened in Ticino!
Ticino – the mediterranean South of Switzerland
Switzerland has 26 cantons, and one of them is “Ticino” (or Tessin, as we call it in German language). Ticino is in the south of Switzerland, bordering to Italy. In Ticino, they will greet you with “Buon giorno!”, the directions and information will be in Italian language. Ticino has mediterranean weather and vegetation. Other attractions include the Alps for trekking fans and lakes, which are favourite tourist spots in summer.
The forecast was for wet and sunny weather last weekend. We hoped for the best and hit the road, crossed the 17 km long Gotthard tunnel – one of the main north-south channels in Europe – and in 3 hours where picnicking at the Lago di Lugano (lake of Lugano)!
Exploring Lago Maggiore, Ticino
Being the local tourist we are we looked up tips to enjoy spring in Ticino and isited the Islands of Brissago at the Lago Maggiore, which are home to approx. 1700 plants from all over the world. The other tip we read of was the Botanical Garden of Gambarogno, which took us some time to find, but is worth a visit and a photographer’s dream destination!
Wisterias climbing along pillars (lower left, outside the McDonald terrace, at the Lake of Lugano) over fences, ancient city walls (this was in Como, Italy), roof up a parking lot (lower right)
Here are some examples of the Botanical Garden, Gambarogno and then from the Island of Brissago
Day 2: Trip to the Island of Brissago:
Surprise, Surprise: the day started off with rain! Between rain, sunshine, hail and again sunshine we reached Locarno to get the ship from there to the Island of Brissago. After a short stop at Ascona, which has a beautiful lake promenade, the ship headed to the Island. (There are actually two Islands, the Botanical garden is on the bigger one)
Again Azaleas! Wait, it there is more to come!
From the terrace of the restaurant – housed in the Villa of the Island – one can enjoy the view across the lake and the plants, the orange trees (not in the pictures, but which were on my side of the terrace) and other vegetation.
And this is just a short introduction into the wealth of plants, the Island maintains. There are plants from Australia, South Africa, tropical and subtropical parts of Asia, the Mediterranean area and Europe. From Azaleas, Banana trees, eucalyptus trees, lavender, different types of palms, yuccas and cactus, tea plants – the Island will definitely fascinate you!
But, that’s not all we did in those 4 days. Hang on to the updates about our Ticino travels!