From Ticino to Valais
Enough of this pandemic! I think it's just time to spend the weekend in Lugano, Ticino, and the Valais. Let's do that extended weekend, come on friends! On our way down to Ticino we have to pass through the Gotthard road tunnel which is 16.9 kilometers long and runs below the Gotthard pass into Italian-speaking Switzerland. Coming from Fribourg it took about four hours to get to hotel Parco Paradiso in Lugano. Nice, very nice suit apartment hotel and the view was splendid I have to say.
as all restaurants are closed in the city we booked a table at the Japanese in-house restaurant. Although the chef is not Japanese as you can see obviously he was pretty professional in preparing everything here. The preparation of my beef was looking incredible and I was really happy to see what's on the plate but unfortunately everything was cold. Dessert helped me to relieve my pain! Good morning! I got up really early that morning and after a hearty breakfast, I went to the Valle Maggia. For a long time I have wanted to travel to the Valle Maggia so this morning was the right morning to just do a little reconnaissance.
The drive was going from Lugano via Bellinzona to Locarno and we started our little (recconnaissance) in Avegno. The Valle Maggia is only about 35 kilometers away from Lugano but because of its low altitude, temperatures are mild with a nearly mediterranean climate, allowing palm trees to grow all year round. The Maggia Valley also enchants with its idyllic Ticino villages, the crystalline river that gives the valley its name and the lush green vegetation and its wild nature.
Right everyone, hello! We are in a little town called Avegno which is pretty old in Ticino, in the south of Switzerland and this town of Avegno is in the valley of Maggia which is a well-known valley for hiking. There are many reasons to visit Avegno. The picturesque stone houses, the romantic location right on the Maggia, the chestnut trees but Avegno is more than a typical Ticino village. Anyone who follows the signposted village walk, also explores a piece of Swiss farming history. Maggia was first recorded in 1270 as Madiis.
This history contradicts a persistent legend about the history of the town's name Maggio, meaning May in Italian, was thought to be the source of Maggia's name as legend dictated and that in this month settlers first arrived at the site. Roman era graves have been discovered in Maggia as well. I'm trying to find the waterfall here which is called Cascata del Salto and... just have to be a bit careful on how I step and where I step. Obviously I came from the wrong side! At least it looks like that! so let's see if I get through here. I had obviously come from the wrong side and it was a difficult task to get pictures from the waterfall....but finally Cascata del Salto! Beautiful! Cascata de Salto in Maggia! This wide waterfall is 60 meters high and ends in a large pool that is great for a refreshing swim.
So this is part of the village of Maggia. M-a-g-g-i-a So we're gonna take another trail. Now let's see...look at this cool stairs here, cool stuff So here: "If water rises run away! You are warned not to stay on the riverbed, the hydroelectric plants may cause sudden flooding anytime!" That's a good warning! Here you have some vineyards! It is steep! It doesn't only look steep, it is steep! I had actually planned to walk up to the top of the steps and look at the waterfall from above, but unfortunately time was getting short and I had to go back. So tomorrow I'm gonna go to a completely different region we'll drive through the Valais... from Ticino and stay a night at Crans-Montana.
So there's gonna be some other nice places to see and probably I'll do some streaming during the drive because it's going through the mountains. Should be nice. And with these images our little excursion to the Valle Maggia finishes here.
After a good night's sleep we went for a stroll through Lugano City Oh yes! the Government ordered all restaurants closed! Is this (stuffed animals) perhaps a little protest here? Lugano is a lakeside city in the "Cantone Ticino" The only majority Italian-speaking Canton of Switzerland. Located at the extreme south of the country, Lugano is part of a temperate micro-climate offering palm trees and picturesque boulevards, stunning views of the lake and the alps and plenty of opportunities for outdoor and indoor activities. The city is a pleasant place to relax in the summer time and is only half an hour away from the Italian cities of Como and Varese. Many major labels and designer boutiques can be found here as well as the usual Swiss and Italian knick-knacks.
Via Nassa in the city center is the main place for shopping high street brands. And unfortunately all lively Lugano was shut because of the pandemic. So the only thing we found was a little coffee bar. I'm having a little coffee here in Lugano as you see, as we're not allowed to...
to have coffee outside at the bars or restaurants. So we just have to deal with that. cheers! And before leaving to the Valais, I wanted to just have a stop at Swissminiature which is Switzerland on a smaller scale if you want. There are 128 models of houses castles and monuments in the open air, all distributed throughout the 14 000 square meter park The models have been recreated authentically with great attention to detail and are surrounded by thousands of plants and flowers. Swissminiature in Melide, which has opened in 1959 is the only miniature park in Switzerland. The detailed and authentic models include well-known sites such as
the Heidi village in Maienfeld, known to everyone. The castles of Burgdorf and one of the most visited castles of Chillon, the federal parliament in Bern and at the end, the cathedral of Milan, the only model that can also be viewed from the inside. After our visit at Swissminiature we drove from Lugano to Andermatt and then through the Urseren valley and the Goms valley to Crans-Montana. And here just a few impressions of the Urseren valley and the town of Hospental, nearby Andermatt.
The Furka car transport takes you through the Furka tunnel. Here from Realp in the Canton of Uri to Oberwald in the Canton of Valais and back, all year round. Prior to the construction of the Furka base tunnel, all traffic had to use the historic high level route via the 1.8 kilometers long Furka summit tunnel, which was only
available seasonally due to the threat posed by the heavy snowfalls. Construction commenced during 1971, taking 10 years to complete. The Furka base tunnel is 15 kilometers in length and it takes you approximately 20 minutes on the train to get through the tunnel. The price range lies between 27.00 and 33.00 Swiss Francs for motor vehicles of category 1. On our way to Crans-Montana I decided to stop at the Goms bridge which with its 280 meters is one of the longest suspension footbridges in the Valais.
Inaugurated in 2015, it spans the Lama gorge linking the villages of Fürgangen and Mühlebach. The walkway brushes the tops of hundred-year-old trees and passes a giddy 92 m above the river Rôhne. Good news for walkers: The attraction is always open. Approximately six hours after leaving Lugano we arrived in Crans-Montana. Beautiful place, not for cheap travel I have to say. But it was a nice wellness hotel.
We had a good dinner and I had a very good night's sleep. Finally my trip came to an end and I enjoyed the drive down from Crans-Montana to the valley. Before ending this video however, let me share some of the aerial views of the area in the Valais. And while I am on my last leg to Martigny and Fribourg I would like to say thank you to everyone who watched this video, I hope you enjoyed it and if you'd like to see more don't forget to subscribe to my youtube channel. See you soon on one of my other trips...