I was in Milan for the weekend. If you look at in on the map (theres one conveniently located at the top of this blog), you’ll see that it is really close to Switzerland. So, of course, I had to out a way to get over there. A metro, train, and funicolare (mountain climbing car) later, I was in the heart of the Swiss city of Lugano. Because this city is still really close to the Italian border, the citizens all speak Italian. Switzerland is really complicated in that they speak German, French, and Italian. Think about having to learn all those languages just for everyday life!
The train ride over there was nice. I was in a Swiss train, so of course it was perfectly on time. I got to the train station in Switzerland and had to take out some of the local currency. Those bills were the prettiest things every! They were so colorful! But they went fast. Switzerland has a fairly decent exchange rate, but everything is still ridiculously expensive (think, $12 for a McDonald’s chicken nugget combo, and that was a special price…). Then I took the funicolare from the middle of the train station into the main town center.
I wandered around the town for a bit, enjoying the Swiss atmosphere. Then I hopped on a boat to take a ride through Lake Lugano, getting to see the towns of Paradiso and Gandria. By then, I was getting hungry. The enormous prices scared me away from all the sit-down restaurants, so I ended up eating at a department/grocery/everything store called Migros. I had a pretzel sandwich (a delicious pretzel sliced in half and filled with salami, brie cheese, and lettuce. It was a good mixture of German and Italian foods! I later learned that when Giuseppe and his family used to visit Lugano, he would take his children to Migros, and they would always ask for their special potato chips. Wish I would have known that before I went!
After lunch, I followed a walking tour that I had found earlier online. It was nice because it gave really great directions through the city and good descriptions of fun places to see. It took me through the beautiful city park, along the lake, through the town squares, etc. At the end, it even recommended a place to get Swiss chocolate for the “best” price!
It was a wonderful, but very expensive city. It was great for a day-trip, but I’m certainly glad I wasn’t there for a whole semester. I took the train back to Milan that evening and hopped on the metro to get me near to Giuseppe and Antoinetta’s house where we all had dinner together. Antoinetta is quite the chef! She made the most amazing risotto alla milanese! We were all pretty much licking the bowl! Wish I had some right now! After teaching Giuseppe some computer tricks and skyping with various family members, we all went to bed. Lovely day.