What a beautiful place; I have suddenly arrived in southern Europe!
I set off this morning at around 8 o’clock. It was not difficult to pick up Swiss route 3 as it ran right past the entrance to the campsite. Avoiding Bellinzona itself (I’ll come back to that I’m a second), the path took me first westward along the Ticino valley – very flat – but then turned south to climb Monti Ceneri, the dividing marker between northern and southern Ticino. The remainder of the journey was a gentle, at times off road, route that wouldn’t have brought me to Lugano if I hadn’t inadvertently stopped following it a few kilometres before the town itself. Route 3 by-passes the town entirely! It begs the question why there is an automatic assumption that all cyclists want to avoid all towns and cities altogether. Two classic examples this morning being Bellinzona, which fortunately I had seen yesterday – and now Lugano which I would have missed had I been paying more attention to the signs. If you are reading this and you are the person who designs cycle routes over longer distances, have a thought for we strange cyclists who need to eat, drink and generally take in the atmosphere on a nice urban environment. Politics over.
I could just sit here and admire the view. It’s a very elegant place, the town itself built on a steep climb towards the train station (and no doubt my cycle out of here) with a view of the other side if the lake which is steeply sided and deeply wooded forest apart from a few settlements near the shoreline.
At some point I will have to move on from my park bench and continue south to Chiasso then cross the border into Italy and the short cycle into Como to find some accommodation. About another 40 kms I reckon. Or I could just stay here…