We venture out on a day trip from Lugano ( pictured on the left) to St. Moritz. Lugano is a beautiful town on the banks of Lake Lugano just 20 minutes over the Italian - Swiss border. To the side of our hotel was a tram that ran to the top of the mountain behind the hotel.
The drive from Lugano to St. Moritz brings us back across a border into Italy as we head northeast. Again, the small villages and streets along the lake are picturesque as any postcard. The drive to St. Moritz is supposed to be around two and one-half hours; that is unless two large trucks meet in a narrow street . Ours was a city bus meeting a truck carrying a large piece of granite to be made into 30-40 kitchen counters. After a long discussion between the two drivers in the middle of the narrow street the truck driver gives the right of way to the public bus. The drive is about 150 km. About 70 km through lowlands comes your first clear view of the Alps. First impression of the Alps is of this mountain range coming out of the ground nearly touching the sky. Up and up it goes at a staggering rate. It seems even the snow has a hard time holding onto its sides yet is is still covered with the white crystals here in early October.
The car climbs through Italy past marble and granite factories over a pass and back into Switzerland. The change is dramatic. Suddenly the architecture changes to Swiss and Austrian farming community with slate roofs and cows in the pastures. I finally reach St. Moritz after meandering back though villages along clear glass lakes reflecting the snow filled Alps. I swear the scenery has been created just for me, or, for some Hollywood movie.
Nothing could be this serene and peaceful. I keep saying this to myself, as I snap picture after picture until I find the next bend in the road and the next calm lake scene. I find myself wishing for more film, and wondering whether I should have saved some pictures from the last ten photos I took at the last turn in the road. All too soon St. Moritz appears ahead. To the right of the town stand ski hotels one after the other. St. Moritz is host of the 2003 Alpine Championships.
People busily prepare roads, signs and the ski slopes for the coming snow and rush of skiers expected in late November. To the right of the road is the hillside town of St. Moritz. Here the expensive boutiques, restaurants, shops and ski stores leave your eyes and wallet tempted.
On the north end of town in Lugano is Tennis Club Lido. Actually there are two Tennis Club Lido's. One is a private club and the other is a public club. I can go right or left to each club off the same entrance. I can't tell you which club is which. We played at the one on the left. For CHF 26 per hour you play on the most well maintained red clay courts I have ever seen. As a added bonus the courts are situated on the side of Lake Lugano. We played for two hours. Our only mistake was not having lunch in the restaurant there before we went on the court. In Europe they serve breakfast from 7:00 till 10:00. Lunch is served 11:30 till 14:30 ( or there about) and dinner is served only after 19:30. Trying to find anyone to serve you food after 14:30 until 19:30 is a major task.
Most meals here in the border towns of Switzerland, France and Italy serve meals with loads of fresh picked mushrooms. I have a feeling each day people are out collecting loads of mushrooms in the treed areas around the town. I saw a basket full of mushroom types I had never seen before at a restaurant we went to the other night. Some mushrooms were round and tall like logs.
Earlier that week it was raining so we found ourselves a great tennis club 15 km north of Lugano in a town called Cadro where they had indoor courts. The club was called Cadro Panoramica. Here we are playing some singles and doubles indoor in the heights above the city of Lugano looking down on the lake. Telephone 091-9434501 and make a reservation!