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located here: asconabellinzonalocarnoluganomendrisio

after visiting the gotthard base tunnel, we continued to bellinzona to enjoy the rest of the day. in ticino, it was sunny as opposed to the fog north of the gotthard! we visited the castelgrande, explored the old town and had some nice thick hot chocolate and marroni cake.

two weeks ago, we tried out the bernina express panoramic train from chur to tirano, and afterwards the bernina express bus to lugano.

the beginning of the trip, from chur to st. moritz, is similar to the last part of the glacier express train ride (starting in zermatt), following the albula line, and then follows the bernina line via the bernina pass to italy, peaking at 2253 meters above sea level.

we were lucky and the weather was (once again) quite good – which was quite some luck: on the day before, where we originally wanted to go but didn’t got a reservation, it was raining like crazy. the panorama carriages were once again nice, though taking photos is still quite a challenge thanks to the reflections which are almost always there. but hey, we were there to enjoy the views, and not to make great photos. (that’s for some other time. there’s a lot of beauty out there, for example the morteratsch glacier which we could watch while driving by.)

anyway. the second main part of the trip, the express bus from tirano to lugano, wasn’t as good as we hoped – i always feel kind of squeezed in a bus and am looking forward to leave it :-). the views were nice, but the next time i’d still skip that part.

this week, i was attending a conference on monte verità in ticino.


on tuesday we shifted the afternoon lectures by two hours to be able to exploit the great weather to visit ascona:


on wednesday, we went on an excursion to bellinzona. unfortunately, the weather was not so great. we began with a tour through castelgrande and continued with a short city tour. here are some impressions:

yesterday, i again used my ga to explore a bit of switzerland (and italy). i decided to use an offer by the sbb to drive up the cimetta, a mountain next to locarno at the lago maggiore. the weather report for most of switzerland wasn’t very good yesterday, except for the ticino, whence i ended up there. at ground level it was rather foggy, but when climbing up the mountain by cable car i eventually got out of the sea of fog. around the cardada station, the final destination of said cable car, wasn’t too much snow, but still enough left to take a lot of snow photos! later i took the chair lift up to the top and had lunch there, as well as took out my laptop (which i carried with me all the time… i really need to get a netbook!) and worked a bit. that was a funny moment, sitting over 1600 meters over sea level, surrounded by snow, while programming. i guess i have to do that more often :-)

later, i took the cable car back down to locarno and explored the city a bit. here are some impressions, including the madonna del sasso and the castello visconteo:

finally, i took the train to domodossola, operated by fart (ferrovie autolinee regionali ticinesi). the train ride is really beautiful. unfortunately, i had to shoot all photos through the window, which resulted in not so great ones… anyway, there are a few i really like:

i didn’t stay in domodossola, due to being tired and its getting dark outside, so i hopped onto the next train to brig, going through the simplon tunnel (about whose construction i read a novel called simplon some years ago). eventually, 14 hours after my departure, i arrived back in zürich.

as promised, some panoramas from our trip to monte generoso on last weekend.

on saturday, we hiked the monte generoso, located next to the city of mendrisio in the ticino. here are some pictures from our trip.

first, some pictures from the cogwheel train ride up to bellavista:

then, some pictures from our walk from bellavista up to the top of the mountain:

and that’s me on the top of the mountain, one step from the abyss:

a picture of the village mendrisio:

finally, some pictures from my train ride to northern germany on sunday:

after returning from bordeaux, the return having been quite adventurous, i traveled trough the alps into the ticino, to the monte generoso. here are some photos from the train ride.