After packing our camping Golf (kayak, tent, sets for via ferrata and nothing much else really) we started our Grand Swiss Tour. We headed direction Jaun Pass, which took us quickly to a charming Simmental, after that hop on a train in Kandersteg, drive through an exceptionally beautiful and charming Fiesch Valley covered with old wooden houses (never seen anything like it. Zermatts’ old town is nothing compared to all these villages). After that Nufenen Pass (the second highest mountain pass in Switzerland), with almost no cars and breathtaking views and snow! Yes, snow still!
Benvenuti in Ticino! Since it was getting late we decided to eat on the way and we stopped in Airolo. Ristorante Flora seemed like a good choice. Restaurant with a charm. With our Italian knowledge which equals 0 (well, we can order coffee, say ‘big’, ‘ small’ etc) service was very patient and smiling. Quickly we chose our dishes and when they arrived we were quite happy. Not pricey at all, cheaper than where we live and very very tasty!
After charging our batteries we continued to our destination town: Locarno. Arriving late made us decide that we will sleep in the car and not pitch a tent. Few beers and Aperol Spritz later we made an adult decision and went to sleep (2 a.m.), just to be in form for some GT (green torpedo) kayak time the next day. Tip: if you’re a casino beginner, don’t even think of going to casino in Locarno, not for beginners at all….You could just loose the money you could pay another 4 or more drinks with.
Waking up early in the morning and starting our kayak adventure was a good idea since around 10-11 Lago Maggiore started filling up with different types of boats, yachts etc. When we started early we were on the lake almost alone in our GT.
Ticino surprised me with the landscape, all over there’s forest. Green Swiss jungle on the mountains.
After sport time we needed to recharge our batteries with some food so we headed towards the center where we found Ristorante Svizzero Pizzeria. Amazingly fast and professional service (we even didn’t sit down yet when the menu was already on the table) and yummie food. They also have pizza with mascarpone which seems to be a Ticino thing.
Locarno is a nice town, Piazze Grande has a soul, which unfortunaly we couldn’t enjoy to the fullest since they were preparing it for upcoming festivals. They mostly speak German there, English and some French but you won’t get lost if you speak any of these languages. Happy, smiling people all over the place.
It was slowly time to pack up and move onto next adventure. Quick walk around Locarno and then back on the road – direction: Valle Verzasca.
Text: Agnieszka Wajs