Patios await

After nearly drowning at a market in Italy yesterday, the clouds finally began to part and we cautiously unzipped our rain coats and folded up our umbrellas. The beautiful sunny paradise that Lugano can be finally made an appearance and we have done our very best to make the most of it. 

The market did a big business off us as we grabbed sweaters, scarves and a down jacket to purchase, all inspired by our frozen, water logged toes and noses. Delightfully, all of those articles were now tucked away into our suitcases as the sun finally did agree to come out. 

Optimistic that the clouds were starting to lift.
just a little bit brighter…even enough to justify sunglasses.
Kim, reliving the cemetery scene from the Sound of Music.

We set off for the town of Gandria in hopes of finding a sunny patio and a pretty vista. 

Success, we stayed dry on this hike and enjoyed the view of the lake.
Even found a patio willing to host us in the ghost-town where most shops were closed up for the pre-dinner siesta.
introducing Mom and Kim to the deliciousness that is an Aperol Spritz. (Aperol plus proseco with an orange wedge. Perfection in a summer drink.)

The patio cocktail livened our spirits and we decided that the Johnson girls needed to be out on the town. We hiked back into the heart of Lugano and found a lively patio, albeit a bit chilly, to take in the atmosphere, another Aperol and delicious Italian inspired dishes. 

Perhaps it was our guardian angels looking out for us but the bus schedule to get back home just wasn’t working in our favour. Something in the air was saying “you girls ought to walk off that big meal.” And so we did, getting part way home before a bus finally did come along, the last scheduled bus of the evening, to carry our weary selves back up the hill.

The morning presented us with blue skies; our only sunny day of our time here so we set out with ambitious plans to get to the top of San Salvatore and hike down to the lake. Ma had already done that hike on a previous trip to Lugano so opted to stay behind to enjoy the sun on the terrace at the house and conserve her energy for our big day in Milan tomorrow.

We showed off the sites for Kim on the way to the mountain.
No sightseeing tour is complete without a super-car sighting.
Had planned a fancy tour of the exclusive private banks but alas, it was Sunday, they were closed.
Finally arrived to the funicolare station for the terrifyingly steep ride up to the top of San Salvatore.

The 360 degree view at the top is astounding. snowy Italian Alps in the back ground.
So happy to see the sun!

We started the hike, far more well equipped this time than our fateful day when we ran out of food attempting the same. We made it to Carona and decided the day was far too sunny and nice to be hiking in the forest so we stopped in a patio and regrouped our plan. 

New signs since our last time on this hike. In a world where the signs have often left us thinking “wah??” this one is remarkably clear…”Do not here.”
A perfect spot for an Aperol. Plus, having obeyed the signs, we really, really needed to use the toilet!
A delightful on-the-house treat.
All the displays have shifted to their autumn glory.
Euro-Kim

We left the restaurant resolved to abandon the trail to bus back into town for the rest of the afternoon. The bus schedule is reduced on a Sunday and luckily we arrived at the bus stop moments before the every 2 hour bus. While that timing was perfect, the timing to go back up to the restaurant to retrieve Kim’s forgotten vest was not perfect. The vest was sacrificed for the good of the group and our ability to get on the bus.

In an effort to ensure that no mode of public transportation was missed, next on the agenda, a boat tour of Lake Lugano. 

Looking back at Lugano from the water.

As skilled a tour guide as I like to believe that I am, I have noticed a disturbing trend in our days…

So excited for the boat ride that she knocked herself out.
Gravol induced nap was essential to survive the hair pin turn bus ride.
Diego is the only travel companion not falling asleep on me!

It’s ok, rest while you can ladies. Tomorrow is a big day. Up early, off to Milan for a great tourist day and then back on the train to arrive in Zoagli, our home on the Italian Riviera for the next three nights. 

Hoping we can channel a wee bit more sun for the rest of our journey. The clouds have felt a wee bit symbolic for me, looming overhead, preventing us from seeing the light. Our situation with the tenants at home has represented a dark cloud that has prevented us from fully exhaling. Today the sun came out…today was the first day that we are tenant free. Not free of their mess or the financial burden they have thrust upon us but they no longer have a hold on our home. Ready to start a new chapter. One where the sun is shining.

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