On our third day of vacation, we realized that we could add another country to our ever-expanding list of countries visited. Switzerland! So, parked at an AutoGrill gas station, using their free wifi, we discovered that Lake Lugano was just 40 minutes away! SuperDad and I looked at each other and we knew that was our stop for the day. We downloaded a new Adventures in Odyssey for the kiddos (more about those later) and headed north to Switzerland.
As we drove, the Alps came into focus and grew in height and lush greenery on the horizon. After about twenty minutes, we hit the Swiss border, which is basically just driving through slowly. If you (or really your car) has never been in Switzerland, you are required to spend 40 Euro on a sticker for the window that allows you to use their roads. We decided it was worth it and made a point to come back to Switzerland to get more bang for our Euros.
Driving to Lugano led us along several lakes, and then finally we turned a corner and saw a massive, pristine lake at the feet of the Alps. I'm not sure the technicolor greens and blues were special to everyone, or just our Cairo-khaki-colored-world eyes, but it was heavenly. You could rent paddle boats and little water sprites to take out for as little as 30 minutes. We decided to stop for lunch and eat with a river view.
The restaurant we stumbled upon was called the Spaghetti Store. We enjoyed the absolute best pizza of our lives there! It was a very hot and sunny day, and our only complaint was the excessive number of smokers both walking around and sitting in the restaurant.
The town of Lugano is a walkers paradise. The boardwalk is stunning, dotted with flowers, and immaculate. At the end of the boardwalk is a lovely park that we took the kids to, and snapped a few photos. There are loads of watch shops and banks, and if you want a high-quality designer watch you can get a Tissot or Omega for hundreds less!
If you find yourself within an hours drive of Lugano, definitely make the stop. It's totally worth it! We went back twice and could even see retiring there one day. It was glorious.