Switzerland 2021

Thursday September 2, 2021

Friday September 3, 2021

Saturday September 4, 2021
Lago del Narčt

I took the train to Andermatt, then connected to Göschenen

train from Oberwald to Locarno 2h42m every hour

R510 Direction Disentus/Muster
742 Overwald Platform 4 820 Andermatt
R618 Direction Göschenen
829 Andermatt Platform 3 844 Göschenen, Platform 11

08:32 Switzerland time 00:32 California time


From Göschenen I took the train to Locarno

IR26 InterRegio 2311 Direction Locarno
851 Göschenen, Platform 1 1024 Locarno Platform 3

Reception at Garni Rondinella in Locarno is on the third floor.
The receptionist spoke no English at all.
Another staff member spoke enough English to get me checked in, my room was ready when I arrived before 11am.

14:34 Switzerland time 06:34 California time

14:35 Switzerland time 06:35 California time

14:36 Switzerland time 06:36 California time

View from my balcony

Dusty: Garni Rondinella room description online said "mountain view", none of the rooms at the hotel said "lake view"
Dusty:  I gambled that I'd get a decent view and it paid off, very very pleased
Dusty: Location couldn't be more central, across the street from funicular

The receptionist showed me the hotel's so called bike storage - outside behind a locked gate, lock your bike to the fence. 
Problem is, anyone could jump the fence from the dry riverbed to mess with your bike.
The three crappy street bikes locked up there now?
They're probably fine...
Am I going to leave a several thousand franc bike outside like that?
Of course not, but I didn't tell her that...

I got settled in, then started the 40 minute / 3.3km walk to Bike Cicli Chiandussi.
It was warm, and it took a while...

12:08 Switzerland time 04:08 California time

12:37 Switzerland time 04:37 California time

Sign in the bike shop...

I somehow neglected to realize that this bike shop is closed Sunday, and I wanted to return the bike Sunday.
They said to just lock it up outside, they come by every few hours to bring bikes inside once people drop them off.
Sounds sketchy, me no like this plan.
I really wanted to return the bike Saturday afternoon once I heard this.
I did accept a heavy duty bike lock from them since I was afraid of my storage situation at the hotel.
I felt better that the heavy duty lock would also secure the bike if I had to leave it outside their shop Sunday as well..

14:33 Switzerland time 06:33 California time

Bike smuggled into my room.

When I got back to the hotel, I locked the bike up outside as instructed.
Since reception is on the third floor, all I had to do was get the bike in the elevator up to the fifth floor and into my room undetected.
I scouted the route, found noone.
Went downstairs, smuggled the bike into my room no problemo.
The bike won't leave my room until before 6am tomorrow, I probably won't run into anyone then..
If I'm successful tomorrow, I'll drop the bike off back at the bike shop on the way back to the hotel.

It was now approaching 3pm.
I have a bike safe in my room, mission accomplished.

Tripadvisor said one of the top attractions in Locarno is Madonna del Sasso.
I was eventually able to follow google the long way up, I didn't know there was a short way until I was looking at it from the top...
I was a sweat bomb, it was hot and sunny and it took over an hour to drag my sweaty bum up that hill.

I ended up spending a full 9 minutes at Madonna del Sasso before heading back down the easy way...

16:23 Switzerland time 08:23 California time

Madonna del Sasso

16:27 Switzerland time 08:27 California time

Madonna del Sasso

18:04 Europe time 09:04 California time
Dusty: Mass was in session, I think..
Dusty: didn't see anyone leading it but most of the 5 people in attendance spoke along ...

16:28 Switzerland time 08:28 California time

Madonna del Sasso

16:29 Switzerland time 08:29 California time

Locarno from Madonna del Sasso

16:29 Switzerland time 08:29 California time

Madonna del Sasso

16:30 Switzerland time 08:30 California time

Madonna del Sasso with Funivia Cardada in the background

16:30 Switzerland time 08:30 California time

Via Cruces closes at 5pm

16:32 Switzerland time 08:32 California time

Via Cruces

16:37 Switzerland time 08:37 California time

16:37 Switzerland time 08:37 California time

16:43 Switzerland time 08:43 California time

Via Cruces and Madonna del Sasso from the Hotel Belvedere

17:22 Switzerland time 09:22 California time

It look me alot longer than it should have to find Chiesa Sant’ Antonio

17:25 Switzerland time 09:25 California time

Chiesa Sant’ Antonio

17:30 Switzerland time 09:30 California time

Chiesa Sant’ Antonio

17:31 Switzerland time 09:31 California time

Chiesa Sant’ Antonio

17:32 Switzerland time 09:32 California time

18:36 Switzerland time 10:36 California time


18:38 Switzerland time 10:38 California time

16:57 Switzerland time 08:57 California time

Piazza Grande

18:52 Switzerland time 10:52 California time

After examining all the menus up and down Piazza Grande, I chose Ristorante Albergo America

Caprese di Bufala con Pomodorini Cherry
Cherry tomatoes with mozzarella cheese

22:25 Europe time 13:25 California time
Ray: That's a fine looking caprese salad.

22:28 Europe time 13:28 California time
Dusty: Dont think I've ever ordered one for myself before, I've shared some w Kathy or the family plenty of times
Dusty: Hit the spot on a warm day.

19:10 Switzerland time 11:10 California time

Coniglio alla Cacciatora con Polenta
Rabbit with vegetables and mushroom sauce with polenta

19:12 Europe time 10:12 California time
Paul: Never have had good rabbit
Paul: Tried it maybe three times

19:28 Europe time 10:28 California time
Dusty: About 4 times for me too, it has been good for me each time
Dusty:  I've had it so infrequently I couldn't describe the others, but tonights was similar to chicken but more tender, it had almost no flavor on its own which is fine, that's what vegatable sauce and polenta is for...

19:29 Europe time 10:29 California time
Dusty: Lotsa meat on that rabbitsicle, almost nothing left when i was done

19:46 Switzerland time 11:46 California time

15:57 Europe time 06:57 California time
Paul: How's Locarno
Paul: Looks a bit like Lake Como, but maybe smaller mountains and bigger town?

15:58 Europe time 06:58 California time
Dusty: 5th floor balcony of the Hotel Garni Rondonella in Locarno, the nearly 100% Italian part of Switzerland ...
Dusty: zero signs in Ticino in German or French, all Italian
Dusty:  Also warm and muggy like Italy
Dusty: Supposed to rain and maybe thunderstorm in the mountains all weekend, Saturday looks to be the worst..
Dusty: i came into Locarno prepared to ride today, but it's already overcast in the mountains, it would be foolish to start so late (at least noon best case)..
Dusty: plan to catch the 620am bus to Bignasco with my bike, then head up to Lago de Naret early tomorrow to try to beat the rain
Dusty:  I could start from here, but that's 64km 1 way which is nuts, I don't need to cycle up the entire valley..

16:58 Europe time 07:58 California time
Paul: Looks like a small city rather than a lake town?

17:09 Europe time 08:09 California time
Dusty: Very much so

17:10 Europe time 08:10 California time
Ray: Gorgeous view!

17:14 Europe time 08:14 California time
Paul: Lago de Naret appears to be approx
Paul: 6 miles from Obergoms but with a pesky Alp in the way

17:15 Europe time 08:15 California time
Paul: And a quick Google of Bignasco would suggest there's a pretty cool waterfall there to check out

20:16 Europe time 11:16 California time
Dusty: Live band just started playing outside next door..
Dusty: 1st song Eric Clapton Cocaine, 2nd song Born to be Wild...
Dusty: it may be an awesome (late!) night!

21:29 Europe time 12:29 California time
Dusty: Band did Stones, Doors, long version of Shine on you Crazy Diamond, then long medley from The Wall, then Bowie's Heroes, now Kashmir..
Dusty: Probably best cover band I've ever heard but granted that's a short list.

21:58 Europe time 12:58 California time
Kent: I like this cover
Kent:  Surprise
Kent:  :)

22:20 Europe time 13:20 California time
Dusty: End of Stairway...
Dusty: end of Hey Jude, with dozens singing along...
Dusty: Come Together,  Highway to Hell, Purple Rain...
Dusty: I couldn't possibly come up with a better set list, its amazing.

22:26 Europe time 13:26 California time
Paul: You should yell at that hackneyed hippie band
Paul: Nobody wants to hear that crusty garbage

22:27 Europe time 13:27 California time
Paul: Just kidding - only a couple of eye-rollers in that set

There are lots of drunks singing along to the end of Purple Rain
Dusty:  I do kinda need to get to sleep eventually though, early long day tomorrow

22:30 Europe time 13:30 California time
Ray: Are you in your room are you watching the band
Ray: Last night I had an incredibly good night hike on Piestewa
Ray: Made it to summit in 28 minutes and up and down without a flashlight

22:30 Europe time 13:30 California time
Dusty: Queen Love of my Life...
Dusty: guy has the voice to pull it off!

22:31 Europe time 13:31 California time
Dusty: Sitting in my room with the window open, I'm hearing it plenty loud

22:32 Europe time 13:32 California time
Dusty: We are the Champions..
Dusty: the drunks are howlin and singing!

Thursday September 2, 2021

Friday September 3, 2021

Saturday September 4, 2021
Lago del Narčt