Friday, January 7, 2011

Lugano, We Have Arrived

After quite an adventurous journey we have all made it safe and soundly to our new home in Lugano- the beautiful Hotel Montarina- and I am so happy to be here. I am already so in love with this charming little town.

Yesterday's travel plans didn't go as seamlessly as we had anticipated; just as my bags were about to be checked, Dulles Airport was temporarily shut down due to a "suspicious package". After a stressful few hours and a very delayed flight, I was thrilled just to set foot onto our plane. As Kelsey Vitori said best, putting it in perspective for me, "welcome to travels!"

We arrived in misty weather, but Lugano was picturesque nonetheless. Beautiful architecture, palm trees line the sidewalks, narrow streets, and colorful buildings tucked away within the mountains. We made our way up to the Montarina with all of our luggage, and did I feel like a lucky girl. The Montarina is a quaint, light pink building surrounded completely by palm trees. Michelle and I got our room- room number lucky 13- and brought our things up to our new home. A room with antique furniture, two narrow single beds, and even our own bathroom awaited us. We're in love with our view! Our only wish is for more space for our clothing, but that's not much of a complaint.

We ate lunch together in one of the Montarina's dining areas. The best lasagna I've ever had! Dr. Brinberg then took us on a walk around town. Much of the town was still decorated with white Christmas lights. Each time we'd walk past an especially pretty display, we would all stop and take pictures... I think it's safe to say the locals could quickly pick us out as tourists. We saw many pizzerias and spaghetti shops, each one unique, markets selling delicious looking fruit, and many upscale fashion stores. We walked to our university for the next four months, Università della Svizzera italiana. We then continued our own tours of the town and had another big family dinner at the Montarina. Michelle and I finished making our new room our home and now I lay in bed feeling overwhelmed, thankful, and excited about what's ahead of me in this adventure.

Baggage claim at the Zurich airport

Charming window in our bedroom

Our plain and simple room, pre move-in

The Montarina on a foggy day

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