Sunday, January 9, 2011

Peter Pan and Castles

Switzerland is magical.

Yesterday we had the day to ourselves to explore Lugano. We quickly learned where to find the cheapest lunch- Migro's Grocery Store has excellent and inexpensive pizza ($4.80 Francs a slice, a steal!) and stocked up on groceries. The weather was still rainy and misty, but the fog cleared up enough to get our first view of Lake Lugano. I can't wait to see it in blue skies, it is easily the most beautiful lake I've ever seen. It is surrounded by mountains with houses of different shapes, sizes, and colors perched on top. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the Montarina planning our trips for the upcoming weekends and ten-day breaks.

A big group of us went out to dinner at Manora, a restaurant across the train tracks and down the hill from the Montarina. I had a delicious bowl of pasta and ordered my first (legal) drink with dinner. We got to know a lot of the group better and I really enjoyed the evening with friends, good food, attempts to speak Italian, and lots of laughter.

After dinner we finally discovered the infamous Peter Pan, a bar close to the Montarina. We took over the place. There were free drinks, dancing, and mingling with the locals for the first time. It was such a fun night, Lugano '10 and other past years I can see why you guys love the place so much!

Today we went to Bellinzona, Switzerland with a group of about 20 girls. It was such an enchanting little town! There are three big castles from the 1400s that still stand atop the hills of Bellinzona. We walked to the very top of two of the castles, quite the work out might I add, and were charmed by the history, the architecture, and the views of Bellinzona. We had lunch at an adorable pizzeria and walked around the town. I saw my first European church! It was beautiful inside and outside. We caught the train back to Lugano, only about a twenty minute ride, and we all felt pretty proud of ourselves for figuring out the train system so quickly! Today really felt like a fairy tale.. I am embracing each moment of this trip, I feel so lucky to be here.

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