Locarno has put on the great weather yet again and I spent my first day wandering along the lake where plenty of people are sunbathing and swimming( a little too cold for me)
. I have a swiss rail pass and so am able to take transport pretty much anywhere so the next day i caught the FART, yes that's right the Fart it is the local bus here and went out to Vall Verzasca. A beautiful valley which means green waters. It was a total contrast to Locarno with the swiss houses, mountains and forest. I took the bus to the end on the line at Sonogno where I started a hike to wherever I could make it to before the last bus or my legs gave out.I made it about four hours and ended up at Motta where I then got the bus back to Locarno for a well earned rest. Verzasca is also famous for the Jame's Bond bungy jump from the dam wall. No, i didn't do it.
The next day being Sunday everything and I mean everything is closed. It is like a ghost town, I caught the train back to Bellinzona which is famous for its 3 UNESCO castles. I spend some time exploring these and also the Castello(castle) back in Locarno.
I went to Ascona for the night. The twin town to Locarno but a little more upmarket where people dine in restaurants by the lake and walk up and down the promenade. I think it is the place to go to be seen. One thing I found interesting over here is that everyone has a dog. Not just any dog but a dog that they take everywhere. They all have these bags and the dogs go on the trains, to the shops, out for dinner in restaurants and even stay in hotels. It is totally bizarre. They are totally spoilt.
I never made it to the top of the cable car in Locarno as it was a little cloudy and as my next stop was up in the mountains I am sure I will see some spectaular views.
I have now crossed the border and am in Switzerland. Not that you would know it as there are no border checks and Locarno is actually more Italian than Swiss. It is a little confusing trying to work out if I am supposed to be speaking italian or german(swiss). Locarno is known for having a warm climate and been rather tropical with the most sunshine in a year. It is right on Lake Maggorie and the lake actually is in both countries. I spent three nights here in a small hotel on the edge of the old town. Now I am in Switzerland the expenses are really going up. Luckily the coop supermarket is close by and have had picnics for lunch each day and one night even got chicken and salad, a bargain at 7CHF(swiss francs) total compared to the 42 CHF I spent on dinner for my last night and it only consisted of a small salad and a main course.