A beautiful day to visit Lugano, in the Italian part of Switzerland.
The weather is often very different on the opposite side of Switzerland, because the country’s Alpine backbone breaks up the clouds and airflow patterns.On this cloudy day in Zürich we hopped a Eurocity train to Lugano, through the Gottard Base Tunnel (the longest railway tunnel in the world), and popped out into the sunshine on the Italian side of Switzerland.Once in the pretty lakeside city of Lugano, we walked the streets of old town, dined on pasta and pizza, and strolled along the lakeshore.I climbed up to Parco Panoramico, to catch some panoramic views across the lake and the city to the Alps beyond. Read on, and check out the gallery of photos.
Three days, three visits to Zermatt – with very different views of the Matterhorn.
There are few scenes more glorious than the Matterhorn seen from the ski slopes of Zermatt, under sunny skies the day after a snowstorm. I snapped more than five hundred photos in under three days, and was spoiled by some of the best skiing I’ve ever encountered. Read on and check out the photo gallery for more.
It appeared that another grand sunset was due to grace Zürich, so my father and I took the train to the top of Uetliberg to capture the view of the Alps. Here is one sample – but check out the gallery for my other favorite photos. If you’re interested in current conditions, check out the webcam view.
After an evening event speaking to Dartmouth alumni in Geneva, Mara and I had a day to explore the old town and lakefront area. We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day, with the city decorated for the Christmas season. Even with such a short visit I feel Geneva is different than Zurich – a different language on all the signs, of course, but also an even more international feeling. Geneva “hosts the highest number of international organizations in the world”, “including the headquarters of many agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross.”
We wandered the streets of the old town, climbed the towers of Cathédrale de Saint Pierre, ate lunch in the pop-up Christmas Market in the park at la Promenade des Bastions, passed a memorial statue to the founder of the Red Cross, and walked along the lakeshore to view the iconic Jet d’eau and watch the swans (and swimmers!) at Bains des Paquis. We hopped the train back to Zürich before dark so we could view the Alps across the lake as the trained zipped along its northern shore.
A quick visit, but worthwhile. Will need to return someday!
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I made a short visit to EPFL in Lausanne, to give a talk in the Computer Science department. It was also a good chance to catch up with an old chubber friend, who is a professor of geography.
I had a chance for a quick tour of the campus, which is about fifty years old and includes some fascinating architecture – such as the Rolex Learning Center, a curvilinear structure that (to me) evokes a sense of the tiny gears in fine watchworks. That website has much better photos – but here, my photo shows the reflection of the sky and mountains in the windows.
But the most stunning feature of the campus is its spectacular view of the Alps, across Lake Geneva – on this day, mostly clear with a few clouds clinging to some summits. This view is from the rooftop café in the Computer Science building. What a view!
Every morning I climb Zürich’s steep strasse and steig until I reach the clear ridgeline of the Zürichberg hilltop, with its broad view across the city and Zürichsee lake to the Alps. Some days I am enveloped in the valley fog common this time of year. Other days the clouds grudgingly give me glimpses of the Alps beyond the valley. Today, finally, I was treated to a spectacular sunrise, with a crystal-clear view of the Alps and a sky painted with deep red sunlight. I picked just five photos for the (must-see!) gallery, and share only one below.