Two Boots and a Farwa

Lugano, and the Fresh Springs of Andermatt

 

It’s October already, and we’re just sitting here wondering what the hell, September? There was no need to sprint! Jogging would’ve been just as fine! Or walking! Or crawling. Or coming into a complete standstill. Or whatever. You know, just don’t go like whoosh. You’re four complete weeks, act like it. Psh. Pah. Bah.

Ahem. Anyway, it’s been a whole month since August ended and the Great New European Roadtrip came to an end. Oh, yes, heads up: We’ll be referring to our August vacation as the Great New European Roadtrip from now on. It makes it sound much more official, don’t you think? GNER for short. Except the acronym sounds like a disease so… we’ll just stick to the Great New European Roadtrip.

Where were we? Oh, yes, August’s vacation! If you’ve been following us on Instagram, you probably know a lot already, but here’s a little history we haven’t mentioned within our photo spam: We are no strangers to roadtrips. In Europe particularly. For as long as we could remember, a lot of our summers were spent cruising in a van in France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland’s many cities and towns. We’d normally start in Paris and move from there. We broke the tradition a few years back with a stationary trip to Paris alone, then another to London, and we were spoilt with the option to unpack our clothes (with hangers! in a CLOSET! with our own individual bags!), but then the itch to drift around got a little too strong this year, and we started practicing fitting all our clothes in one tiny suitcase planning a route

But we decided to do things a little differently this year. Instead of visiting the same haunts we always passed by, we decided we wanted to visit completely different countries that weren’t frequented by khaleejis. And boy, was that a good decision. But don’t take our words for it (quite literally). We’ll just show you.

To begin with, our trip started off with a flight to Milano. It was the closest airplane to the beginning of our itinerary.

are we the only ones who get completely fascinated by clouds when we're on a plane?

are we the only ones who get completely fascinated by clouds when we’re on a plane? airview of milano

those two waffles were actually good. yes. we know. we were gobsmacked too.

airplane meal. those two waffles were actually good. yes. we know. we were gobsmacked too.

Fun fact: Milano’s airport has a pretty neat mini art gallery down by the car rental parking lot. And the exhibitions change frequently, it wasn’t the same one we saw back in October.

touchdown!

touchdown!

Now, this tip is going to be a very obvious tidbit but, do make sure you’ve rented the car you need in advance. You’d be surprised at how many people neglect it, assuming they’ll show up and find what they’ll need. No. Nope. Bad bad way to start a cartrip, trust us. And reserving a car won’t cost you a thing, should you change your itinerary simply delete your booking (make sure it’s a flexible booking). Also mention the countries you’ll be visiting to ensure the car will have the proper insurance coverage. We also recommend you rent out a GPS system, unless you’re frequent cartrippers (hah) and have your own. We always rent a Viano because they’re wide, take a good amount of luggage, and is totally comfortable, especially when you have fidgety kids.

the translation gave us a good chuckle.

the translation gave us a good chuckle.

And then off we went to first city on our list: Lugano!

view from the lobby.

view from the lobby.

You know how every hotel has a restaurant? Well, when we got into town, we discovered the hotel we booked was in a restaurant. So it was a restaurant with a hotel, instead of the other way around! Which, if you know us, was a perfectly enjoyable piece of information. Other than the fact there was food every time we stepped in to get to our rooms, Hotel Gabbani was situated in a very good place, and it was very clean. Mind you, it’s a very small place, more a boutique hotel or bed and breakfast than anything

hola, bakery right underneath the lobby.

hola, bakery right underneath the lobby.

footlong spaghetti. FOOTLONG SPAGHETTI.

footlong spaghetti. FOOTLONG SPAGHETTI.

cheese, our love, how do you do? we should have endeavored to steal you more laboriously.

cheese, our love, how do you do? we should have endeavored to steal you more laboriously.

restaurant/hotel entrance.

restaurant/hotel entrance.

It was raining buckets, so we opted to take a short stroll just to stretch out our legs.

lugano

and eat yum cheese pretzels, apparently.

and eat yum cheese pretzels, apparently.

from this place. we highly recommend the pretzels at this place.

from this place. we highly recommend the pretzels at this place. pretzel king, we thing. just look at all those sad orphan pretzels lying there unadopted by us. sigh.

There’s something eerily beautiful about a lakeside town being drenched in rain.

 

lugano

gorgeous low clouds, we want to hug you.

lugano

And then the downpour got a little too intense so we sheltered in a cafe.

and then a quick stop for hot chocolate, because rain. did we mention we love rain? no? we do. immensely.

quick stop for hot chocolate, because rain. did we mention we love rain? no? we do. immensely.

funny thing to note, but the biscuits that came with the tea

funny thing to note, but the biscuits that came with the tea

recommended. presentation was really nice.

recommended. presentation was really nice.

The nice thing about Lugano is that it is, for all intents and purposes, an Italian city that just happens to be under swiss rule. The language and food is all undeniably Italian, and the overall feel of the town kind of combines the best of Italy and Switzerland. It’s worth a day or two visit.

But in all honesty, we weren’t in Lugano for Lugano. We were here for our next stop: Andermatt! Into the car we piled, with a quick stop to pick up lunch.

lunch, from a recommended tripadvisor listing. do not trust tripadvisor.

lunch, from a recommended tripadvisor listing. do not trust tripadvisor.

we should be one oxford one sneakers and an umbrella. har har.

we should be one oxford one sneakers and an umbrella. har har.

Dunno why we went for doner kebab first day, but we did. We had found the restaurant through tripadvisor, which we must stress is a horrible place to find restaurants unless you have no. other. source.

first doner kebab of the summer!

first doner kebab of the summer!

In all honesty, it wasn’t bad, but if you were to go to this place, tell them to lay off the red madri pink sauce. It had the consistency and flavor of mayo-ketchup, if anyone remembers that stuff, and it kind of dampened the overall taste.

this place.

bag of broken dreams.

And then we hit the road. Andermatt is an hour away from Lugano, so the plan was to visit and come back for dinner in our hotel.

life is a highway, we're goin' to ride it aaall night long~

life is a highway, we’re goin’ to ride it aaall night long~

Judging from that beautiful clear stretch of freeway, it was smooth sailing from there, right? Right? RIGHT?

andermatt

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA- no.

andermatt

ha. ha. hah.

Somehow everybody else on the entire continent had the same idea as ours and thirty minutes in we were stuck in the most stupendous traffic jam.

our first reaction was to buy food. of course.

our first reaction was to buy food. of course.

It got bad enough that we started to worry whether we would make it back before dawn.

these guys came prepared in case they needed to pedal away. smart folks.

these guys came prepared in case they needed to pedal away. smart folks.

But then, thankfully, thankfully, the traffic let up. After three and a half hours. And we all breathed a sigh of relief. Mostly because we hadn’t gotten enough ovomaltine chocolate bars (best. thing. on the face. of this planet) and we were worried we’d have to share our loot with the rest of the family.

gorgeous mountains, you're worth the wait.

gorgeous mountains, you were worth the wait.

hello, little village of Andermatt!

hello, little village of Andermatt!

andermatt

andermatt

The nice thing about Andermatt (and the reason we were there, because the rest of the town is rather boring tbh) is that there are easily accessible water springs almost everywhere. We parked by the first one we found.

andermatt

right off the side of the highway.

right off the side of the highway.

oh sweet lovely fresh water.

oh sweet lovely fresh water.

dum dum dum DUMMMMMM!

dum dum dum DUMMMMMM!

Kindly view the above picture with the circle of life song, a la Simba’s birth and Rafiki’s ritual.

we had to stick our hands and faces and basically everything, of course.

we had to stick our hands and faces and basically everything in, of course.

Should you want to do this, don’t forget to get your own water containers with you. Note: the water should be drunk within two to three days, it ‘spoils’ afterwards.

Then it was a quick food stop and a stroll through the very small village.

visiting toutoune is a tradition we have every time we visit Andermatt.

visiting toutoune is a tradition we have every time we visit Andermatt.

Toutoune is a modern swiss arabic fusion restaurant owned by an Palestinian in Andermatt, and it’s pretty good.

chocolate crepes and things, oh my.

chocolate crepes and things, oh my.

remember when we said it was a small village? It's a really small village.

remember when we said it was a small village? It’s a really small village.

but they have a telefrique!

but they have a telefrique!

andermatt

some awesome person on instagram told us these look like camera lenses, and we agree.

a stronger stream than the one we stopped by, in an overpass on the way back.

a stronger stream than the one we stopped by, in an overpass on the way back.

And then it was back to Lugano for the night.

J's a sort of kebab sandwich, apparently.

J’s a sort of baloney sandwich, apparently.

quaint uphill alleyway in lugano!

quaint uphill alleyway in lugano!

our second room in hotel gabbani was this cool very small two floor affair, with a sofa bed downstairs and a full bed upstairs. also a tub upstairs, for some reason

our second room in hotel gabbani was this cool very small two floor affair, with a sofa bed downstairs and a full bed upstairs. also a tub upstairs, for some reason. the entrance, depicted in the above photo, was a staircase suspended above the restaurant, which was really cool. But dangerous for little kids to use unsupervised.

And that was it for our first day! It was a pretty good one thanks to the rain. And it felt like we’d been traveling for a week already, what with visiting another city and the traffic. Next up, Milano!

 

love, happiness, and chocolate frogs,

twobootsandafarwa

 

 

 

 

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This entry was written by themysteriousscribe and published on October 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm. It’s filed under travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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