Monte San Salvatore

Like Harder Kulm in Interlaken, we had a mountain near us. Wherever there is one, our urge is to get to the top. As I said, Lugano is terraced, so access to San Salvatore was several streets behind our hotel, and a walk up.

Amidst an area that looked like residential Rome with pastel buildings, marble stairways, etc., there was suddenly this Alpine chalet-looking entrance to the cable car. Like parts of Lugano, this looked tired, not well used. We hesitated to pay close to 20 Euro each to go up, but, you're only in Lugano once, so we went. Quite a steep ride; had to switch to another cable system about half way up. Some folks used it like a commuter train, getting off at platforms near steep drops to get to their homes. Don't look down!

But, what a view from the top. Boisterous groups getting in the way of photo ops aside, there were high mountain vistas in all directions (apparently Milan in the distance), a little chapel, and, yay, a decent looking restaurant. The patio looked busy, so we put our name in, hiked further up and came back about an hour later.

In spite of all the Italian or Italian-is places we had seen practically since Strasbourg, and especially in Switzerland, I wanted to hold out ordering pasta until we got to Italy. But, a salad and a pile of spaghetti alla Bolognese won out and we at well, enjoying the last rays of the sun over the southern Swiss (or northern Italian) mountains. Then we started to hear singing, too irregular to be a recording. Our server said there was a group celebrating inside. Jan and I walked in and, better than the pasta, had an a capella treat from about 20 folk singers from eastern Switzerland, on a tour. We happened to run into a couple of the guys later and traded choral stories. Their close harmonies reminded us of barbershop quartets. Really hard to explain what that was. We were going to try to find something online, but the cable car was loading up for the long trip down and we had to run for it.