Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

With 5 minutes to spare, I bought a few croissants and proceeded to board the train to Luzern to meet a friend. Little did I know as I was busy opening juice boxes, eating, taking pictures of Alex, etc. etc., that we had boarded the wrong train. Alex was asking his usual 800 questions per minute and I was busy answering him, when all of a sudden I looked down at my watch to see that it was exactly 10:00 AM, two minutes past when our train was supposed to arrive in Luzern. I quickly scanned the seats and found many of them to be empty, and the sign displaying the next stop was… Bellinzona, the capital of Ticino. My jaw dropped. How could I have not noticed this? Then I quickly called my friend and told her there was no way we could meet, being that the destination we were headed towards would be over 2 hours away from our meeting point. She first laughed at me, and being the kind friend that she is, told me she understood and that we’d meet the following week instead. So we were officially headed to our unexpected trip to Bellinzona, the Italian speaking part of Southern Switzerland. Alex began asking every 3 seconds when he was going to see his little friend, “Fina”. I explained that mommy made a mistake and we instead would spend the day exploring castles in Bellinzona, and that’s exactly what we ended up doing. When we stepped off the train, I asked for a map in the SBB ticket shop and headed straight for the castles. I couldn’t help but think that Alex and I were part of Dr. Seuss’ book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”. We met a few friendly people that were able to help out with the language, since I don’t know much in Italian, besides per favore (please), grazie (thank you), pizza (this word is part of the universal language), and parmigiano. 😉 It was a beautiful day and we sure enjoyed it, but it was great to walk in our apartment at the end of the day and plop straight in bed.

A few pictures from our adventure of a day:

On the train

Within a few minutes of walking from the train station, we saw this

The Castelgrande (Grand Castle) built on a HUGE rock

La Collegiata – A Renaissance church built by Master Tomaso Rodari of Maroggia, the same sculptor that designed the Como Cathedral.

A creative slide shaped like a spider = the reason we came here in the eyes of one particular little man 🙂


After a short hike, we made it to the top! Only then did we discover that there was an elevator to take you up. I guess you could say we never learn the easy way. 😉 It was simply breath-taking to see the view of the Ticino Valley.
The fortified walls surround not only the castle, but the entire town. They were used as Bellinzona’s defensive and protective measures, dating back to the 13th century. It was important to have the walls in place as Bellinzona is situated very close to the Italian border, meaning that it was a gateway to Italy for those travelling from the North, and the keyhole to the Alps for those coming from the South.


When I first laid eyes on this tower, I just new I had to climb it to see the view.



Finally at the top after a scary climb. I’m not sure why I always have to always climb to the top of towers when I’m afraid of heights, but regardless, we made it and the view was very rewarding


“I rweady to go back down, Mommy” – said approx. 2 seconds after we reached the top.

We went through the museum, had lunch outside of the castle, and headed back down to explore the town.


For me, this was an exciting find…
I didn’t know it was possible to find a 2 chf shop in Switzerland. I was in Heaven!

We then had a little treat from a bakery

This was Alex’s reaction to having to share with me..

We grabbed dinner to eat on the train and headed home.

Oh, the place’s you’ll go! 🙂


4 thoughts on “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

  1. Patty McHugh

    What an exciting adventure! I am certain that you and Alex have visited more places in Switzerland, than Claudio has seen in his lifetime, so far!! 🙂 🙂
    Each day brings a NEW ADVENTURE…whether near, or far!
    The pics you took from the top of the castle, made me feel a little dizzy without even climbing to those heights! You and Alex make quite a team!! Maybe you could take a camera crew with you…oh, wait a minute…you did! Now, you could turn your adventures into a tv show….like Mr. Rogers!
    Anyway, thanks for the story, and the pics! Enjoyed hearing about another random trip taken by you, and Mr. Alex!
    Love always,
    Mom/ Grandma Q

  2. Ha ha, sorry for the laugh, can’t resist, my jaw dropped too. Yeap, Luzern to Bellinzona!! Your mistake had led you to see UNESCO world heritage, how cool was that! I really have to do this once with my girls. I mean take a train trip to visit different places!! great post..

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