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:
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
We went through the museum, had lunch outside of the castle, and headed back down to explore the town.
We grabbed dinner to eat on the train and headed home.
Oh, the place’s you’ll go! 🙂