Brisbane, QLD

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Adventure in Europe 2008 FINAL PART Locarno, Ascona, Zurich, Hong Kong, Brisbane

Thursday 18 September

We left Zermatt and travelled by train to Brig where we changed trains for Domodossala in Italy. There we changed trains again, this time it was a small panoramic train which took us through the scenic valley,Centovalli, back into Switzerland to Locarno on Lake Maggiore.

It was a long trip about 4 hours and we were happy to arrive ready for our last adventure in Europe. We booked into our hotel, which was in a great position near the lake but can't rave about the hotel.
In the evening we went for a walk along the lake edge, it was very romantic, except I had developed a cough.

Friday 19 September

We went for a walk to discover the town. We are in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland and you can see the influence of the Latin love of colour in the buildings.

We walked up into the Old Town

This is a church tucked away in a side street. There is a church in nearly every street.

We found the funicular train and went up to the monks sanctuary called Madonna del Sasso.

It is still a monastery today. It is high up on the hill overlooking Locarno. It was very misty this morning.

It was Paul's birthday today so we tried to find somewhere nice for a birthday lunch. I had fruit curry and......

.....a bananarama

Then we caught the bus to Ascona. The bus company has an interesting anagram F.A.R.T.

Ascona is a beautiful town on Lake Maggiore, the old streets are full of art and craft shops and market stalls.

We walked down through the old town to the lake edge, where there are restaurants one after the other all facing the lake........

.........................which is very picturesque, as Carol and Paul noticed. I liked this spot so much I asked Carol to snap Bill and me there, which is now my blog's title picture.

Bill always wanted to retire here if we ever had millions of dollars to buy a place, but he is happy just to be visiting with his daughter.

We walked around the lake edge and found a ........ I remembered Kim's blog where she often has pics of her coffee breaks and thought she might like this one. Bill was telling us stories of when he used to come camping here with his parents when he was young. No camping ground here now.

We walked back up through the quaint streets and caught the bus back to Locarno. That night my cough got worse.

Saturday 20 September

We decided on a free time day today and mix with the locals. Carol and I strolled to the lake with Carol's sketching pad and pencils. We sat in the warm sun and sketched and I coughed.

Bill, Paul and Helen went to the town centre where there was a market and concert bands playing. We joined them for lunch.

We walked around the market and .........
.....I was fascinated with the tiny cobble stones.
That evening Bill and Carol took me to see a doctor at the hospital to get something for my bronchitis as I was worried the authorities would not let me fly if I was sick and we were flying home in 2 days. It was a very modern hospital and I didn't have to wait to see the very nice Italian speaking doctor. Luckily he could speak a little English too. He gave me a good check up, blood test, X-Ray and intravenous antibiotic. He prescribed pain killers and cough mixture. After paying 400 franks ($425 AD) we were on our way to dinner in the square with another concert. Then home to bed hoping to feel better in the morning.

Sunday 21 September

We were up early ready for ........

...our long train journey back to Zurich. It was a very comfortable train and almost empty. Everyone seems happy to be going home, especially me as I didn't feel any better. After about three and a half hours we were back in Zurich and time to say goodbye to our darling daughter. She caught a connecting train to the airport and flew back to London and her husband. It was wonderful to have her company for 15 days in such an exotic country.

Monday 22 September

We stayed over night in Zurich and filled in time waiting for take off time by sight seeing on the trams. At the airport I dosed up with pain killers, cough mixture and asthma inhaler. desperately hoping not to have a coughing fit while booking in or getting on the plane. Luckily I got on board without being identified as being unwell. Thank goodness I didn't have too many coughing episodes during the 13 hour flight to Hong Kong.

Tuesday 23 September

We arrived in Hong Kong at the same time as a category 8 typhoon. Our plane was one of the last to land before they closed the airport. Those with connections to Australia or anywhere couldn't go. Once again we were lucky as we had planned to stay overnight in Hong Kong to break the long journey home. So we were picked up by the Hotel transfer company and hurriedly made our way to the hotel. People had been told to go home and take shelter. There were hundreds at bus stops and train stations, with their umbrellas being blown inside out. The trees were bending over and we were soon in our cosy hotel. We were happy to have dinner there and go to bed.

Wednesday 24 September

The typhoon had passed but not my coughing so I stayed in bed, while Helen and Paul explored the local area. Bill found the hotel's internet corner. The plane wasn't leaving until midnight, luckily we had a late book out time at 4:00 pm.

After 4:oo we went for a walk and had dinner................ can see I was a bit fuzzy.

We walked around the huge shopping complex close by. I found it a little easier to breathe in the humid air. The antibiotics weren't working and once again I was worried about being detected as a sickie and not be able to fly home tonight. At the airport I dosed myself up again and managed to suppress coughing until we were in the air. Eight hours later we were HOME.

It was one of the best adventures I have ever had, now that I'm better I only remember the great times we had.


  1. Oooohhh....nothing worse than getting sick while traveling. So good you found a doctor. I hate having these pictures end. I've so enjoyed looking at them and find myself going back again and again. My brain thinks I'm actually traveling there. If you ever go me. I'm your traveling partner.

  2. Bless your heart (with the coughing sickness and doctor's visit). I know how that feels...but mine was a kidney infection/hurt back on the ship, but at least, the ship's doctor was a cutie.;)

    The lake that you were at and all of the surrounding scenery looks very similar to Lake Como, Italy (which was our last stop on our trip; I've not posted that far yet). Italy is such a beautiful place!
    I love the picture that your daughter took of you and your husband that is now your blog header. That is so romantic. *sigh* I bet even with all of the coughing it was still romantic.;)

    I think that it was even more special that you had your daughter with you for so many days. Sweet memories!

    Thank you for your sweet comments on my blog. *sigh*

    God Bless,

  3. I forgot to say in my first comment..that I laughed out loud at the bus anagram...F A R T! LOL!:) That is hysterical! Especially seeing as how I have the sense of humor of a twelve year old boy.;)

  4. Oh Diane, you killing me with those buildings, the are just so beautiful!

    I was also meaning to comment on your header, it looks so romantic, the two of you sitting there so sweetly together.

    I'm glad they let you fly, that could have been a sticky situation.

    Everything looks so inviting they way you describe it in words and pictures. I must also say that lake you walked around at the beginning of the post was just lovely.

  5. Was an adventure...sorry to hear you were unwell towards the end of your world trip. I enjoyed your journey very very much and thank you for sharing.

    The lake where your photograph with Bill was taken is certainly a beautiful and romantic spot doubly so with your husband's association with the area.

    I feel a little sad the trip has ended one does at the end of an event, movie, travel, at least I do and I have enjoyed this trip with you all and once again ...Thank you

    Kind Regards,


  6. These pictures are amazing! I mean it! I love how the streets are painted with so many colors and that bus...too funny:) made me smile. This is an awesome trip you are taking. I only hope one day I will be able to do something similar.

  7. Thank you all for your kind comments and I'm glad you could enjoy the trip with me.
    I didn't post while overseas as we packed light and didn't take the laptop and we were too busy to find internet cafes and not all hotels had a connection, but I kept a diary and a record of the pics. So when I returned home to posted our trip. It was fun as I relived the trip again.
    I doubt we'll ever manage another big OS trip as we are getting older and the sliding economy is gobbling up our savings (super).But secretly I would love to visit Canada and the States again as it is a long time since I have been there.

  8. Hi Diane, I have just caught up with the last installment of your trip. So sorry that you ended up sick. It is your worst nightmare to be sick while away on holiday. Glad that you are over it now though. I have enjoyed every photo and segment that you have posted. It truly is a trip to remember. It is back to the "real world" now. Cheers

  9. Your photos of Locarno brought back so many memories of our last long trip to Switzerland in 2001 (we were in Basel for just 2 nights in May this year). We loved Locarno (we took the train back to Basel) and were fascinated by the houses that appeared to perch on the very edge of the cliff above the town. However, as the train wended its way up and over the cliff we found there was much more space up there than we had thought.

    I'll now have to go back and read you post in detail.

  10. Travelling by train is an option for the people, if they feel convenient they can ride in otherwise they can also fly to reach their destination.
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