Last Friday, my two friends and I hitchhiked to Lugano.
The city is located in the South of Switzerland, close to the Italian border, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. It is a charming travel destination as it is nestled in an impressive mountain range of the Lugano Prealps and located right next to the beautiful Lake Lugano.
We arrived in the evening and first of all enjoyed a delicious kebab on a park bench overlooking the lake which was lit up by the countless city lights. While sitting there and listening to the nightly sounds and music from a far-away distance, we felt motivated to experience Lugano’s nightlife as well. So with our heavy backpacks on, we followed the noises and suddenly were standing among a cheerful crowd in the city centre. A wine festival took place and therefore, the site was full of food and drink stalls and various bands were playing.
After a while, we left the festival and started searching for shelter for the night. This mission proved to be more difficult than expected since all parks are locked during night-time and protected with large fences. So we started walking… And kept on walking… Searching for some public green area to put our tents up. But nothing. It seemed like the whole city was embedded in concrete.
And then there it was, a sign: MUSEO DELLE CULTURE
Well, why not spend the night at the Museum of Cultures for once? We were polite enough to not put up our tents but only sleep in our sleeping bags instead. We lay down right next to the banks of the river, upward glance to the sky, watching some bats peacefully circling above us and fell asleep listening to the smooth sound of the crashing waves.
“BUONGIORNO!!!” was the first thing I heard in the morning.
I looked up and only saw four massive black leather boots right in front of me. Skyrocketing, I saw the corresponding two faces. Faces of police officers who didn’t look too amused seeing us lying in their beloved museum. Just like I rehearsed all night long, I directly started apologising to them. Something like: “We’re so sorry. We couldn’t get hold of our friend last night and didn’t know where to go. We’re poor students and can’t afford a hotel room.” And so on and on.
Of course the police officers didn’t understand a single word and also didn’t seem to bother what I was trying to explain. They looked at us with plain faces and requested our ID’s. My friends, Michael and Tim, half asleep and totally cool with the whole situation, slowly handed theirs over. I did the same – only that I nerved myself for paying a big fine or even worse, spending a night in prison.
I must have watched too many movies… Everything was fine; the two uninvited guests with the leather boots left and requested us to do the same. And of course the guys made fun of me all day long and constantly repeated my apologies in front of the police officers…
The rest of the day we spent eating, sunbathing, reading and obviously exploring this charming city. In the evening we met up with Michael’s former roommate Emanuele and his girlfriend Linda. The two kindly let us stay with them for the rest of the weekend and made us feel welcome at their home very much. After some pre-drinking, we set off for another round of Lugano’s wine festival. We had a great night, accompanied with music and good wine, dancing and singing.
The next morning, or let’s better say around noon, after some delicious breakfast on the balcony, we were ready for our last day in this beautiful part of Switzerland. Emanuele suggested to take his boat and cruise around Lake Lugano and so we spent the whole afternoon relaxing, sunbathing and swimming.
And the best was: we even visited ITALY.
Switzerland to our left and Italy to our right. We stopped in Lavena Ponte Tresa to enjoy some coffee and a nice sandwich.
After such a perfect weekend it really wasn’t easy for us to leave again.. In fact, it was very difficult. We had to wait almost four hours until finally an Italian driver took pity on us and gave us a lift. But all the waiting was definitely worth the fun we had that weekend!
Last but not least, thank you, Linda and Emanuele, for all your kindness and hospitality!!!