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Analogue Adventures – Europe 1984 -Florence, Italy to Sisikon, Switzerland

All photos taken on June 29, 1984.

Another Italian city, another Italian breakfast of, you know…rolls and coffee.

We were leaving Italy for Switzerland today and it would be a fairly long drive. Our time to be at the back of the bus had arrived before we got to Rome, so we were gradually moving forward again, but still in the bouncy back.

It was a 4 hour drive to Lugano and our first stop. We enjoyed a lunch of prosciutto pizza, spaghetti Carbonara, beer for me and tea for Patty. After lunch, we walked down to Lake Lugano to take in the views.

It would be another 1.5 hours to the St. Gotthard road tunnel, before we really started to see the alpine scenery.

The Gotthard Road Tunnel in Switzerland runs from Göschenen in the canton of Uri at its northern portal, to Airolo in Ticino to the south, and is 16.9 kilometres (10.5 mi) in length below the St Gotthard Pass, a major pass of the Alps. At time of construction, in 1980, it was the longest road tunnel in the world; it is currently the fifth-longest. Although it is a motorway tunnel, part of the A2 from Basel to Chiasso, it consists of only one bidirectional tube with two lanes. With a maximum elevation of 1,175 metres (3,855 ft) at the tunnel’s highest point, the A2 motorway has the lowest maximum elevation of any direct north-south road through the Alps.

The tunnel rises from the northern portal at Göschenen (1,080 m (3,540 ft)) and the culminating point is reached after approximately 8 kilometres (5.0 mi). After two or three more kilometres, the border between the cantons of Uri and Ticino is passed; after another 7 kilometres (4.3 mi), the tunnel ends at the southern portal near to Airolo (1,146 m (3,760 ft)). The journey takes about 13 minutes by car, the maximum speed being 80 km/h (50 mph).

The Gotthard Road Tunnel is one of the three tunnels that connect the Swiss Plateau to southern Switzerland and run under the Gotthard Massif, the two other being railway tunnels, the Gotthard Tunnel (1882) and the Gotthard Base Tunnel (2016). All three tunnels bypass the Gotthard Pass, an important trade route since the 13th century. The pass road culminates about 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above the tunnel, at a height of 2,106 metres (6,909 ft), and is only passable in summer.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Through the tunnel, we were now surrounded by the Alps

It was another hour to Sisikon, where we would be staying for the night. In true Cosmos fashion, this was half an hour away from Lake Lucerne. Sigh.

Lake Lucerne near Sisikon, Switzerland
the road hugging the mountains along Lake Lucerne
Pat in Sisikon
Allan in Sisikon
beautiful Swiss scenery
home and home owner in Sisikon
Hotel Eden, our cramped home away from home in Sisikon with our tour bus parked beside

Once we had checked in and freshened up, we were off into Lake Lucerne for dinner and a Swiss cultural evening. The meal at the dinner show was vegetable soup, salad, roast beef and knodel all washed down with wine and tea. Dessert was creme caramel.

The floor show included dances, music (including alpenhorn, spoons and yodeling).

We left for Sisikon about 10:00 PM and fell into a deep sleep in the mountain air. We were glad to be in a dark quiet setting (and glad that the yodeling had stopped) 😀.

Published by kagould17

Not much to tell. After working for 3 companies over 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I had waited my entire career for……retirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 7+ years and while it is not always exciting, the chance to do what I want for myself and my family instead of what my company wants has been very fulfilling. Early on, there was a long list of projects in my “to-do” hopper and I attacked these projects with a vengeance for the first 9 months of retirement. Eventually, my brain told me that this was not what retirement was about, so it took me another 5 months before my industriousness again took over and I attacked another line of projects, this time somewhat shorter and less complicated, as well as many new projects related to the family weddings in 2016. After going hard for 6 weeks and 3 weddings, my body was telling me to relax, then the flu bug hit and as soon as that was done with me, my sciatic acted up. No rest for the wicked. In 2020 and 2021, the Covid 19 pandemic changed the whole retirement gig. I was lucky to not be still working, for sure. I enjoy photography, gardening, working with my hands, walking, cycling, skiing, travelling, reading and creating special photo and video productions obtained in my first pastime. I may never become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.

15 thoughts on “Analogue Adventures – Europe 1984 -Florence, Italy to Sisikon, Switzerland

  1. We drove through the St. Gotthard Pass in 1977, but I don’t remember any long tunnel. Not 13 minutes long. I do remember being terrified when the switchbacks above Airolo went out into the air and the highway was held up by cement pillars. I swore I would never drive that route again. As it was, we came back via Yugoslavia and Austria (having taken a ferry from Italy to Greece earlier). A very scary drive through the pass, for sure (for me, anyway – I’m a wimp).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are three tunnels in the Gotthard area. Two railway and one road. The road tunnel was opened on September 5 1980 and was much safer to drive than the high pass. But, there have been accidents and in the busy season there can be traffic jams, not a good thing if you are stuck in the tunnel. I have driven many high mountain passes in my time and must admit to being scared on a few of them. Thanks for reading Anneli. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for that info, Allan. I don’t remember there being any alternatives to driving on the main road through the pass. I guess the tunnels weren’t built yet. Just as well. I’m not sure which is worse, tunnels or switchbacks over open air.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Switzerland is beautiful in any season. I’ve visited many times and have always enjoyed the scenery, food and (in younger years), skiing. No cultural yodelling nights, though. I’ve heard so much of it echoing through the mountains.😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was so very pretty. The mountains seemed closer to us that those in the Rockies. Dinner was full of knodel and yodel. We would like to see how the other parts of Switzerland vary, depending on which country they are closer to. Thanks for reading Linda. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

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