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.
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.
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) 😀.