Switzerland is beautiful. It is clean, the people are friendly and the scenery is awesome. We only managed to get to the lake areas in the south on Swiss Italia but had a great time there. Even though they speak Italian in this area, they consider themselves Swiss not Italian, as do the Swiss Germans and Swiss French that we met. We spent 3 days between Locarno, Lugarno and Bellinzona, sleeping in a football stadium car park, (where we were woke up at 6 am by the noise of a couple of busloads of kids going off on a trip right in front of our van), a 24 hour parking area, and in a campground by the lake. We walked a section of the "Olive Trail", saw a car hit a motorcyclist in front of us, and checked out a chocolate factory- free unlimited tastings, and free entry that day as it was some kind of holiday!! It's all about timing!. In Locarno, we found a new swimming centre with a 25 metre inside pool, 3 water slides, outdoor pool and outdoor spa pool with jets, benches, showers etc in this huge pool. It was amazing. The girl at Reception gave us a 2 for 1 offer form to use when we enquired about it, so we returned later and made use of it. It was an amazingly organised and efficient system.
The next day, we drove to Bellinzona, home of 3 fairytale type castles, where we managed to find our way up to the top of the castle - once again free for the day, and then followed some music which led us down into a small plaza where we found an amazing café at which we entertained the locals by being from Australia. When Sam was telling the guy serving us that we were Australian, all the people at the tables starting excitedly repeating the fact in Swiss, and then one group of women who had heard it, told their friend the news, as soon as she arrived, so she turned around and stared at the novelties.
We drove back to Lugano to a campground to clean up, empty waste, get organised etc. We helped a Swiss couple move their caravan into place and swapped addresses with them. They hope to be coming to Australia next year.
Our stay in Switzerland was short but sweet. Once again, we met lots of interesting people due to Sam's obsession with talking to everyone he sees in the street or sits next to in a café, or is served by!!!