I came across these negatives recently. I remember where they were taken (Lugano), but I don’t remember exactly when – sometime in the mid 1990s I believe.

I do remember the trip though – vividly! We’d decided to drive from Geneva to Lugano for Easter and left before 9:00am on a gorgeous sunny day. All went well until we got to somewhere around Luzern then the traffic stopped completely. After a while it started again and we moved about a hundred yards and then it stopped again. This continued for hours. Eventually the road started to rise and we figured out what the problem was: snow. There had been significant snow in the Alps and the roads over the passes had been closed. The only way down towards Italy was through the St. Gotthard tunnel and all the traffic was funneling in that direction. To make matters worse for some reason I’m at a loss to understand the lanes cross at the entrance to the tunnel i.e. the right lane goes into the left part of the tunnel and the left lane into the right. A traffic light controls this and this was what was causing the stop/start nature of the traffic.

I hate driving in snow and as we got higher the snow was coming down quite hard. To make matters worse my car was a Mercedes 280SL convertible – a nice car, but because of its rear wheel drive not good on snow. Moreover, I’d already taken the snow tires off as I thought Winter was over. So we came out on the other side of the St. Gotthard tunnel with snow still falling heavily. Luckily we were in Switzerland and everybody was very organized. We were on a three lane highway and all the traffic got into a single file in the middle lane and leaving lots of space between the cars we went slowly down towards Lugano. Somewhere around 800 meters the snow turned to rain and the rest of the journey was pretty easy.

We finally got to our hotel just before 10:30pm just minutes before room service closed. We quickly ordered and I still remember what I had: pasta with funghi porcini. And it tasted delicious!!!

The journey had taken about 14 hours (it should have taken 4-5).

I recall that we took a boat ride on the lake, but I don’t remember going into the surrounding mountains. Since some of the pictures below seem to have been taken from some height, I’m thinking that they may have been taken on the way home. We took a different way back via Milan and the Mont-Blanc tunnel. This time the journey did take about 4-5 hours.




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