Trying to find some self-confidence
07.07.2013 - 09.07.2013
After 2 nights in St Moritz, it was time to move on towards Ticino to explore the beautiful Valle Maggia and also the other tourists spots in Ticino.
On my way towards Ascona, I noticed that my train was going to pass by Bellinzona. What great luck that I have heard of the famous castelli over there. I decided for an impromptu stop to visit them.
There are 3 castles in total. Castelgrande & Montebello are within walking distance, but the third - Sasso Corbaro is located further away. I only visited the first two. Castelgrande was exactly like its namesake - large, grand and imposing. Montebello was much more quaint and personal in comparison and was located on top of a hill. The view of one castle from another was really something to behold.
It was a good trip indeed, although the weather could have been cooler. It seems that ever since i moved more towards the southern region, the temperature increased substantially. Everyday was a sunny weather and tank tops were the best kind of travel clothes!
Moving on, I finally reached Ascona in the evening. As the hostels around Ascona were over my budget, I booked a bunk bed in the quieter area of Losone. It was a good thing I did too. No words can describe how I enjoyed staying in Osteria Riposo for these 2 nights. The hostel is managed by a family who were so warm and friendly, they made me felt right at home and even shared a meal with me once they found out I am a lone traveler. And the price of the bunk bed - it has to be the cheapest in all Switzerland! Really perfect for the budget traveler. Of all the hostels I stayed - this was the best.
I explored a little of Ascona in early evening, and the lake view was fittingly stunning. Bright flowers and delicious food! Oh how I missed delicious food! It's for certain the southern Switzerland has delicacies that suits my palate much better than the northern region. Their pizza and pastas were fittingly one of the best I've tasted.
Early next morning - I took off for Valle Maggia. My plans for this trip- to cycle instead of hike! Earlier on, I had already booked online a mountain bike for myself but I did not take into account my Asian size. The bike was too huge for me! Luckily (or unluckily for my wallet), there was an e-bike available at a higher rental price. Left with no choice, I took it. At first try, it was extremely weird to ride an electric bike. But amazing. This bike was my lifesaver during the uphill rides.
I was extremely worried about riding on the main roads at first because of the fast cars and my inexperience. However, once I turned into the forest routes and village trails, Valle Maggia was everything I expected. So beautiful and out of the world (my Malaysian world at least).
I did plenty of stupid stuff during this ride, and encountered much problems trying to carry my supremely heavy bike at spots when cycling was impossible. This ride seriously was even more challenging than hiking! But I felt so much self-satisfaction and confidence when I managed to cycle alone the entire route that I planned! I'm only sorry that my strength did not allow me to cycle more (even with the e-bike).
During the evening, I visited Verzasca Dam which is famous as being the dam where James Bond bungee jumped.. The bus ride to the dam from Ascona was frighteningly scary. Looking down the dam was even scarier.
One of my to-do list before I die was to bungee jump. Unfortunately, I did not manage to do it here as the timing was not correct =(
All in all, it was a pretty perfect trip. As for tomorrow, I will be investigating the trail of Sherlock Holmes!