Michaela Merz

Ticino- Centovalli

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During the spring break we were with my youngest one (7) in Ascona. We had planned a trip by train from Locarno to Verdasio, with a ropeway to Rasa (898m) and a walking-tour to Intragna.

But by mistake we had taken the wrong ropeway and thus ended up on the opposite mountain Monti di Comino. But this did not derogate our joy. Thus we could watch Rasa being located on the opposite mountain from various angles and heights. We walked in the valley and were astonished about the many rebuilt rusticos, the fantastic view into Centovalli until the Lago Maggiore. The tops of the mountains were still covered with snow and at the chapel there was still snow but at the same time gentian, wild orchids and daffodils were competing in blossoming. Lizards were looking for sunny spots and if one approached them carefully, they could be watched from very close.

After almost two hours we had reached the valley again and this time took the correct ropeway to Rasa. This side of the valley was completely different. There was much more forest, the path was steep, demanding and partially quite dangerous. The wilderness had taken over control over the rusticos. The ruins looked sad and melancholic. My little one wanted to know how people had lived here before, when there was no street and no fields. We imagined the hard life 100 years ago, when there was no electricity, no running water, no refrigerator and no grocery store around the corner.

Short before Intragna we reached a stone bridge with a rolling elegant bow, which bridged the broad and powerful torrent Melezza. The bridge from the middle of the 16th century in the middle of the wilderness seemed like a greeting of the powers that be. In the middle of the bridge a tiny chapel which was dedicated to Giovanni Nepomuk. We did not believe our eyes. Just last Christmas I had shown my youngest one the place on the Charles Bridge in Prague, where according to the legend Giovanny or in Czech Jan Nepomucky had been drowned in the Vltava by the furious king as he had refused to tell the king the secrets which the queen had confided in confession. Jan Nepomucky paid for his principles with his life. And here in the middle of the wilderness he is also appreciated.

It started to rain and we reached the street being wet, dirty and tired. Until the next train station it was about 2km. I then suggested that we would try to hitchhike. To be honest, I hardly believed in my idea myself. Who would take two wet, dirty passengers? But as soon as we had stood at the side of the road and I had raised my thumb, the first car stopped and the driver asked worriedly, whether we had been waiting for a long time. He was nice and took us to our destination.

Ticino is wonderful and full of contrasts. On the one hand wilderness, collapsed stone buildings, water, mountains and quietness (apart from the noise of the dominant waterfalls) and on the other hand a lot of luxury and wealth. Where else one can see after a hiking tour 16 Ferraris just like that! And my youngest one counted them several times.

Foto Capture IMG_00000060 IMG_00000058

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