Boxing Briefs

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Day 16:  Tremezzo, Italy & Lugano, 

Even without the relief from worrying about food and water safety, the cooler temperature in northern Italy brings great relief from the heat we experienced in Morocco.  Our day began with temps in the mid-50s under overcast skies.  Leaving Tremezzo late morning, we drove north along the shore of Lake Como to Menaggio and turned west to Switzerland.  Due to the winding nature of the roads and the road traversing through many villages and towns, this 21-mile journey took us more than an hour.

Once in Lugano (pictured above), we tracked down our old friend, Coop.  Pronounced "coop", Coop is a system of Italian and Swiss consumer cooperatives which operates the largest supermarket chain in Italy and is the second largest retailer in Switzerland.  After purchasing some needed food supplies, we searched for a place in Lugano to plant a letterbox.  The city's Civic Park along the shores of Lake Lugano offered just the spot.

After our hiding expedition and a picnic lunch, we headed back east to Italy.  Along the way, we stumbled upon a beautiful little church in the village of Valsolda.  Next to the church was a typical Italian cemetery, paying homage to the deceased of the parish in a personal way.

Photos add a human touch
We find the markers in these cemeteries, with their photographs of the deceased, to be poignant reminders of lives well lived and respected by those left behind.  All are graced with floral memorials, whether they be live or artificial.  Between the cemetery and the tiny church, we found the perfect hiding spot for our Italian letterbox.

Our letterboxing missions accomplished, planting a box in each country, we set our navigation system for our hotel home in Tremezzo.  Before we made it back, however, as we were passing through the village of Menaggio, we stopped to visit a tiny church and a gelateria (ice cream shop).  Leaving the village, Ken saw a sign pointing uphill toward "Trincee-Croce."  The castle symbol on the sign misled us, but the 5 km trip was well worth the detour.  At the top of the mountain, at the end of a dirt lane, we found not an old castle, but restored trenches from the World War I era, along with a tiny church overlooking beautiful Lake Como, and dedicated to those who died in the war.

Chapel dedicated to war heroes
The area seemed to be a perfect place to attract letterboxers to, so we planted our third box of the day nearby before continuing our journey eastward back to Tremezzo and our hotel.

Tomorrow we will drive east to Padova, where we will spend a couple of days before heading into Slovenia.

Santuario della Caravina, Valsolda, Italy
Cemetery, Santuario della Caravina, Valsolda, Italy
Menaggio, Italy from Trincee-Crocee
Tremezzo waterfront
Typical Italian and French treatment of plane (sycamore) trees