Where am I going today? I am still thinking about it, but it will be a stay at home day until the early evening when I might venture out for an adventure. There is not very much excitement in the life of a golden oldie at the moment.
It is holiday time and this morning my iPad news was full of photos of the traffic jam over the Gotthard Pass and on the following motorway, which I have also experienced. Summer holidays have now begun for the schools and everyone wants to be certain of their share of sun. The Gotthard is a mountain separating the Italian speaking part of Switzerland from the rest and if you want to be sure of sun that is where you go in Summer. I know, I have done it.
The problem is that everyone goes there and yesterday being the first big day of the holidays there was a 12 hour blockage of cars seeking the sun in places with such romantic names like Lugano and Locarno, Brissago and Ascona. This was a record and the waiting time all day was at least 2 hours before you could move your car a few centimeters. In the evening it improved, but not really. When the kids were still kids we would do it. To make sure you actually arrive in time in the sunny South, you have a crazy idea about leaving early in the morning for what is usually just a 4-5 hour drive.
We would drag the kids out of their beds at 4.00 a.m. and still half asleep we would climb in to the car and be on our way. It was more or less smooth running until you began the climb to Andermat, which is the last village before the Gotthard. Then you met the real traffic jam and crawling upwards is not fun. Perhaps you car might get a hot motor, and the sun was also now higher in the sky to add to the problems.
Of course there is an alternative, to load your car onto the railway which carries you to the other side of the Gotthard through the Gotthard railway tunnel. I am talking of the early days. Today there is a perfect motorway and new road tunnels have been built in the meanwhile. The kids are now over 40 years old, so I am talking 30 years ago when we had a Simca which is nothing to be compared with modern automobiles. When you are through the tunnel or crossed the mountain pass, known as Tremolo (and you really did tremble with those many hairpin bends) you have arrived where everyone speaks Italian and now all you have to do is perhaps half an hour to your destination, if you do not happen to meet another traffic jam. Once you are through Bellinzona (the capital town of Ticino, the italian Kanton) it is only a short stretch. We were stuck 2 hours after Belinzona in the famous traffic jam but soon Monte Ceneri was approaching, the next mountain in the way. If you survived that one you had arrived. Today roads are improved, new motorways and tunnels have been built, but nothing much has changed. Due to improvements in mobility, even more sun hungry people make their way to the promised holiday land.
One of the problems is that Switzerland is in the middle. We are attacked by tourists coming from other countries wanting to get to other countries. If you are German and want to get to Italy, then you go through Switzerland on the way.
And now after boring everyone with the traffic report from Switzerland I will move on. There are things to do today, like reading a book, play with cooking food in the kitchen, and enjoy the peace and quiet of a little village where the only real nose is from the crows haveing a conversation with the cows, who only moo when they are not chewing grass.