Monte Generoso

Of course! We had to use one of the dozens of cogwheel railways which bring the less athletically inclined to mountain tops in the Alps. Across from Melide, a few kilometers along Lago die Lugano toward Capolago-Riva San Vitale there is the valley floor terminus of the Generoso railway or Ferrovia Monte Generoso. The train climbs about 4300 ft from the lake to the the Generoso Vetta terminus, at 1,592 m (5,223 ft).

During the ride the girls decided to stop breathing when we entered a tunnel. I’d understand were we still being pushed up there by the old steamer (there is a historical engine surviving …Sunday runs, just missed it) but what’s the point in an electric one? – Best you ask Sophia and Natalie, maybe Brenna as she played along with the stop-breathing game with her girls.

At the top I made sure nobody had gone off before (there are two lower level stops) and you can see ’em climbing out and fresh and rested for a final assault of the Generoso Summit Vetta.

It’s another 100+ meter ascent to the very top and of course, we wanted the views! We left the brand new development of the summit station, restaurant and more, to yet do a bit of foot work. I noticed with satisfaction that the sundial has only SUN-TIME, not summer-time and dailight saving fudgings. Natalie was first to the top. Sophia checked out the replicas of old posters for the Mt Generoso and its railway, and I added some such postcards to my collection.

The views are best in fall and when the Swiss variety of a Chinook is blowing, the Föhn. Then you can see Milano and right across the river plane of the Po all the way to the Apenine. 200km away). I used a de-hazing tool to get a bit more clarity for the views toward the Alps but the foscia (hazy smog) of Milano is hard to penetrate.

Every meter one gains the effort opens the view yet a bit more. We located Melide (the dam for raod, freeway and railway) quickly and higher up took a sweep from left to right beginning with Capolago-Riva San Vitale where the train begins thencentre middle ground Morcote on and above the Lake. You see that once more centre left, centre with the dam Melide and to the right Lugano (twice but the crest line of Mt Generoso hids parts of it). Second last shows alpine pastures and the last toward the observatory and microwave towers is oriented toward the invisible Milano (less than 40km away as the crow flies …not many will want to go there 🙂

After a mountain top lunch we headed back to the station, took some pictures of flowers, tried to catch those quick little lizards and got ready to board again that MG train.

During the descente it got hot and hotter and one after the other passengers fell asleep leaning dangerously in the tight curves yet not to be woken by the squeel of wheels and the racket of rack & pinnion (sproket wheel running in a toothed third rail between the guiding outer ones).

We all knew one thing: cool pool in Melide! Natalie at the pool looks back to Mt Generoso (the highest in the chain; train station in the sattle to the right).

And after supper we went down into the old Melide and in front of it a great new playground called Isola dei Pirati (do you really need a translation?!). It’s an easy stroll back along the lake. In the last picture one can just make out our home away from home, top most white building a bit to the right and above image centre.

At six when I get blogging all is quiet.


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