I left Venice in the late morning and drove to Milan and then North towards the Alps, stopping for tea with a friend from school who I hadn’t seen for over thirty years. It was wonderful to meet her again and to feel the connection and ease that come with even distant shared experience. Relieved to be off the highway and in amongst the mountain roads, I drove on with good wishes and the setting sun and arrived in Lugano after dark.
I had wanted to visit Lugano since encountering an enthusiastic resident at a conference in Zurich several years before. I was pleased and grateful to find an interesting combination of Italy and Switzerland, with excellent red wine. There is even an Italian enclave, Campione d’Italia, on the Northern shore of Lake Lugano completely surrounded by the Swiss canton of Ticino, which can be seen in one of the photographs below.
The next morning I went hiking in the Lugano Prealps. The views from Parco San Grato in Carona were spectacular and initially it felt great to be there, moving again, fresh and cold and closer to nature.
I have described my trip as “transitional and photographic” and so far there has been more photography than transition. However, the solitude of the mountains magnified feelings of loss and dislocation that I had successfully ignored since November. As I walked alone, I realised how twenty-two years of continuous employment within investment management firms had served as an attachment and a distraction, and how I had lost myself, despite pursuing a vision of sustainability for the industry in which I truly believed.
I returned to Lugano just after sunset and took some photographs of the lake as the lights came on in the buildings along its shores. The version of the photograph featured in the title above has blurred shapes and white lines from the swans and ducks swimming on the lake. (Followers reading this on email will need to click the link to see it.) The other two are taken from Parco San Grato and show Lake Lugano, the city and surrounding towns.
To deepen into my experience of transition, I have decided to go further into the mountains to visit a Medieval walled town in Southern Tyrol, which will be the subject of my next post.