Verzasca Valley, Switzerland 7/13

August 3, 2013

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We were in 6:00 o’clock stop-and-go rush hour, worse than Los Angeles, when we spotted a big MIGROS shopping center. MIGROS is sort of like a quality Super Market/Department Store, except they close Monday through Friday at 6:30 PM, Saturday at 4:30 and Sunday, they are closed all day (Government law). The parking lot proved to be a safe over-nighter, and fuel was about normal price: CHF.1.87 or if you must know, $7.08 a gallon.

Looking at the legend on our excellent Hallwag Swiss map, we saw there are six types of roads: Motorways, Motorways under construction, (which most of them are), Dual Carriageways, Primary Roads, Main/Secondary Roads and Minor Routes/Tracks/Footpaths. OK, the “road” up the Verzasca Valley in the southern Kanton (State) of Ticino was a Main/Secondary Road. Sounded fine. No mention was made of the one-lane alleys twisting through villages, hairpin corners, hairpin corners inside dark tunnels, (Give me a break!! There should be an amusement ride here.), and overhanging cliffs.

No problem. I’m getting better at this type of “road”. If you have at least 5 inches of clearance between you and the oncoming truck or car, you don’t even slow down. The biggest vehicle has the right of way, even if going downhill. You simply put the driver’s side tire on the center line and on-coming traffic will move over. (A trick an Austrian truck driver told me.) There are now permanent imprints from my fingers on the steering wheel.

I did steal an occasional quick glance at the scenery and there were some turnouts and view areas. The beautiful stone bridge in Lavertezzo was worth a stop, and we had to walk out on the now-famous Verzasca Dam. And no, we did not do the James Bond 722-foot bungee jump. We decided it would be a good idea to have water at the bottom if we ever do a jump. Our destination was the village of Sonogno at the end of the “road”, hopefully with both mirrors intact.

A big MIGROS shopping center gave us a good escape from the stop-and-go rush hour traffic.

A big MIGROS Shopping Center gave us a good escape from the stop-and-go rush hour traffic.

Diesel was about normal price: sFr.1.87 or if you must know, $7.08 a gallon. It up to $7.38 now, since all of Europe is on vacation.

Diesel was about normal price: CHF1.87 or if you must know, $7.08 a gallon. It up to $7.38 now, since all of Europe is on vacation.

This is a “main secondary road”. Our driveway is wider!

This is a “main secondary road”. Our driveway is wider!

This is a “main secondary road”. Our driveway is wider!

The beautiful stone bridge in Lavertezzo was worth a stop.

The beautiful stone bridge in Lavertezzo was worth a stop.

Switzerland #5 006

The aqua blue river flowing down the Verzasca Valley is startlingly clear.

The aqua blue river flowing down the Verzasca Valley is startlingly clear.

We saw the Verzasca Dam on the way up and knew it must be the one used in the James Bond film, Golden Eye.

We saw the Verzasca Dam on the way up and knew it must be the one used in the James Bond film, Golden Eye.

Switzerland #5 009 Switzerland #5 010

We decided it would be a good idea to have water at the bottom if we ever do a jump.

We decided it would be a good idea to have water at the bottom if we ever do a jump.

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