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Easter was my first 4-day long weekend and Lugano was our first trip out of this area.  It was a four and half hour train ride with a change at Olten.  We each bought a half-fare pass (demi-tarif) which made the first class train fare do-able.  Wide leather seats that recline a little, they were more comfortable than my furniture at the company apartment.

These pictures were taken on a moving train through its window.  In many pictures, you might see a haze which is the reflection of my camera or at least the metallic rim of the Lumix’s lens.  A matt black camera body would have alleviated this problem – one advantage of my Canon S90.

It was mesmerizing to watch the scenery whiz-by.  The vegetation changed dramatically as we passed by farmland, alpine meadows, and snowy valleys.  After Lucern, the train began its ascent from around 200 m above sea level to reach the north entrance of the tunnel at Goschenen.  Along the way, the track double-backed on itself at least twice to gain altitude.  The highlight of the train ride is the passage across the Alps through the St. Gotthard’s Pass tunnel.  The tunnel is 15 km long (about 8 minutes train ride) and rises to about 1145 m before descending toward the south end at Airolo.  There was plenty of snow on the ground at both ends.  My watch has an altimeter which provided live altitude readings.

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