Sunday, 5 April 2009

Flowering Camellias and Magnolias in Locarno

My wife Lili likes very much flowers and years ago I have promised to her a visit to Holland in the time of tulips flowering. Unfortunately also this year it was not possible to fulfill the promise because in last week there was NATO summit in Strasbourg and the airspace around was closed. I hope I'll be able to visit Holland next year.
Last year we visited my colleague from OakTable Christian Antognini who lives in Ticino in Switzerland and they invited us to make a visit during the spring time when camellias and magnolias will be flowering. We were waiting for good weather and finally we decided to fly to Locarno (LSZL) on Saturday, April 4th.
As Switzerland is part of Schengen area also for aviation since end of March 2009 it was possible to make a direct flight from Divača (LJDI) to Locarno. The route was the same as last year. Unfortunately the bad weather and low clouds at 8000 feet prevented us to follow the planned route so we had to divert and the actual route was: LJDI-TRIESTE-GRADO-PORTOGRUARO-VIC (VOR) - ORI (VOR) - PORLEZZA - LSZL.
It was amazing that the weather in Switzerland was almost clear sky with only few clouds pretty higher than FL100. We passed Swiss border and descended to 4000 feet over Bellinzona and then preformed a straight in approach to Locarno.
The weather was sunny and warm and people were wearing just T-shirts what is not so common for my home place for the beginning of April.
First we visited Locarno Camellias Park which is located on the shore of Lago Magiore. I was expecting to see some beautiful flowers but I was wrong, it was much more. We came just in the right time to see all camellias in full flowering and it was awesome. My wife Lili was so surprised that she was hardly able to breathe. I posted some of the pictures I took in the park.
After visiting camellias we drove to "Parco Botanico del Bargarogno" about 15 minutes drive from Locarno airport. This garden has more magnolias than camellias and is located in a quite steep terrain between some nice small creeks. It was “once in life” adventure to see all those magnolias and also camellias in full flowering.
For the return flight I planned the same route as we actually did when flying to Locarno and I was right. The weather between Bergamo and Vicenca was pretty bad and the clouds were just high enough to safely clear the hills. From time to time it was raining and the temperature was just few degrees above zero. The last part of the route was most complicated as there was a shower between Grado and Trieste and we had to divert close to LIPQ and cross the border there.
It was a very nice trip although the weather was not perfect. I must here express my thankfulness to Michelle and Chris for preparing us this marvelous day.

1 comment:

  1. Joze,

    How are you and Lilli? I love the pics. Glad to hear that you had such a wonderful time.
    Say hai to Lily and keep posting your trips. Love to see them.

    Nisha Riyaz


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