I am pleased to report that I landed at Milan Malpensa and after a tense period of waiting, my bike emerged in a distant corner of the arrivals hall. I was helped in locating my precious box by the manager of the luggage claim who told me he was a mountain biker too, so that was my first bit of luck! I could hardly have begun this new adventure without my bike!
So today was my first full day of riding and what a pleasure it mostly was. I left my rustic B&B in the outskirts of Como and cycled through the old town centre to the shore of Lake Como. After the standard tourist selfie to prove I was actually there I set off northwards in the direction of Switzerland. My real tour was beginning!
Route signs for cyclists in this part of Italy were severely lacking, so I had to rely on navigating by GPS on a route I had already devised. It wasn't easy finding my direction through these border towns and villages and there were some long climbs if I took the wrong turning. Eventually I found the border crossing in the middle of Chiasso and was waved through by the guards - cycle tourists are obviously low grade risks!
After passing through an industrial area on a busy road, suddenly cycle route signs started appearing with typical Swiss orderliness - I was riding the North-South national cycle route , No.3, which took me on paths and side roads into a stunning Swiss landscape that was hard to believe was for real. I was on my way!
Day 1 Stats: 47 Km, 7 hours ( including selfie breaks), 371metres acc. climbs, 0 punctures, 1 Lugano lake-side beer, 100 (?) hello's from passing cyclists!
Posted from Figino Youth Hostel 14/5/15