I have been wandering parts of Europe for the last month: Italy, Monaco, France and Switzerland. I almost didn’t go to Switzerland, but that would have been a huge mistake. I fell in love with the country immediately upon my arrival in Lugano, about an hour north of Milano, Italia. Located on serene Lake Lugano nestled between 1000 foot peaks, the town is heavily influenced by Italy and most people speak Italian but they are definitely Swiss. The country was celebrating Ascension Day (40 days after Easter). Stores are closed and in Lugano there is a big several day festival in the plaza on the lake.
However, for me the real treat was coming upon a group of skateboarders flying off a bank’s steps…usually landing, sometimes crashing. They weren’t local guys, they had taken a train four hours to get to Lugano to skateboard for the day…because Lugano had the only sunny day in Switzerland on Thursday. And if you are going to skateboard you need dry surfaces to do so…thus the four hour train trip. In the US, that would be like taking a train from Boston to New York City to skateboard. That’s commitment. Left to right are: Andy, Dominic1, Joschua, Marius, Jonas, and Dominic2. They are all really great guys; I really enjoyed watching them, photographing their stunts, and chatting with them about their lives and school. They are all 17 except Maxi, who is 14 and I can only assume he is the best boarder in the group, otherwise why would he be with guys 3 years older than he is? However, I couldn’t get him to show me his skills; he was busy videoing the others. I was impressed when I gave them my card to get the photos to them, I asked, “who is the head of the group?” Without hesitation they all said, “Andy.” Andy obviously has the respect of this mates. It’s great having close friends like this and create memorable times together.