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<   No. 4511   2021-05-10   >

Comic #4511

1 Mercutio: Didn’t you once write a fan-fic about knights?
1 Armoured knight: {inspecting the van in the background} Fascinating.
2 Shakespeare: Yes, the Arthurian Grail quest expedition find themselves snowed in at St Gotthard in the Alps.
3 Shakespeare: Facing their mortality, Galahad and Percival comfort each other with a one-night stand, which they later never acknowledge.
4 Mercutio: What’d you call it?
4 Shakespeare: Knights that Ship in the Pass.
4 Armoured knight: {in background} If only it also belched noxious smoke!

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Writing this comic, I was looking for a famous mountain pass. I settled on (Saint) Gotthard Pass, in the Swiss Alps, because I'd heard the name before and it sounded like something that at least a good fraction of people would know.

Just now, writing up this annotation, I looked up a bit more information about it, including the location on Google Maps...

And discovered that I have in fact driven through Gotthard Pass! It was on my European trip in 2016. I drove through the pass from north to south, heading from Switzerland towards Italy. Here's a photo I took:

Gotthard Pass

This is looking north from this lookout (46° 35' 10.2" N 8° 33' 27.7" E), towards the location of Mätteli (the buildings visible in the curve of the road).

And here's another photo at the southern end of the pass, descending into the town of Airolo, taken from Chiosco Panorama lookout.

Descending into Airolo

On reflection, it's probable that I'd remembered the name of Gotthard Pass more from the fact that I've been there than of any general knowledge of famous mountain passes. But either way, it's a lovely place.

If it's not snowing heavily. (I was there on 2 November. Two days later the pass was closed for the winter because of the first heavy snow. I was very fortunate with the timing!)

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