We leave France, finally, and enter french Suisse, drive into german Schweiz, pass by italian Svizzera, and visit romansh Svizra, all in Switzerland. The land of chocolate, army knives, watches, mountains and tunnels - but all at a price!
After arriving in Paris, I had no plans for the remainder of the trip. The idea was to allow for all four of us to weigh the options of the last week of the trip. The boys, with their usual immunity to decision, said that they were "easy going". Which is about the least helpful suggestion out there. With my own lassitude in regards to direction, Vicki picked up the burden of planning. A joint hope of visiting a hot springs bath in our hearts, we headed to the aptly named Yverdon-les-Bains.
Yverdon has the best rated hot springs in Switzerland. Arriving in the dark, and without a map of the location was perhaps not the smartest decision. The first hotel encountered was built around the hot springs and had a full service spa. It also cost 350 CHF (270€ or $365 CA) per night, per room. Um. No. The next hotel we tried was nearer the train station, and a 2-star (which is the type we'd been staying in through France). It also came with a hefty price tag of 170 CHF per room, per night. It seemed that Yverdon-les-Bains was out of our price range. Driving about, we found a motel-type that was still over 100 CHF for a double room. At that point, the boys made a decision to drive to Lausanne. Switzerland being small, it was only a half-hour drive.
Lausanne's suburbs provided us with an Ibis hotel. The internet was frustrating/entertaining as only one section of one room really got signal. At one point, somebody looked out the window and began giggling. There was an act of intimacy between two people occurring inside a car. During the performance, another couple and a dog walked by. The dog ran up to the car and started barking and generally being annoying. The lady grabbed the dog and proceeded to drag him away. The man repeated the actions of the dog. Later on, everybody and the dog in the story piled into the car and drove off… presumably content.
|Terraced Wine Op.|
|Train and Wine|
|Driving at Night, in a Tunnel|
|Covered Bridge, Luzern|
Matt and Vicki picked us up on the morning of Day 8. Some time and research the night before had booked a hotel for that night (so we wouldn't have the same problem). The internet had also explained the attraction of Luzern's centre. So Luzern was to be our major Switzerland stop. To get from the parked car to the centre, we had to cross a wooden bridge (built in 1333). Spending the morning in a lovely cafe for breakfast, shopping for gifts/souvenirs, and generally enjoying the area. There were some intricate fountains, as well as beautifully painted and decorated half-timber buildings. On the way back to the parked car, I saw a beautiful bike in a store window. I went in to look at it, and talk to the guy behind the counter. The others were less enthused, and wanted to head out and on. In fact, we headed on a little too fast, and coming out of a tunnel on a Swiss highway a flash confused our driver. Going 5km/h over the speed limit, another speeding ticket!
|Driving in the fog, up a mountain.|
|View from Pizol|
There was a bar, in which we were served by another non-ironic mullet (this time blonde) and had our picture taken by the local Chalet Patrol. A brief discussion on Canada, snow sports and beer occurred. What else! Near the end of the beer and fries, a couple of us went into the back room, to see the decorations... that was a bad idea.
|Say "Pictures are Stupid!"|
Next Installment: Liechtenstein. Do we see the Prince? How far into this tiny country do we go? Do we even touch Lichtensteinian soil with our feet, or only the car? These exceedingly important questions will possibly answered, if I remember!