The land of the Alps.
Arriving in Geneva at night we briefly saw the city and prepared ourselves for our all day trip through the mountains. The overall experience of our stay in Switzerland was amazing. We spent the entirety of the first day traveling a Golden Pass Panoramic train with floor to ceiling windows.
The views were absolutely stunning and everything had a nice layer of snow on the ground. We constantly saw skiers heading for the slopes and we briefly contemplated hitting the hills the next day.
Check out those peaks.
It was so interesting to be in such a dense network of mountains.
After so many trains we started to develop growths on our backs.
We made a few stops along the way for lunch and had a lovely time at the Christmas Market in Interlaken…having our first taste of Gluwein.
Another excuse to drink before noon.
Interlaken was interesting city with typical Swiss mountain town on one side and extreme sports mecca on the other. With the chance to go bungee jumping and cliff diving we opted for the more relaxed sport of gluwein and people staring.
This time we opted for shoes on instead of off.
Back on the train we headed on our last leg of the journey to Lucerne, passing more mountain peaks and the ever so famous Mt. Pilatus.
Our train through the mountains.
We arrived in the night with it raining and snowing, make up your mind already. We had been getting used to the cold weather but had figured if it was going to cold, why not snow already? It’s kind of rude of the weather to be bitterly cold and only give us rain or nothing. We actually had been a little too wild in the city and spent the night in jail. At least we could share the room and there weren’t any other inmates in there with us.
Our room for the night.
Just kidding…we were staying in an old jail converted into a hotel in the 1990s. Fresh with the original doors and bars on the windows it was quite a fun experience, plus it was around the same price as a hostel and we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast.
The days in Lucerne were mainly spent walking the city streets, ducking in and out of shops to avoid the weather, and people watching. It was another currency to deal with but it was pretty much an equal conversion to US dollars, the only problem being that everything was about twice the price. Even a lovely dinner at McDonalds cost around $20 for two people, and that’s ordering from the “dollar menu”…I say dollar lightly because there was nothing for a dollar. We did get to spend a nice evening eating some fondue at a cute local restaurant. Fondue is a traditional Christmas dish for the Swiss and it really was amazing.
Sorry Melting Pot, the Swiss win this one.
Another traditional Christmas event included St. Nicholas day where people strapped huge bells to their bellies and walked the streets with some Santa Clause-like character that we can’t remember the name of but it sounded like Schmammel Clause. In Europe instead of the customary lump of coal in a child’s stocking they instead tell their children that if they don’t behave they will be kidnapped by some scary character dressed in black. Sounds a little extreme but hey, if it works, I’m down for the idea.
The next few days we saw the city but were ready to leave after trying to save on the budget too much.
Watch out for the troll guarding the bridge.
Breaking out of Lucerne.
Having used another currency, the Swiss Crown, we wanted to make sure and spend all the coins because currency exchanges won’t take coins so we settled on a Twix for the train ride. We were finally heading to Munich and were extremely excited about the beer.