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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Switzerland

Our little family flew to Switzerland for a quick trip last week. We flew to Zurich and then caught a train to Interlaken where we stayed at a B&B for three nights. The rooms were so-so, but the owners define hospitality, going so far as to loan us their child backpack so we could hike with Fiona. I knew Switzerland would be expensive, but I'm still shell-shocked at the prices. You couldn't find a plate of basic pasta for less than $25, and even that would be extremely cheap. Chris and I ended up buying food at a local grocery store and packing sandwiches for our hikes and heating up meals in the microwave at the B&B to save money. That said, Switzerland is the most beautiful place I've ever visited. I felt overwhelmed on the train from Zurich to Interlaken as we passed snowy mountains towering over glacier-fed aqua lakes. We hiked both days near Interlaken, one day along the mountain ridge beginning in Niederhorn and the next along a waterfall route beginning in Lauterbrunnen. We took cable cars to the hike start point both days. Fiona was wonderful, taking long naps on Chris' back with her head covered to shield her from the strong sun.

The second day, we hiked an easier route near waterfalls. While we were jamming into a cable car up the mountain, we literally bumped into another couple staying at our B&B. The couple was on a mini-vacation while their 22 month old daughter stayed with her grandmother in Geneva. We hiked with them the whole day and enjoyed two extra sets of hands with Fiona. At a picnic area beneath a waterfall, we ate lunch and watched base jumpers in bat suits jump off the cliff above us. You can do about any extreme sport in Switzerland, i.e., paragliding, bungee jumping, sky diving, helicopter skiing/snowboarding, rock climbing, etc.
View down the cable car route
Wendy and Jamie
While we waited for the train back to Interlaken, Chris and Fiona decided to cool their feet in a nearby glacier-fed stream (first picture). Fiona is as obsessed with the water as Chris. Later in the day, they stopped for another dip in Interlaken.

From Interlaken, we took the beautiful train route in reverse to Lucerne where we stayed for two nights. Here are a few poor quality pictures through the train window.

In Lucerne, we booked a hotel in the old town with a view of the Reuss River. We attempted to rent bicycles our second day, but none were available with child seats. Instead, we wandered the streets and along the water while Fiona pointed at birds and dogs. We stopped at the Lion Monument, a huge stone carving in a cliff of a dying lion, that commemorates Swiss soldiers killed in 1792 during the French Revolution. At the boat rental area at Lake Lucerne, Chris and I laughed hysterically as we watched two groups of Chinese tourists accidentally smash their pontoons into each other (no injuries) on the vast expanse of water. 

On Sunday, Chris jumped in the river near our hotel and floated two kilometers downstream to a small beach. Fiona and I watched him get in the water and float away and then walked to the beach on our own to meet him. Fiona threw a fit as she watched Chris, aka her swim buddy, betray her and float away without her. My walk to the beach with her was not pleasant, but all ended well when Chris carried her in the water at the beach.
Monday saw a long day of travel back to Paris: a mad dash through the rain to the train station where we barely caught the train and then changed clothes in the smelly train bathroom, a delayed flight to Zurich with a fussy Fiona and then a sunset walk home from the train station.

2 Comments:

Blogger The Charlebois said...

Wow, those pictures don't even look real! What a beautiful place! Beautiful people, too. :)

9:25 PM  
Blogger Katrina Custer said...

I recognized so many of those places! Interlaken is a favorite. Are you still in Paris?

1:07 PM  

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