Ahhhhhhhhhh........Switzerland, land of cool weather, snow, ice, chocolates, fondues & beautiful scenery!
Well almost....no snow, no ice (except in our drinks where possible!) melted chocolate and fondues not needing any candles for melting!
Oh well...we still saw the beautiful scenery!! Early morning and we flew from Amsterdam to Zurich where we caught a train (actually 2, but no one told us!) to Lucerne where it was 36 deg and we couldn't check in till 2pm! So we dumped our bags and headed for the port for a ferry ride around the lake and hoped for a cool breeze (a cyclone would have done beautifully!!)
Switzerland is postcard pretty, unfortunately the heat haze was a bugger for our photos!! Lucerne is a lovely city with beautiful old buildings and around the lake's edge were great mansions & little villages...reminded me of Lake Como (but no George Clooney!). We had splurged on a suite (yes anyone that knows us well will be choking....!!) but alas still no AC just a paltry fan and no apology...so I had a cold bath!! Kev reveling in this temperature.....****!!!!
Next day, up early for next train to Interlaken, where we were met by a lovely Swiss man & his 4 year old son who took our bags (hopefully he was the right one?) and directed us to the next train, this one to Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in the world!. Unbeknown to us (and obviously to him also) it was the wrong train, so instead of first class booked seats we were sent to the cattle class and "mob rules". Now I am no racist BUT Chinese tour groups are something to be avoided at all cost!!
Finally seated (due to Kev's walking stick (I'm loving the "stick") even the Chinese respect their elders (& carers!!) and up, up ,up we go! How the hell they built this track, tunnel, bridge construction is amazing!!
The view from the top was also amazing and guess what Google weather told us it would be 8 degrease up top...Yeah!!!!....no!!! It was a extremely warm day at 23...but I was still grateful!!
Lots of snow left, so white, white, white everywhere...I didn't want to leave!! But time to go and, yes, wrong train again or wait 2 extra hours for the booked one, but we wanted to see Interlaken ...so back to cattle class! God the drink & meal when we got back down tasted wonderful!! BUT to eat in Switzerland you need to access that hidden Swiss bank account, which in our case is too well hidden! If you ever want a scenic holiday and LOSE weight..Switzerland is the place to be!!
Another lovely old world style (yes that means no AC) hotel and our bags were there too!! Phew! Did I mention no fridge or mini bar..does life get any worse???
Up early the next morning (Kev is not happy!!) & on another train, this time to Montreaux, one of the Jazz capitals of the world and National Swiss Day which means a public holiday (& yes that mean everything shut!!) but they were celebrating with a big fair in town and open air music (jazz?) and food etc...GREAT!!....Checked in to another older world style hotel (no AC but a mini bar!!) Took the local bus (did I mention if you are a tourist staying in a hotel in Switzerland you are entitled to passes that give you free bus trips everywhere..very nice).
Only 15 minutes to Chillon Castle (parts dating back 1000 years) which was in unbelievable condition and extremely well kept and restored with lots of original furniture (well maybe not the 1000 year old stuff?). We wandered there 'til about 7pm when it closed then decided to head back to town to break the bank again and eat, check out the music & festivities !! But no, life had other ideas! A storm broke suddenly, all very thrilling but closed the celebrations and drowned us in one go!! So now hot and humid!! What God did we upset??
Next morning up and on our last train, for awhile, to Paris this time hopefully? As we had lost our tickets (don't ask!) and the French being the ever gracious host told us hard luck, not replaceable even though they were booked for a specific train, at a specific time in our names with reserved seating?? So we decided to wing it and plead dumb (we had receipt with all info) but as luck (finally!) would have it a lady in our carriage had a suitcase fly off the racks above and crash down on her (well..not so lucky for her!) and she yelled blue murder so the ticket inspectors spent all their time trying to mollify her and write bureaucratic reports (the French way!) with the lucky consequence that they never had time to do the ticket check!!
So I have say I feel like we survived Switzerland....but the scenery was beautiful...you have never seen GREEN until you have seen Swiss countryside (I thought the UK had this, but no!)
I would love to return in winter and do the train trip surrounded by snow and cool weather!! I think their flag should be Blue, White & Green not the white cross on red. As all around you is blue sky, white topped mountains and green, green fields!! Add cute 'A' shaped chalet-style homes and flowers everywhere, it really is extremely pretty which I hope will be portrayed in our photos !!
Off to Paree!!!