Sunday, June 27, 2010

Swiss Miss

*Yesterday's post below.*

Left Rothenburg early this morning heading for Switzerland. Not much of a fuss on the drive, but once again, I did most of the driving through construction – it’s really amazing the way the fates are conspiring to stress me out on the roads. Anyway….

We arrived at the edge of the Bodensee/Lake Constance and took the ferry across to Germany – we thought it would be Switzerland, but there is a small out-cropping in the lake that you have to cross first before getting to Switzerland. As we approached the boarder, we were shocked to actually see a boarder-guard out there stopping the occasional car, but mostly waiving people through. We didn’t have to show our pass-ports, but had to ask about the toll high-ways. Switzerland makes you buy a pass to drive on their highways, so we had to pull over at the boarder and purchase one: it was either 40 Swiss Francs, or 40 Euros. All Dad had was Euros, so we got had: the Canadian dollar is trading almost at par with the Swiss Franc. Oh well, pass purchased we can now drive on Austrian high-ways for the rest of the year. Well, at least our rental car can.

Since the ferry crossing was a little choppy, I wasn’t that hungry for lunch and we decided to wait until we got to Zurich to stop. Sunday afternoon in Zurich is a zoo – lots of people out walking, lots of cars, and oodles of tourists. We drove around the old city for a bit looking for a parking spot before finally just heading down to the lake that edges the city. There, we found free parking, and got out and stopped at the first cafĂ© we found for lunch. Again, since we didn’t have any Francs we got had on the exchange rate a bit – it was an expensive lunch. We then grabbed some photos of the lake that Zurich sits on, but hopped back on the road quickly since Dad wanted to get to Luzern.

We came into the city and headed for the old down town center. After finding a parking spot, we started looking for a tourist information bureau. On the way we found a tour company that does a trip via boat around the lake here in town, then takes you up to Mount Palates, which over-looks Luzern. We also wandered along the covered bridge here in town, with is famous for the early-modern religious paintings that hang from the ceiling. A fire in 1993 destroyed many, but the ones that are still there (and the ones that had been put in storage when the bridge was shortened) and quite well done.

However, by this time it was almost 4. The heat here is really bothering me – it’s almost 30, there are no clouds in the sky, I still have a minor sun-burn and, to be completely honest, I’m not in the best shape. All of this is a recipe for a minor-disaster. At this point in our day I put my foot down and asked to be allowed to go check into the hotel for some R and R. And here’s where the day got interesting.

Earlier on in the car I was looking at our hotel-confirmation email that Dad brought with him. 2 things struck me: 1- it really only looked like there was 1 room booked for us. 2- The start date on the reservation was the 26th. Now, we’ve been travelling for over 2 weeks and I’ve lost track of what day of the week it is, let alone what calendar day. Turns out, our reservations were to start yesterday. After some quick talking on the part of the inn-keeper, he decided to cut us a deal (that means we’re paying the same we would have paid had be been here yesterday and today, not today and tomorrow) and give us 2 rooms for the days we need. Just like in Amsterdam, we’ve ended up in an apartment-like suite, where we have separate rooms, but share a bathroom. We’re wedged between two busy roads, so it’s anyone’s guess how the night’s going to go (especially after it was soooo blissfully quiet at our last hotel).

Early to bed with me tonight so that I can be up early tomorrow for a walk up to the monument for the Swiss Guard (before it gets to hot) then down to the lake for our tour which starts at 9.45.

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