Thursday, July 1, 2010

A new day, a new pace.

*See below for the day before's post.*

So, after yesterday’s mad-dash through 4 countries, today took on a slightly different flavour. Last night’s gastof was a bit of a miss – like I had mentioned, the rooms didn’t have on-suite facilities which, on it’s own, wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but there was also the noise to contend with. Let me explain: After 2 nights on a mega-busy street in Luzern, I was convinced that Lichtenstein, a tiny little dutchy, was going to be all quite and charming. This might be true out in the far country side, but the extremely expensive dutchy (along with Switzerland) is apparently part of the transportation super-highway and we were, once again, on a pretty busy intersection/street. All that wouldn’t have been so bad if the bar staff had remembered to turn off the radio in the terrace section of the restaurant (which my room over-looked). The music wasn’t really loud, and if I had been able to keep my windows closed it wouldn’t have been a problem, but the heat forced me to open them and I was awakened several times during the night to Abba and other club/disco beats. I woke up a little on the testy side and informed Dad that tonight’s accommodations had to be quite – and he certainly took care of that! But more on that later…

So, leaving Lichtenstein we headed back towards Switzerland and Germany with a stop in Basle for lunch. This gave us an opportunity to knock another of Switzerland’s big cities off the to-see list, and it also gave us a chance to try roties. For those not familiar (and I feel sorry for those of you) a rotie is like a potato pancake – it’s grated par-boiled potatoes, fried in a giant skillet and often includes things like vegetables, cheese and meats. Dad and I both enjoyed the carbo-loading, the spent enough time in the city to walk through the green-grocer market in town, snap some pictures, and buy some post-cards. We then left town heading towards Baden-Baden/Freiburg where we’ll spend tomorrow night. (And a big props to Dad for doing most of the driving today – I was just too tired.)

From Basel, we crossed into Germany hoping to see a waterfall on the Rhine that Dad remembered, but, wouldn’t you know it, 30 years later and the waterfall is now a hydro-electric dam. Oh well. We’ve already seen the largest waterfall in the Black Forest, so what more could be really ask for? So, now we started heading, via little valley roads, for Freiburg with the intension of finding a little village gastof/pension for the night. We rolled into one of the town bearing the name of Todm and, after going through some switch backs found a little pension for 30 Euros a night (with breakfast). This area is big on skiing, which explains the 6 hotel-like establishments within a 5 minute radius. I think the biggest noise complaint I’ll have is a mouthy cow that apparently lives in the village below us. We got here around 4, took a walk up the road (ps, switch-backs are a lot harder to manage when on foot than in a car), rested for a while, had a GREAT German meal at a swanky hotel/restaurant half a switch-back down the hill and have turned in early. Our land-lady for the night doesn’t speak English, but we gathered that a traditional German breakfast is on offer for the morning so, besides being a little out-dated design wise, our big, clean, comfy rooms are quite the bargain.

Looking forward to Strasburg and Baden-Baden tomorrow and now, off to bed!

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