Monday, January 18, 2016

Touring Switzerland

We left bright and early Friday morning for a flight to Geneva. When we arrived, we made our way to the train station and went to Bern for the day. We were on a double decker train so we sat up top. Thankfully, it wasn't too crowded. 
We visited Bern and the kids enjoyed playing on the playground. Daniel and I traded off on carrying Maddie, and we toured just a bit. It was very quaint and beautiful. I'm sure we missed 75% of it, but what we saw was amazing. 
We went back to the train station and made our way to Lucern for the night. There was still daylight when we arrived and it was clear, so the mountains we could see were incredible. This place was beautiful! 
We checked into our hotel and then walked around the town for a little while. It was nice, but we didn't find a "square" just a lot of pretty buildings scattered about. We walked across the bridge that was built in the 1300s. Part of it had caught fire in the 1990s and was partially destroyed. 
We went to a pub for dinner and enjoyed some food. The restaurant is connected to our room for the night so we didn't have far to walk when we finished. We turned in early and awoke to it snowing. 

We spent part of the morning staring out of our window and taking snowy pictures of the bridge and town covered in white. We made our way down to Starbucks for breakfast and enjoyed bagels, coffee and breakfast sandwiches. This beat any restaurant price within the vacinity of our hotel. 
Once we finished up we decided to make our way to the train station as it was still snowing pretty hard and you couldn't see much. We had debated on doing the first mountain train around the mountain and city but since you couldn't see much, we decided against it. 
When we entered the train station there was a band dressed in pirate attire playing songs. Listening to the music took me back to my high school years. I think they were having some sort of competition because there were multiple groups all dressed differently walking around. 

Our train arrived shortly and we boarded the "golden pass," a scenic route through the Swiss Alps. Our train ride took us through Interlaken where we switched lines and ended our journey in Lausanne. The mountains were covered in snow and it was by far one of our favorites during the trip. The beauty was breathtaking. If we could afford Switzerland, we would seriously contemplate living there. 
When we arrived to Lausanne we walked to our hotel and checked in. We then put our stuff down and tried to find a place for dinner since it was time to eat. We started at a cafĂ© recommended by the concierge, but after looking over the menu and being ignored for 15 minutes, we left. We walked for the longest time and finally found a place that was open and could seat us. Even that was an adventure, but we ordered food, enjoyed it, and then walked back to the bus and headed to the hotel. 

The next morning we ate breakfast at the hotel and watched the snow fall. It was really coming down! We ventured out after it slowed down a bit. We took a bus to the old town area and then walked around. We saw a lot of cool things but our favorite part is where we decided to play in the snow. We all needed that break and the snow was perfect to ball up and throw. 
After spending many of minutes running around and playing we continued on our touristy journey. We walked around and saw a cathedral as well as other amazing structures. 

We made our way back around and took a bus back to the hotel. We then made our way to the train station and continued on the final leg of our journey to Geneva. 
The Swiss Franc and US dollar are almost equal. So yes, you can get a happy meal for $7+ a Big Mac meal for $12 and a double cheese burger for $6. Maddie and Caleb enjoyed lunch, and Daniel and I decided to wait. 
The train station. Our last train ride!

We arrived in the early afternoon. Maddie fell asleep on the tram to the hotel. I started off carrying her, but Daniel took over. Going up hill with an extra 30 pounds (and luggage) is no fun! 

We checked in to our hotel where Maddie woke up (of course) so we made our way to the city. We began by visiting a popular fountain. It sprays straight into the air like a geyser and it was pretty cool to see. We also walked to the other popular attractions and then began our hunt for dinner. It was around 5pm and no one was open. We walked around and around, and then took the bus down further and continued to walk around some more. We finally found a cafe where we enjoyed dinner and warmed up. 
We had a great time and once we finished we made our way to the bus. As we stepped out it was going by so we all busted out in a full sprint towards the bus. I was carrying Maddie and didn't think I would make it. There's nothing like a run immediately following dinner. 

We made it on and sat back for our 20-30 minute ride to the hotel. When we got back to the room Maddie enjoyed a bubble bath while Daniel and I packed and reorganized for our flight the following morning. Caleb then took a bubble bath and we all crashed. 
Santa says, "ho, ho, ho!" When he laughs he says, "ha, ha, ha!" 

We woke up at 6 this morning and got everything ready for our 8:55 flight. We took the bus to the airport and then ate breakfast. We found a great (and quiet) place to sit down and eat until our gate information was released. 

At the gate we waited for over an hour and then boarded. Thankfully, the plane wasn't too crowded so it wasn't that overwhelming. We had a pretty easy flight but had to wait on fog to thin out before landing. Maddie had only been asleep for 15 minutes or so, so our hold up in the sky made for a slightly longer nap. 

Seeing Switzerland was one of our "must do" items on our long list of travel wishes, and we couldn't have dreamed of something better. The scenery is more than we could have hoped for. 

We hope to return one day, but until then we'll say goodbye to one place that quickly rose as one of our favorites. 

Now, we're off to enjoy the winter storm that dumped 6" or so of snow in Warsaw! 

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