September 19th, 2013

Dr. Tectonic


Tuesday we went to Lucerne.

We got a bit of a late start, but it's only an hour from Bern, so it wasn't a problem. We were both tired and a bit museum-ed out and I had a cold coming on, so we decided that we'd just go down there, go for a boat ride, and then head back. I'd read on travel forums that cruising around Lake Lucerne is the thing to do, and the SwissPass covers boat rides as well as train rides, so it sounded like an easy and enjoyable outing.

We were actually thinking we'd spend some extra money and take the one-hour panoramic sightseeing cruise (only discounted, not free, with SwissPass), but when we got to the ticket office, we discovered that it only runs on Sunday. The man at the ticket desk suggested that what we should do instead was just take one of the regularly scheduled boats to a little town named Weggis, then hop off and catch a boat coming back a few minutes later.

To Weggis and back takes 45 minutes each way, and it was a really wonderful way to see the area
around Lucerne. There are some great mountain views, and all kinds of lovely little towns on the shore, and the lake is pretty, and you can see all the clouds, and traveling on the water is fun, and on and on. By the end of it we were saying "Switzerland, you're ridiculous. Stop being so beautiful," every time we saw something new and amazing. It got a bit cold and rainy on the tail end of the return trip, but the nice thing is that it's a big old passenger-ferry boat, so we just went inside.

When we got back to Bern, we took a bus over to Helvetiaplatz and crossed back over on the vertiginously tall bridge (I forget its name) with a great view of the old city walls. Then we wandered around for a bit more. We saw the Zytglogge (the big clocktower) when it struck the hour. It has some little animatronic stuff it does then, but honestly, it wasn't especially more interesting or impressive than just seeing it in general, and not worth making a special trip for. But then we managed to hunt down the monkey statue that Jerry had spotted at one point so we could get some pictures of it.

Got take-away chinese for dinner and took it back to the room. Had a lovely farewell dinner on the balcony. There was a slight beer bottle malfunction, but it just made us laugh. All in all, a lovely last day to the vacation.
Dr. Tectonic

Heading Home

It's Thursday morning here in Geneva, and soon we will head over to the airport and start traveling home.

Yesterday we said our farewells to our lovely hotel in Bern. We had some time to kill before we planned to head down to Geneva, so we wandered around the city one last time. Jerry had been looking for some clothes to buy the whoel time we were here (he found one new outfit in Annecy), but Switzerland is pretty pricey on the U.S. dollar, and clothes are *very* expensive. But! Walking down a block not too far from the bahnhof, we spotted a store that had a clearance sale going on. 80-90% off! So he was able to get a handsome green shirt and some cool pants with lots of pockets.

Then we stopped by Migros to buy lunch for the train and a chocolatier to get some fancy chocolates. The woman helping me didn't really speak English, but my German was sufficient to ask what the different flavors were and negotiate the transaction. Yes! Go high-school German!

The train ride back to Geneva was uneventful. I finished my book (Transition, Iain M. Banks) and played some Layton. Monkey napped. We had plans to go see a museum once we got here, but we were both feeling pretty wiped out by this point, so after we checked into the Holiday Inn Express near the airport, we decided to just chill.

Dinner proved... an adventure. Geneva is more French than Swiss, and they seem to have kind of ridiculous ideas about business hours. Like, why would you run a restaurant that closes at 7 pm, and doesn't really have anything available after 6:30? We eventually found a pizzeria/Italian place attached to the train station that was decent enough, but I got a wee smidge grumpy while we were looking.

Slept soundly enough, although I'm going to try to find some cough syrup in the airport. Today will be 32 hours long, but I'm looking forward to being home. (Kitties! My own bed and pillows! Stores I know!) Colorado, here we come!