I woke up around 7am this morning to check out the view (and because my roommates were super loud when they packed up to leave at 6:30am). The good news was that I had the entire room to myself. Ahhh.......peace. I got the balcony all set up with a blanket and my iPad, threw on my slippers, grabbed a tray of breakfast (same as yesterday) and a coffee with the intention to take them upstairs for some lakefront balcony action. When I got into the kitchen Amanda was already up and doing some research on the computer. I invited her up to my little piece of heaven, which she accepted and we both headed upstairs and sat in peace. Although, there wasn't any rain the sky's were grey and the forecast was scheduled to stay that way all day. I contemplated what time to leave for Lucerne before heading to Zurich later in the evening. I already had accommodations booked at Youth Hostel Zurich (40 frank/ nt) so it was just a matter of how long I wanted to spend in Lucerne. Keep in mind it was Sunday and everything would be closed in Lucerne...
After a couple of hours the three stooges were off to the train station to see if they were going to make it to Italy or Croatia today. I packed up my room because check out was at 10am and brought my bag downstairs. Cam was in the kitchen so I went in to see when he wanted to kayak. He said, "whenever", so in my book that meant now. Haha. We got out the kayaks and onto the water. We paddled over to the same island Tony, Celeste and I had two days before and then aimlessly around other parts of the lake. He told me a lot about himself, his family, his work, his job and where he's been stationed, his friends, his goals....and so on...blah blah blah...Did he ask me any questions? Nope. He was a really nice, classy, religious guy and did mean well....but seriously? Me being me I kept the conversation going to prevent any awkward silences (cause that kills me). After about an hour dark clouds started to funnel through the mountains again and the water got really rough. An air gun was fired and all of the sail boats headed for shore. This was our cue to head in as well. I was freezing. After docking the boats I showered, got dressed and planned my departure for Lucerne. Cam was heading back to Germany today and had to drive through Lucerne and Zurich so offered me a ride. My intuition set in. The wheels started turning...would I come out alive our be cut up into little pieces? I could hear my moms voice in the back of my head saying, "Lyndsay don't get into cars with strangers". Based on three days of on-and-off conversation I went with my best judgment and got in the car. Before I knew it we were cruising down the highway in his navy blue BMW (just thought I would throw that in there, haha). Plane: check.Train: check. Bus: check. Subway: check. Boat: check, Vespa: check....now Car: check!
Lucerne is only about an hour north of Interlaken. We arrived, parked the car (14 frank) and started our search for an info office. We reached the train station (which are always conveniently located in a downtown location) and grabbed a map and info book. Like I mentioned, with it being Sunday a lot was closed and because of the grey sky's there were even less tourists than on a normal Sunday. Thumbs up to no busy streets and annoying crowds and lineups. I have realized I have a new pet peeve: tourists in my pictures. I despise it. Yes, I know it's hypocritical. Anyway...we walked and took pictures of all of the sights. These included the Kapellbrucke: an old wooden walking bridge lined with up-kept flowers and paintings from pervious wars, the Muhlenplatz: a damning system build way back when but modernized to control flooding in the city, the Verein und Stiftung: a massive wall and castle tower that you could walk through built for war and last The Old Swiss House: which is a restaurant that's been around for hundreds of years. This is actually where we decided to get some good home cooked Swiss food.
We sat down for dinner around 7:30pm. I opened the menu and the prices were ridiculous. I'd say the average price was about 50 franks for a regular entree. I'm not sure how much the beer and water were but I'm sure they were also a hefty price. The inside of the restaurant had a perfect Swiss feel. They had the original paintings, china, plates and silverware from back in the day. The linens were pinks and teals. The roof was lodge-y and there were trinkets everywhere. The waitresses would bring all of the food table side and cook it. A popular dish seemed to be the schnitzel (go figure). I didn't realize they had schnitzel until after I ordered but it was neat watching her cook for others and the aroma in the air made you salivate. I was starving by the time I got my food. I ordered the beef brisket which came with spinach and potatoes. omg, most tender meat I had ever tasted. For dressing they brought out small bowls of cranberry sauce and horseradish as well as a hot gravy bowl of creamy green onion garlic sauce. To die for! (45 frank) Cameron ordered the veal which was accompanied by a mushroom sauce and hashbrowns (70 frank -his was a 3 course meal). Two extremely different meals but we were both extremely impressed with what we ordered. Everything was made from scratch and the service was phenomenal. I'm glad the food was good because I was exhausted from keeping the conversation going all day. Seriously, he still hadn't asked me more than ten questions. I did learn a good travel tip though: travel with boys they pay for everything. Ironically, I did a good job at this in the most expensive country! (not intentionally of course). For dessert Cam got chocolate mousse which was topped with a homemade whipped cream. Heavenly. I forgot to mention that earlier in the day we stopped at a Swiss chocolate shop called Laderach and bought the most mouth watering chocolate known to man. These flavours included: orange chocolate, strawberry shortcake white chocolate, a lemon milk chocolate, milk almond, milk caramel and a few others (50 frank). Yes! Again, expensive (I can picture the look on my dads face as he reads the price, haha) I made a pact to myself to give up pizza and gelato after Italy and chocolate after Switzerland so I have to indulge while I can. Right?
Ok, I went off on a tangent. Alright, so after the mousse we needed to get going because I needed to get to Zurich to check into my hostel. Zurich was only about 45 km away from Lucerne so we made it in no time. Cam helped me bring my stuff in and hung out until about 1:30am. We sat in the common area and looked at different destinations we dreamed of going one day. I also wanted to look into the prices for the Louvre and what there was to do in Zurich. He had five more hours of driving to do in order to make it back to Germany for a 6am pickup truck. His 2 year deployment in Germany was up so he's heading back to Texas after beerfest the first weekend of August. I thanked him for the ride and gave him 20 franks for gas and went to bed. I had to literally peel my contacts out of my eyeballs. I was sooooo tired. Getting back to my room I realized I was on the top bunk....uggggghh....so I jumped up and went to bed. I didn't think it would be polite to be noisy so I didn't put my pj's on or charge any of my devices. Making note for tomorrow.
I wrote a bunch of random notes down today so I think I'll share them here:
1. I made more handmade bought pasta before leaving Interlaken but the hostel in Zurich doesn't have a fridge so I had to throw it out, completely disappointed, but the positive; I can officially give up pasta now
2. The dogs in Europe are all really small. They kind of look like oversized rats. I've never seen these breeds in Canada.
3. Switzerland has a lot of swans. My first time seeing them in Europe
4. I've noticed that now that I have been in Europe I look past a lot of what was so fascinating with when I first arrived. I bet when I go home the houses and buildings, etc will look funny.
5. Italy and Spain had a lot of flats, it seems people in Switzerland own houses. It must be all of that money.
6. Europe has amazing fashion
7. After the hike yesterday I could feel my right foot starting to act up again. A repetitive strain injury maybe? Taking it easy is a good idea.