Day 4 - Paris to Switzerland - News Year Eve!!!

December 31, 2012 - Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland


We were up early and had breakfast and ready for 7.30am. It is still pitch black at this time it has only just started to get light around 8.45am. The bus was trapped in the basement of the hotel and we didn’t get going until 8am. Apparently there is really strict driving laws for bus drivers here where they can only drive 4.5 hours and must take 45min rest and need to log it otherwise they can get a 2000 euro on the spot fine.

Today is going to be a long driving day, we are due to arrive in Switzerland at 5pm. But with leaving late I would imagine we would get there closer to 6pm. It is snowing and -10 degrees in Switzerland. It will be an experience since I havent seen or been in snow before. I will definitely be layering up.

I am writing this on the bus, I haven’t really mentioned much about the people on the bus. The majority of the people are teachers on the bus and there is a mix of ages. But I am happy to say that I am not the oldest on the bus but there is only a small number of us over 30. It seems a good group of people, we have to do stupid introductions on the microphone on the bus, I hate doing this if you cant tell. We have to say what our obsession is and new years resolution. There are some weird people on the bus, there is one guy which he is the oldest but he seems bit creepy and is a teacher. He keeps calling me Ray after I told him that I don’t like being called Ray on several occasions. There is 44 people on the bus and only 1 person is from Korea and the rest are Australians surprisingly not many from Sydney. The bus driver and tour guide are Hungarian.

We crossed the boarder from France to Switzerland. We didn’t have to show our passports so unfortunately that is one stamp I wont be getting. Driving through the towns the temperature gauge is 6oC so it isn’t too cold. There are a lot of tunnels (road through the many mountains) in Switzerland apparently there is explosives built into the tunnels. As Switzerland hasn’t participated in war since the 1500s and don’t have any alliances and they have to protect themselves. The Swiss army will set off the explosives in the tunnels to stop their enemy advancing any further. Going through another town the temperature gauge reads 11oC and there is snow on the ground so still not too cold.

There weather is beautiful blue sky in Switzerland. When we arrived into Lauterbrunnen it is a small sky village in the valley of the mountains. There is snow covered everywhere it is so picturesque just like something out of a movie, it doesn’t seem real. By the time we arrived it was 5pm and pitch black, Time to get a shower and dressed ready for dinner and news year eve. Our accommodation is little wooden huts with 4 bunk beds per room and the toilet/shower block is a good 5 minute walk away. Apart from dealing with the walk in the cold to the showers we have to pay ½ franc for 4 minutes of hot water. That isn’t going to last too long with me. I had to change over 20 euro into francs the exchange rate is around 1 euro to 1.2 swiss francs. In Switzerland you can pay using euro notes and get swiss fancs in change. I got my ½ franc coins had a shower which I used 2 coins to have my shower. After getting all dressed up for news year eve. I headed down to the bar where we are having dinner we had a hardy home made swiss meal of vegtable soup, chicken sausage, potato, vegetables with a chocloate3 donut for dessert. Once everyone finished dinner the tables got moved and the music turned up to dance the night away. Drinks were quite expensive, I had a spiced apple cider cost 5 francs.

About 11.30pm a group of men walked through the pub clanging these massive cow bells against their legs, I wish I had ear plugs it was so ear piercing but very random. They then clanged the bells again at 11.45pm and walked out. At midnight, you could hear the bells ringing through the valley and the locals were letting off fire works. All in all it was a nice way to spend new years eve.

Happy New Year!


Swiss bell man at News Year Eve


Christopher Burt:
January 4, 2013
I guess some of us will continue to work while others swan around. Nobody call youse Raechel yet? You know you can actually send more photos of scenery. Already know what Aussies look like.

Hope the rest of your trip is good fun for the over 30s and don't go yodeling - avalanches and all that.
January 5, 2013
Hi Raelene, sounds like you're having a fantastic trip already! Hope you enjoyed seeing snow for the 1st time in Switzerland! Happy New Year! x
January 6, 2013
Hi Raelene, Just catching up on your whereabouts. It's great to hear of where you are going and what you are doing. It takes me back to the times when we travelled through Europe. Keep enjoying it and I will look forward to more of your memoirs!
auntie irene:
January 6, 2013
hi raelene we are glad you are having a great time it does sound great . don`t spend all your euro keep warm and enjoy the rest of your journey i am sure the best is yet to come . please add pictures when you can . look after yourself love mum and auntie irene xxxxxxxxx
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