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Saturday, July 15, 2017

4 Days in Switzerland - and a Ride on the Glacier Express

Sticking your head out the window and taking pictures 

The blue Rhine River and kayakers along the Glacier Express

My money shot - The Matterhorn from our room balcony with iPhone 7

Swiss horns in downtown Zermatt

One of the neat things about visiting Europe is that other countries and adventures are just an hour or two away. There are plenty of bargain airlines and trains that will get you there - sometimes for as little as $20 to $30 each way. 

Lulu is our travel agent. She loves to book planes - trains - and hotels. She is great at finding deals and special adventures. This time she wanted to spend her birthday in the Alps. Our son - Keith - suggested the Glacier Express - a slow speed express from Zermatt to St Moritz. Lulu found a Swiss flight from London Heathrow to Geneva with a return flight from Zurich to London City Airport. In between we would spend two nights in Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn. The 5 hours on Thursday on the Glacier Express was the main event. This was followed by a rental car trip from Chur to Zurich via Austria - Lichtenstein - and Germany. We had another night to kill so we circled Lake Constance on the German side looking for adventure and a place to stay. 

Our final night was spent in the Bad Hotel in Uberlingen - Germany. This is a village on Lake Constance - a resort town on the Southern border of Germany. Lake Constance borders 4 countries. It was full of old gray Germans on holiday. Lulu found the Bad Hotel (pronounce bod) where we spent the night. The hotel is very old but it had a beautiful garden right on the lake where we had breakfast. (Note from Lulu:  Bad is the German word for bath or sometimes spa.  Many of these lake towns have spas and thermal pools.  I wish we would have had time to go to a thermal pool.)

Friday we drove to Zurich - caught our Swiss jet home at 7 PM. At 8 PM we landed in the "downtown" London City Airport - a tiny airport for short take off and landing jets. After a quick subway ride at 9 PM we were in the London flat. At 10 PM - we were snoring away. I can't emphasize how quick that 3 hours is from standing in Switzerland to sleeping in England in our own bed - and not having to drive one bit. 

Spare Parts - All pictures are untouched - taken by an iPhone 7 or a cheapy Sony camera. The colors are natural. This is the last trip I will take - not getting a local chip for my iPhone. We missed having the maps and wikipedia to look up information about local stuff. It is better having a data plan rather than running around looking for free wifi in McDonalds. Yes - even over here - all McDonalds had free wifi. 
We have 2 weeks left in London before we return to Tallahassee. In August - we have a trip to Los Angeles - a trip to Winnipeg Canada - and a Disney Cruise with the kids - and finally a few days in Cocoa Beach FL. I thought one was supposed to rest on a sabbatical. Thanks for following along. 

300 bridges and 100 tunnels - second class car

Glacier meltwater 

A stop at St Nicks on the way to Zermatt

Zermatt - normally a skiing community

 Glacier water runs right thru Zermatt

Pretty green grass in downtown Zermatt

Cemetery in Zermatt

Lulu at the Zermatt Library

 Having a wheat beer with the Matterhorn

Lots of pretty hotels in Zermatt

 Zermatt from my bedroom window 

The little horn sticking out of this ravine

 No cars in Zermatt - only tiny electric trucks

Note the stone roofs

This little half track cart was neat 

Lulu and I climbed the mountain to 6000 feet

 This cog railroad went to the base of the Matterhorn

We were passed bythis train going to 10000 feet
 Many hotels had these cute little electric buses

The slabs of granite kept rats out of the barns and chalets 

 The old and the new wooden chalets

 The was a traffic jam - 3 carts

Each hotel had a garden 

Driving the goats up the mountain at 5 PM

Black and white goats

Catholic cemetery

 Cemetery and chapel

Lots of colorful flowers

 River and bridges from Glacier Express

 Climbing high to 6000 feet

Nice group of Univ of Georgia  grads

Metal roofs and glaciers

 Homes along the train tracks

This could be Coaldale - Lansford - Summit Hill

 Our glass topped Glacier Express

Tiny passage way around restaurant

First class car on Glacier Express 

Nice big toilet

On the top of the world - with the World's First Lady

Some glare from the windows


Rock dropped by glaciers

Lulu loved taking pictures 

Kayakers enjoying the fast blue water

 Many Asians enjoyed the trip

The Rhine River Valley

The blue is not fake 
The train station in Chur where we left the train

On to Germany

I enjoyed driving my Renault Clio - gas power - 6 speed

Cliffs in Lichtenstein

 If I could bring a car home - it would be a Vespa Ape

Lulu getting her Lichtenstein passport stamp

King Harry of Lichtenstein 

I wish the kids were here for this picture

New Parliament of Lichtenstein

Old Parliament building in Lichtenstein

 Cathedral in Lichtenstein

 Inside Lichtenstein Cathedral

Note sure what this place was - maybe White House

 Lichtenstein has "FL" in their license plate - Florida

Looked like weeds - field of wild flowers

King's Palace - Lichtenstein 

My iPhone said our floor was tilted 18 degrees - nah!

 The beautiful Bad Hotel - Uberlingen - we stayed there

The gardens at the Bad Hotel

I found this Melissa bottle at the Bad Hotel


Art in Uberlingen 
Fish spitting

Flags - Austria - Switzerland - Germany - Lichtenstein - Euro

Old people statuary 

Ferry cross Lake Constance

Could be the setting of a Nazi movie

Ice cream in Uberlingen 

Lots of older biker - along lake 

 Shopping Uberlingen

Building art

Uberlingen church

 Buying licorice

Bad Hotel - we had those high tiny windows 

German campers - 60000 euros 

Note 6 speed standard transmission and diesel engine

Smaller - better fuel economy - fuel $6 to $8 a gallon

Hymer is German - they just bought Roadtrek in Canada

 I love this BMW covered scooter - it really works

 These folks were camping right on Zurich street

 I bought rental car fuel - 20 francs for 13 quarts

Getting on our jump jet in Zurich

Flying home up the Thames River

 Short take of and landing jet in London City Airport

 Steps out of each end of our plane

When they land - they put the brakes on like an aircraft carrier.

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