Showing posts with label switzerland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label switzerland. Show all posts
Monday, 9 February 2015

Switzerland Part 2

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9th - 13th January 2015
For the remainder of my time in Switzerland, I visited Bern and Geneva. Spoiler alert, I wasn't a big fan of either city. Perhaps it was because my mind wasn't really into visiting those places or because I didn't think either one would trump the experiences from the previous days. A self fulfilling prophecy in a way I suppose. Like everything in Switzerland, the train from Zurich to Bern (and Bern to Geneva) was expensive. We bought each ticket at 25 CHF (35 AUD) per person for a 2 hour train journey and that was already on a supersaver sale. I was only in Bern for one day (arrived late in the evening and had a train to Geneva the following day at 7pm) and it was more than enough time for Bern. A hostel bed was around $40 AUD a night in a dorm and it was an ~interesting~ experience. Ergo the entire room just smelled of feet. Yum.

When I was on exchange, there was a Swiss guy who was from Bern and he believed that it was the most beautiful place in the entire world. I have to disagree. Whilst it was pretty, it definitely isn't near the top of my list. One of the good things about Switzerland is that if you stay at a hotel/hostel, you are provided with a free transport card for the duration of your stay. And that is how we ended up at Gellert Hill (which requires a funicular ride to get to the top and would otherwise have been ridiculously expensive).

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It must have been the river that ran around the city, but it reminded me a lot of Columbus, Georgia. Although architecturally it was completely different.

A funny story. When we caught the train from Bern to Geneva, we got off at the airport train station instead of one in the centre of the city as originally planned since it was closer to our hotel. However, I didn't do enough research and it didn't cross my mind that highways/ motorways don't exactly have pedestrian crossings. Naturally, the train station was on one side of the highway and our hotel was on the other side. Apparently I'm a little reckless and I did consider crossing the 6 lane highway. But we didn't.  A twenty minute walk later (including a 200m stretch in practically pitch black parkland) and we made it the hotel. Thankfully.

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The only reason for visiting Geneva was for CERN and I am not a science person by any means and found the guided tour so. incredibly. boring. It was also weird to suddenly be hearing French again (since the other places in Switzerland spoke Swiss-German).

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Overall Thoughts
Switzerland was even prettier than what I had imagined. It was also shockingly expensive and I am from Sydney, a very expensive place to live in. But also, the Swiss Franc is doing amazingly well.  For the duration of our trip in Switzerland, we didn't eat hot food since we were just eating out of the supermarket. Migros was really nice and the salads and pastries, although expensive (similar to food court prices), were super super tasty and of quite good quality! It's hard for me to comment on Switzerland as a whole, because it included both amazing moments and also quite horrible moments too.

Would I re-visit?
Yes. But only in the warmer months for hiking.
Saturday, 7 February 2015

Switzerland Part 1 & Update

First things first, I wrote this entire entry on my phone on the blogger app originally and for some reason, it didn't save it so then I lost the entire thing. Another reminder as to why I dislike the app.

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So my post travelling blues have faded into regular ol' blues and thought it was time to write about part of my trip in my favourite country, Switzerland. If I'm being brutally honest, I believe it was the beginning of the end for my then boyfriend and I. It is crazy to think that it has been a month since I was in Switzerland. How time flies.

7th - 8th January 2015
The train journey from Salzburg, Austria to Zürich was quite an enjoyable journey. It was very pretty and very cool seeing the little towns nestled in the valleys between enormous (for my standards at least) mountains. Some were speckled with snow and some seemed as though the landscape was still stuck in spring/ summer, especially coupled with the clear blue skies.

I got off at Buchs, Switzerland and was picked by up Sunbear. It was awkward. Up until a few weeks before I left for Europe, we had actually stopped talking for close to 3 months due to a BIG fight. Three months was quite a long period of time considering we used to message each other almost every day and way way back, we used to Skype twice a week. As I have already posted briefly about this leg in Switzerland before, I will try to not repeat the images.

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We drove to Vaduz, Liechtenstein briefly as it was only a 15 minute car ride from the station. If someone hadn't told me, I wouldn't even know that I was in another country. Apparently even their postcards were of mountains in Switzerland. The aim of the day was to head to St Gallen, as that was his current location, before heading to Zürich for my hotel.

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Sunset near the Säntis (not pictured), the most prominent mountain in Europe with an observation deck. We missed the last cable car up, however I'm not sure if I would have splurged on the ticket. Got to love Swiss prices.

I saw a little bit of Switzerland that half day and simply put, I thought it was absolutely stunning. I was also blessed with wonderful weather as apparently the previous few days had been crazily foggy and hazy.

The second day started off at 7.30am which meant it was still dark. But it was a very peaceful and wonderful start to the day to see the sky changing colours to the typical pink and purple hues of sunrise. We witnessed a part of the sunrise on a random pier (spontaneity is a part of Sunbear's personality) in the "richer part" of Zürich that actually isn't Zürich. (Of course the "not so rich" Swiss are still quite well off). For Sydneysiders, it is similar to Vaucluse or Palm Beach. Whilst it was warm at 5°C (warm for their and even my standards) I ended up sitting on my feet as it was still a little too cold to be sitting on the pier's damp wooden planks.

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We went through and stopped at quite a few small towns and truth be told, my memory is a little hazy as they have all blurred together. All I do remember is that everything was very quaint and peaceful. One thing I did notice in Switzerland, especially in the towns was that everyone was so friendly and said hello to you (in Swiss German of course) as you walked by. Apparently that is a very common thing in Switzerland.

As mentioned previously, Luzern was very pretty, and a little jarring to me at first due to all the tourists. Honestly, there weren't that many tourists compared to other places I had visited. But it was different just because I had been in the quieter part of Switzerland for the entire morning. The lake was just gorgeous, especially with the snow capped mountains in the distance.

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As I had a tight schedule, we were soon off to Interlaken. I love mountain roads. Well more accurately I love being a passenger of a car on a mountain road. Sunbear likes driving on those kind of roads so it was a win-win for everyone. If there is one word I would use to describe the car ride, it would be: comfortable. It reminded me of the good ol' times in Georgia. Comfort. Two songs that stick out to me are: The Man in Love with You and Big Balls in Cowtown. Ha. Got to love country music. There are some heartbreakingly sad songs and then some utterly ridiculous songs too.

On the way to Interlaken, the sky was changing colours again, this time to blues and purples. By the time we arrived in Interlaken, it was already blue hour. Interlaken was alright. Not as pretty as Luzern or other towns we went by. As the place itself is geared towards adventure sports, the town itself is quite touristy and reminiscent of Queenstown in New Zealand. But on a much smaller scale.  Nonetheless, we had a lovely stroll around town and the canal and watched the the last light fade behind the mountains.

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Those 1.5 days in Switzerland (I stayed in Switzerland for a total of 6 days) were a nice break from city life which had dominated most of my Europe trip.


And now back to the present. Honesty hour. Quite a bit has changed since then. I am currently not in contact with Sunbear (whether that is temporarily or permanent is still to be determined) and I am newly single. In my life, I have experienced 4 breakups and each one has been difficult in its own way. I am unsure if it is better to be the dump-er or dump-ee. This time around, a first, I am the dump-er and there is this unbearable guilt I feel about having hurt someone and still hurting someone with my choice. It's one thing to know deep down and completely another thing to bring it to light. I also have far too much time on my hands these days which is not really that great. Although I have been single for a longer period than I've been in a relationship in aggregate, the hardest part is always trying to find my feet again and make the present the new normal.