We left for Switzerland on Tuesday, expecting to arrive on Wednesday, but - because our last name is Braziel - we had a few hiccups and didn’t make it to the resort in Lucerne until Thursday.
Here’s what our travel day(s) looked like:
We’d planned to rent a car on Thursday and do a road trip for the day, driving up into Alsace, France, then popping over to the east into Frieburg, Germany, down into Lorach, then back into Switzerland, driving through Basel and then to our resort in Lucerne.
We’d lost a day, but we didn’t want to give up our road trip, but we were exhausted deep down in our bones. We still got the car, and came up with a Plan B road trip, cutting it about in half.
We rented a convertible Mini Cooper - super fun to zip through the European countryside, right??
Except… it was pouring with rain and we had piles of giant luggage.
We are ridiculous.
Crammed into the Mini with our bags stuffed in behind our scooted-up seats, we pulled out of the garage onto the streets of Zurich.
I would navigate.
Mark: “Ok, where do I go?”
Me, looking at the directions on my phone: “Ummm turn right on Butzenbuelring,” (which I pronounced “Butts-in-blahdee-blah.”)
Narrator: “But there was no Butzenbuelring.”
I’ll spare you the full dialogue, but we went through a full range of emotions from yelling at each other to apologizing to laughing, and then finally to saying things like, “We’re freaking driving in effing Switzerland, bitches!”
We stopped at a gas station to get some ibuprofen for a toe situation Mark’s been having, but alas, there would be none of that, either. In Switzerland, you don’t just pop into a store to get “tablets” as they call them.
You have to get them at a pharmacy.
And pharmacies are somewhat hard to come by, at least in the areas we’ve been.
We went from there to Rhinefall, where we saw the largest waterfall in all of Europe (I'm going to fact check the hell outta this when I get home, I promise).
Then we popped through a few little villages, crossed the Rhine River, right into Germany, where I’ve never been - yay, bucket list checkmark!
We looked for a pub or restaurant to have a beer (I’m not a beer person, but you just have to have a stein of beer when in Germany, right??), but we could only find a pizzeria, and we couldn’t bring ourselves to have pizza in Germany. Ack!
We went from there to Lucerne, where we caught a city bus down to the pier, and then took the ferry across Lake Lucerne to our final destination: The Burgenstock Resort.
To get to the hotel from the ferry, you have to take a cogwheel, which is like a sort of mini-train car attached to a track that goes up and down the mountain. This one was the first one built in the country, and one of the steepest in Europe.
Alas, they'd accidentally cancelled our room reservation, but the hotel staff fixed the mistake and put us in an amazing corner room overlooking the lake on one side, and a tiny chapel on the other (the same chapel where Audrey Hepburn married her first husband in 1954).
It’s one of those rooms that makes you say, “I don’t deserve this, I don’t deserve this!”
It’s got French doors on two walls, a delicious bed, and everything is immaculate.
A few things I’ve learned about Switzerland:
Everything is very clean, which is very helpful with my public bathroom phobia.
The people here all speak English, French, and German. They have to learn these languages, sort-of like we have to learn a foreign language in the States, but here, they have to learn them so they can put them into practice on a daily basis.
The people are very friendly and accommodating.
The coffee is rich, dark, strong, and decadent.
They love their dogs and take them everywhere. Even into fancy hotels and fancy restaurants, and nobody bats an eye.
They smoke like it's the 1960's.
I can't wait to share with you all the delicious information I got on my historical tour of the resort!