Sunday, July 26, 2015

Europe Tour - Lake Lucern, Switzerland Day 1

I left my charger and adapter in the hotel :'( we noticed when my mum wanted to charge her phone on the coach and couldn't find my charger, nor the adapter. I was asleep then, and instantly was awake, feeling a creeping dread in my gut. I recalled not unplugging it because my mum's phone was still charging. And that's probably where it still is. "Did you unplug it?" I asked, hoping that she did, but, by the look on her face, I found my answer. The dread fell over me like a heavy weight. I don't like losing my things because I'd have to replace them, and many a time I'd have grown attached to them. Yes, I'm a hoarder. Also the international adapter wasn't cheap, which deepened my guilt further. I wanted to divert the blame, but obviously that isn't going to help with the situation except for making myself feel better. I swallowed my guilt and wallowed in it until I fell asleep again. When I woke up, there was a documentary showing about Enzo Ferrari's life story, into which my attention was absorbed.
We stopped for coffee and toilets at 10am - our last stop in Italy before crossing the Swiss border - and I quietly confessed to to my dad that I'd left the adapter and my charger in the hotel room. He didn't say anything, but the important thing was he wasn't angry, which was relieving. As usual, we had to queue up for the toilets for women. It was about 15 minutes in until my turn came. We bought a bottle of red wine for €6.60, my mum was almost tempted to get a box of 3 for €9.90, but I told her it would be a hassle to carry that around, and we'd probably not finish it. Our half hour break was up and we hurridly returned to the bus and back onto the autostratti freeway
The next stop had a gorgeous view of the alps, and surprisingly delicious Chinese food! However, it is with a price of 17 (ish) swiss francs per plate. Not cheap, but hey, we were kinda desperate after days of so much meat. After the lunch break, we headed off again. We passed by great lakes and beautiful mountains, and marveled at how the Swiss are able to live on the mountainsides. Unfortunately, there is traffic on the freeway towards the long tunnel (19 kilometers) through the mountains. While waiting, Howard played us some video compilations of 'Happy' and we were asked to do a little dance in our seats as Howard filmed us on his ipad for our tour video, also along to the song 'Happy'. The coach went crazy! The two ladies at the back literally started dancing and grooving and of course the cameras were all out to record the fiesta.
The ride from the 19km tunnel all the way to Lucern was 80% tunnels, 17% epic, postcard worthy scenery and 3% trees. Lake Lucern is not like a lake at all, from my own expectations. I've never seen a lake this big! (Or rather I don't go out often enough.) The scenery was breathtaking. The lake is so incredibly clean, it's apparently on par with drinking water! Though I'd advice anyone not to do that. We went on a boat cruise around the massive lake, marvelling at the natural hills, majestic mountains and the greenery. To live by the lakeside apparently costs a whole lot of swiss francs. Like, millions. Not even kidding. Room with a view? A few thousands a month. Living here is ridiculous! But it's so tempting because of the security, scenery and apparent good income.
After an hour we went back to the coach to check into a family-run hotel and I found out that it was fully booked - by us. It's a pretty small hotel, not high class or something. Howard said that hotels in Lucern are usually expensive so we had to accomodate, which is totally fine with us. I kinda like this hotel. Has a homely touch to it. We checked in, settled our luggage, and went out again at 6.40pm to go look at a carved in monument of a dying lion. It looked heartwrenchingly majestic. I mean, come on, it's a dying lion. How much more awesome can that get? After the monument, the group was supposed to go for the optional dinner experience. We didn't go and had planned to return to the hotel. So, before Peter almost drove off, I managed to stop him, told him our plan and he got really confused and surprised. Howard had mentioned that we could go back to the hotel if we wanted, we just had to tell Peter, which we did. Peter then told us that it was no problem but said that Howard had made a mistake, thinking that the bus could be parked at the hotel, which he can't because of the narrow streets. After finding that out, we immediately felt so bad, because we were the only ones going back to the hotel, and it was just a 10 minute walk back. Since Peter had already reversed out onto the road, it was a little too late to bail. So, he did deliver us back to the hotel, to which we were really grateful for. He was to park the bus at the coach parking a couple streets back, then cycle to the restaurant for some cheese fondue that he apparently can't leave switzerland without eating. So anyway, we retreated back to our room to have instant noodles for dinner, which tasted delicious. Afterwards we decided to head out to the city, even though it was raining. My grandma stayed in to sleep early. And so, the three of us took our time exploring part of the city in the light rain. We walked for about one an a half hours on cobbled streets, passing by store after store selling swiss watches and swiss penknives (which we will buy tomorrow), clothing stores, shoe shops, bookstores and quaint cafes. It really is a nice place to get lost and wander around, but perferrably not at night, and in the rain. We ever rolled up our jeans till our mid calves to walk about.
We finally came home after almost getting lost in the twisting narrow streets and took a nice warm shower before snuggling under the soft duvet, on the soft bed and soft pillow. Everything was soft. I sank into my mattress and my head flattened the feather pillow. Luckily I brought my hamtaro pillow with me.
Tomorrow we head for the mountain and a cheese farm! Much excites!

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