I’ve been quite busy after the trip, postponing this “report” until now. I’m writing it in a rush, before going on holiday to Majorca and completely forget about it. As a result, this post will be shorter and not as funny as I would like, but I’ll hope you will understand. If I don’t write it now, I’ll never do it…
Marga, Toni and Tomeu, you are welcome to add more funny stories in the comments. 😉
As usual, the adventure started with a small train problem: there was no Internet in Delft NS Station, so I couldn’t buy a ticket on the machines, and I had to wait at NS Service for a while. As expected, I lost my first train. However, then I found Claire, an Australian colleague, and we traveled together until Leiden. It was nice to talk to her. 🙂
I enjoyed my flight with Swiss Air. There is quite space in the plane and they treat you well. Once in Basel, I discovered I arrived before my friends, due to a delay in their flight with Easyjet. Hopefully I only had to wait a few minutes. I was so excited to speak some “mallorquí” and do some “torrentades” with my local friends! 😉
Visit to Enikö
After several hugs and kisses, we started our trip to Enikö’s house, nearby Zürich. I programmed the GPS I borrowed from my work and we followed its advice. For some strange reason, we end up going to France, and then Germany, and then back to Switzerland. But the “détour” was worth, because we saw a Lidl and stopped to buy groceries for the rest of the trip. Car was full equipped!
After several pitfalls of our obsolete version of TomTom, and almost 3 hours of traveling, we arrived to a beautiful village, where my friend Enikö lives. When I saw it, I immediately understood why she left the Netherlands. The sights are impressive!
We had dinner with Enikö’s family, played with Anna and Aron, and then climbed a little hill from where I took the previous picture. We also visited the town, while talking about our personal projects. It was a nice evening. The only problem was that we had to go down to Laussane, 217km away, and it was quite late. We arrived at 23:43, as estimated, even though it took us a while to find the house we rented. Due to lack of time, I will let my friends describe the “fabulous” state of the house.
Next morning was misty and rainy, but after having a wonderful breakfast, the sun appeared and we decided to visit Gruyères and buy some cheese. On the highway, we discovered that last night it has snowed a lot. Everything was white!
We climbed to the castle, played with the snow, watched the sights and finally bought some “souvenirs”. I should have bought some postcards as well, as it turned out to be the only touristic place we visited.
Then we went down and asked a retired woman for a place to buy “real” cheese. She send us to the Ferme des Grands Bois, where we found a sympathetic man who explained to us how they make cheese and sell us one of the last Pétit Moléson (plus 1kg of Gruyère we finished in 3 days).
We also wanted to see a glacier at 3000m in Les Diablerets, but we arrived too late and it was already closed. 😦
Second day we spent more than one hour to find “Station Avia” to pay the rent to a lazy woman that didn’t want to come to the house. Grrr…
Anyway, it was a beautiful day, so we decided to go through secondary roads until Jungfrau, a ski station. I wished we had some skis or table to surf the snow:
We wanted to have lunch there, but it was so cold that we looked for another place. We found a river and stopped to eat our pasta salad and drink some wine with the sun shining on our face. Delicious!
Then we visited Interlaken and we stopped at a café to enjoy the sights. Next stop was Thun, a very beautiful city. well, inf act, all villages and cities we visited were cool. In particular, I liked the architecture of the houses and the white mountains as background.
I also liked the way you pay to park. You park your car, select the number of your parking in the paying machine, and insert coins for the time you want to stay. That’s it! No tickets. If you are smart, you can even use the remaining time of other people. I think it’s a fair system.
It was getting dark, but we still managed to visit Bern. You could feel it was an important city, with its casino, banks, large bridges and magnificent buildings. Unfortunately, it was too dark to take nice pictures. A detail I liked: you can play chess or dames with giant pieces on the street.
For dinner: Stroganoff with spaguetti. 😉
After visiting such beautiful places, the last day was quite boring. We went to Rochefort, but of course it was not the cheesy city we were looking for (which is spelled Roquefort). Weather was also quite cloudy and cold, and we couldn’t find a place to eat a fondue or raclette. Too late for lunch and too early for dinner, so we end up eating our sandwiches and the last bit of cheese we had:
The only interesting thing of the day was to go to the city where I was born, Belfort, and visit the restaurant/café where I used to live when I was a child. There I met my brother Jean-Pierre, the only member of the family that is still in France.
We talked for a while, and then headed to Mulhouse, where we had reserved a hotel room. We had to leave early in the morning, and to reassure Marga, that was afraid we’ll miss our flight back, we went to the airport. It was quite confusing, because we had to return the car to the Swiss section of the airport, and for that you have to enter in Basel, but there were some works in the highway, and you had to do some strange detour. Once we knew which road to take, we went back to the hotel. We were so exhausted that we went to bed early.
Next morning, in the airport, I said goodbye to my friends, that were flying back to Majorca, and I waited for my plane to Amsterdam. I finished my book, did some shopping, read an interesting Bulletin of Crédit Suisse and tried to sleep a bit. All to pass those interminable 5 hours until I could fly.
Wednesday, 31 March: Basel – Chexbres
Thursday, 1 April: Chexbres – Gruyères – Coll du Pillon – Leysin, Aigle
Friday, 2 April: Bulle – Jungfrau – Interlaken – Thun – Bern
Saturday, 3 April: Rochefort – Belfort – Mulhouse