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Timepieces, chocolate and army knives.

Written on: Tuesday May 26th, 2009

Yup, I was in Switzerland.  Marty and I took the train through Germany to the picturesque city of Zürich.  Having never been to the country before, I was somewhat unsure what to expect.  But as we spent the first day exploring the streets and admiring the scenery initial impressions were quickly formed.  It was hot.  Really hot.  And it was expensive.  Really expensive (I think our first breaky at a little outdoor cafe cost $40 for the two of us!).  But it was also very beautiful...from the cobblestone streets to the massive churches built hundreds of years earlier.  The riverside parks shared space with cutesy cafes, and the banks of Lake Zürich were absolutely packed with beautiful people enjoying their day.   This was a city that I could definitely get used to.

As we polished off a Swiss sausage and a coke the second day, we decided that a boat tour was in order.   So we bought the tickets and piled on board with the other hundred people wanting to see Zürich from a different perspective.  This tour was so cool!  We started along the western shore, stopping at quaint little outposts along the way, dropping off folks or picking up others.  Pleasure boats, sailboats and paddle boats worked the waters all around us.  In the distance the snow-covered Swiss Alps could be seen in all their remarkable beauty.  Yup, Marty and I were pretty damn content, sipping our wine in the shade, admiring the shoreline.

That evening we stopped back at what turned out to be our regular haunt: the Irish bar.  A laid back place with friendly bartenders that was only a block from our hotel, we met loads of travelers and locals alike.  It was a good way to wind down from a hectic day of doing nothing.

On our final day we managed a few geocaches while we explored, despite the fact that I left the GPS in Emmen.   GoogleEarth to the rescue!  It was a chilled out afternoon, simply passing the hours before dinner time.  Tonight we actually had plans: Marty had some lifelong friends that lived here, and they were able to meet us for a local meal.  It was a fun, mellow night.

The next day we had to return to France, as Marty was to fly home from Paris.  A rental car turned out to be the cheapest option, so we once again hit the highway and made it back to Fred's.  We returned late but Louise had a scrumptious dinner waiting for us...how cool was that?!?   Marty made it home safely and I had one more opportunity to go cycling with Fred, and even test out his $9000 bike!   We rode about 50km through scenic, rural France, passing tiny villages, strawberry fields and even a half destroyed ancient castle! It was a great finish to a fun two weeks with Jeff, Marty and Fred.