Page 3 of theadventuresofjonanddonna Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Grindelwald December 28th 2012

Early morning wake up call! On the road before 7:00 so we can get to Grindelwald and take on the world famous 15km toboggan run. Donna’s driving today, as Jon may or may not have gotten a photo radar ticket yesterday! After a 2 hour drive, we arrived in Grindelwald, another smallish ski town. We stopped at the visitor centre to figure out just how one goes about getting tickets for lifts and rentals and parking etc., only to be told that Big Fritz, the 15km run, is closed today due to avalanche risk. What??? We decide to make the best of things anyhow, seeing as there were still several trails that were open. Parked the car, rented ourselves some “sledges” and helmets, purchased transit passes for 2 different options, and boarded the train for the ... read more
Start of the toboggan run
Donna on her toboggan
What a view!

Europe » Switzerland » South-East » Andermatt December 27th 2012

Today’s plan: Visit Wilhelm Tell and go to the top of a mountain in Andermatt where you can see 600 mountain peaks on a clear day. Today's reality: We drove to Altdorf and made a very quick stop to see the statue of Wilhelm Tell and then got back in the car before the rain hit. After that, we drove to Andermatt in the rain and snow, knowing full well that today would not be a “clear day”. So instead of a visit to the top of the Gemstock mountain, we walked around for an hour in the ski village of Andermatt. Certainly not the same, but still interesting. From there, we decided to go to Hergiswil to a glass factory that we had read about. Our guide book had said it was a free attraction, ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Rhine Falls December 26th 2012

Another drive today, this time to Rhein Falls (supposedly Europe's most powerful waterfall, although we were also told that about one of the waterfalls in Iceland...?) and also to the town of Stein-am-Rhein. The waterfall was spectacular (see pictures, although it's much better in person). Although most of Stein-am-Rhein was still closed up, the old town was beautiful. After that, we drove around the countryside a bit more, and then thought we'd see if there was such a thing as Boxing Day shopping here. There's not. Malls completely deserted. Back home again, one more day of "local" sights planned tomorrow, and then we have a 4 day weekend trip planned that will take us away from Zurich.... read more
Rhein Falls
Rhein Falls

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich December 25th 2012

Today we stay at home! After FINALLY getting a full night's sleep (our first since arriving), we awoke to a lazy day of reading, games, food! Prepared a Christmas feast, which was a challenge given our limited kitchen - you try making a Christmas dinner with only 2 pans!! :)... read more
Christmas feast
Us in our matching BAZINGA shirts

Europe » Liechtenstein December 24th 2012

Today started off with a drive to the country of Liechtenstein. At approximately only 20 kilometers in length, it's not too much ground to cover! We started off with a visit to the castle in Vaduz, where the royal family lives, followed up by a visit to an old Catholic church. After a very nutritious lunch at McDonalds (where Donna had a salsa bacon chicken sandwich, who knew?), we walked around a shopping district for a little while, got our Liechtenstein magnet, and headed back for Switzerland. Next stop, Appenzel. The scenery on the drive was amazing, like nothing we've ever seen. Appenzel is the Swiss equivalent of the American Ozarks, and although we didn't see any hillbillies, the mix of houses and other buildings was unique. Were planning to take in a few more sights, ... read more
Donna at Vaduz castle
Church in Liechtenstein
View from church in Liechtenstein

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich December 23rd 2012

Today the plan was to go to Liechtenstein. However, when the alarm went off, we were just too tired to get up, so we went back to sleep....and woke up at 11.00. Seemed too late to set out on a journey, so we decided to hang out here for the day. Played some rounds of Lonpos, our new puzzle game, read a bit, updated the travel blog! Both feeling a bit stiff and sore, so Donna instructed Jon in the art of yoga after much coaxing, and then we went out for walk in the afternoon to see what is around us here. Jon took his camera along to capture some of the scenery. Sadly, there are no pictures of Jon doing yoga. Next time. Tomorrow, we'll give Liechtenstein another try!... read more
This is one tiny garage!
Zurich scenery
Zurich scenery

Today is the day we get our cuckoo clock! We had planned to leave by 7:00, giving us ample time to drive to Germany and other explorations on the way back. We both had such a terrible sleep, that we opted for an extra hour in bed and so we left around 8:30 instead. A few minutes later, we were out on the open road, and 90 minutes later we were in historic, quaint Triberg. Our first stop, the Original World's Largest Cuckoo Clock. We loved this place when we were there a few years ago, and the lady there spent so much time explaining how things worked and showing us around the house-sized cuckoo clock. Turns out it was her father-in-law who had originally built it. We always wished we had bought a clock when ... read more
Cuckoo clock
Donna on the Autobahn

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich December 21st 2012

Today we decided to do something low-key and local as we are still not over our jetlag! After our European breakfast, we drove into downtown Zürich and went to the Christmas market at the Hauptbahnhof (main train station). We wandered around the market looking at all the different hand crafts and foods etc. and ended up buying a puzzle game after spending quite some time playing with it at the booth. Dad O., this one has you written all over it, but you'll have to come visit us to play it, as we didn't buy two! We had some sausages (bratwurst for Jon of course) with bread for lunch and then wandered some more in Zürich's shopping district. All the walking started to tire us out, so we turned the wandering into a random drive around ... read more
Christmas Market
Christmas tree
Meat & Cheese Booth

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich December 20th 2012

We arrived at the Zürich airport around 11.00 am local time. We made our way through customs without incident and found our rental car, a VW Polo (which, incidentally, means "chicken" in German). After successfully loading all our luggage into the European sized vehicle, we plugged in our GPS and headed off in search of the rental office to pick up our keys. However, to our dismay, it seemed the GPS was not working - it was just frozen - and we had not thought to print out actual directions to this place. As Jon tried to figure out road signs and traffic lights and lanes and what the heck you can and cannot do on Swiss roadways, Donna was on the lookout for internet cafes, while trying anything to make the GPS kick in. By ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Edmonton December 19th 2012

Finally...the day we have been waiting for. Josh picked us up to take us to Edmonton International. We had the fastest security and customs screening in history. They were even a bunch of comedians! (They got into the spiked eggnog a little too soon) Once through the check points the first departures board we came across showed delayed flights. Turns out that we are going to be behind about an hour and a bit. Could be a problem with a layover that supposed to be 2 hours. Once we finally arrived in Chicago we needed to exit the secure area and transfer to the international terminal, check in with Swiss air, clear security again, find a sandwich, and get in line for boarding. With only moments to spare, we make it onto the plane. Thank goodness. ... read more

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