Blogs from Switzerland, Europe


Europe » Switzerland October 25th 2023

Up early and down to collect our boxed breakfast and found a taxi … travelled out to the airport in the dark and dropped our bags at check in. On the plane (Swiss Air) and a 1hour 40 flight to Zurich landed about mid day and took a while to get our bearings… I was feeling very out of sorts … got on the train and once again a very efficient fast easy service !!!.. took 15 mins to get into Zurich and we found our way through the huge central train station up several flights of stairs that just about finished me off lugging bags upstairs… across the Main Street and up to our hotel Sorell Hotel Rutli … around 2 pm into our room and basically took to bed …dragged ourselves out about 5 ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich October 24th 2023

Today we start the long journey home. We got up at 7:00 am our time which is 1:00 am home time. We fly out at 1:35 pm Switzerland time (7:35am USA). It’s a 9 hour flight scheduled to land at 4:30pm USA (10:30pm Swiss). We then have customs, new security, and fly out of JFK at 8:15 pm USA (1:15am Swiss). We land in Pittsburgh at 10:15 USA (4:15 am Swiss). Then we pick up bags and a rental car and drive home fir 2 hours. We’ll get home about 1:00am USA (7:00 am Swiss). So you see it’s a 24 hour trip home! I hope to sleep some in the long flight but we shall see! We get to the airport and find out that the Delta counter doesn’t open until 10:30…..3 hours before our ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Lucerne October 23rd 2023

We are staying in a lovely hotel in Lucerne, Switzerland. It is just beautiful!! Breakfast was at 7 am and bus call was 9 am. I learned late last night that Terry’s 97 year old mother, who is in the nursing home, wasn’t doing well, so Nanci and I decided to leave the tour and head back home to West Virginia. Family is far too important to be away at a time such as this….so we met the tour guide, said sad goodbyes to our group as they headed off for a fun packed day of exploring and we went upstairs to pack. Neither of us regretted our decision. We have had a great trip and Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and The Czech Republic will have to wait till another time. I spent several hours cancelling plans ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich » Zürich October 22nd 2023

So today we fly out to Switzerland to join another EF GoAhead tour. We will be traveling through Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. We had to be at the Zurich airport before noon to catch a transfer to our hotel in the alps. So we spent the night at the Hilton Garden Inn at Heathrow Airport since it is a short 10 minute walk to Terminal 2, Our flight out was for 6 am (its the only one I could find to get us there on time). Everything I read about Heathrow said to be there 3 hours before your flight. I know, from experience, that Heathrow can be crazy in the early morning. I set my alarm and set up a wake up call for 2 am so wed have an hour ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-East » Arosa September 22nd 2023

Woke up to more rain. The clouds lift and descend around the mountains, teasing us with scenery, then taking it away. We had a wonderful breakfast, again, more food than you can eat. This hotel is incredible. It’s been completely remodeled, and apparently was done by an artisan. Upon checking out, we found the room was only $43 Eu each and that feast we had for dinner was $25 EU each. Unbelievable. I set the GPS for Arosa. There are numerous ways to get there from here, so I figured the GPS would send us the quickest way. Off we went, and within minutes we were climbing and switchbacking on the most scenic road I’ve ever seen. This was the heart of the Alps, and the mountains were incredible. Between the heavy rain and the clouds, ... read more
Lake Livigno
Sorry, Road closed

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Trient September 22nd 2023

Leaving the campground in Val Veni after three nights in my tent, I rejoined the Tour du Mont Blanc where I had left it two days earlier, one hour down the road in the town of Courmayeur. But having dropped down into the bed of the Val d'Aosta (into which both the Val Veni and Italian Val Ferret flow) there was only one direction the trail could go: up. At first the gradient was gentle as the route followed a sealed road up a side-valley, but after leaving the road and heading up onto the forested flanks of Monte de la Saxe the steepness immediately ratcheted up a couple of notches. Yet fresh from a rest day I was equal to the task, managing to climb the 600m from the road-end to Rifugio Bertone in just ... read more
Gaining Height
Scenic Trail
Not so Scenic Trail

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Trient September 9th 2023

Fresh from a relaxing couple of days in Geneva, I headed an hour south to the Alpine Mecca of Chamonix in the shadow of Mont Blanc, where the crowds of people were even thicker than usual due to the UTMB ultra-marathon. This was all the reason I needed to avoid both the town and the mountain upon which its fame rests - for the time being at least - in favour of a night spent at a quiet little oasis of calm 7km away in the village of Les Grassonnet; followed by a four-day hike around a nearby (but much less well known) peak: the Tour du Mont Ruan. Unfortunately getting to the trailhead would prove to be a greater challenge than I could have anticipated... Having been assured that the 8:40am train from La Joux ... read more
Clearly not following the waymarks
Picturesque Trailhead
Worth the Climb

Europe » Switzerland » South-East » Andermatt September 4th 2023

I finally got over the Gotthard Pass this afternoon. It was tough going in places, but I managed most of it. Amazingly at one point I managed to pass three cars and a horse driven carriage! I was going slightly faster than the carriage and the drivers were biding their time to make their move. As they waited I sneaked past them on the inside. They graciously left enough space for me. I think I was doing a speedy 8 or 9 kilometres per hour at the time. When I was behind the coach I had to bide my time as well. I didn't think I could keep up a sustained enough burst of speed to pass on the outside. A few yards later I made my move when the road on the inside widened to ... read more
Alpine train service.
looking back

Europe » Switzerland » South-East » Andermatt September 3rd 2023

I entered Switzerland last Thursday after following Veloroute 15 along the German side of the Rhine for about fifteen kilometres after crossing from France to Neuenburg am Rhein. It was a lovely path with a gravel surface. The Rhine was flowing fast over rapids and around little stoney, forested islands. Cormorants flew up and down along it. Now I want to cycle along the Rhine. Then in the space of one kilometre or so I crossed the Rhine from Weil am Rhine (Germany) to Saint Louis (France) and then into Basel (Switzerland). It was late in the day so I pressed on to the campsite rather than explore Basel. Tadhg notes in his diary of the Flight "...and numerous boats afford a means of leaving it and getting to it (Basel) from Flanders and the country ... read more
Into Switzerland
Camping Waldhort

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Basel » Binningen August 18th 2023

All of you know by now that I have the world's best travel buddy, Mr. Mike. I have a few people who are more than adequate substitutes. You know who you are. I will not mention names, so I don't hurt anyone's feelings. But several articles recently listed traits of bad travel partners. This is from Seeking Good Living: Travel is not his/her first priority-This is hard to find, but during retirement, it becomes a focus, and for some, almost an obsession. I try to keep a proper perspective.The close-minded traveler-If you have chosen wisely, and know your new travel mate, this should not be a problem. On my first trip to Europe, my travel buddy was obsessed with the opera and symphony. And ye... read more
Change seats?
Hostel sex

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