Oh, We're Halfway There! (oh, livin' on a prayer)

Trip Start Aug 17, 2010
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4
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Trip End Dec 30, 2010


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Where I stayed
Mario's House

Flag of Switzerland  , Lucerne,
Saturday, August 21, 2010

So, I am about halfway through with my stay in Switzerland; while I love it here and could easily stay much, much longer, I am also excited to head out to Cairo on Wednesday. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010
Thursday we woke up and ate a normal Swiss breakfast with fresh baked bread from a bakery.  One thing I have noticed about Swiss food, besides the fact that it is delicious, is that it is always fresh.  Also, there is cheese at nearly every meal-- breakfast included--  which works out if like me, you love cheese!  After breakfast we went to a nearby town to tour a glass factory; there was an explanation of how glass came to Switzerland and you could watch the glassblowers.  Next on our itinerary was Engelberg which is a well known skiing/hiking town.  The town is in a valley between two mountains and the view was gorgeous; in the background you could even see a glacier on one mountain.  Sediment from the glacier's melted water turns the water of the nearby lakes a perfect ice blue-green color.  Never in my life have I seen water so pristine.  When we arrived in Engelberg we went to lunch at a wonderful restaurant where we ate outside in order to see the beautiful view.  We could sit outside to eat because the weather was beautiful; if there was only one reason to stay in Switzerland forever it would be because of the amazing weather.  While I have not been here during the winter, the mild summer weather is a wonderful break from the humid, hot summer temperatures of South Carolina.  The second reason to stay in Switzerland forever would be the amazing food (as stated before); for lunch Mario and Franco picked what I should eat.  I did not ask what was really in it until after I tasted how delicious it was, this idea was perhaps one of the best decisions because if I had known how to read the menu I probably would have ordered something instead of veal!  Instead, I tried something new and loved it!  After the meal concluded with coffee we walked through the town and then visited a local monastery.  Once again, the church was small (by Swiss standards) and more ornately decorated than any church I have ever seen. 

On the way back from Engleberg, I marveled at the intelligent design of Swiss roads.  Instead of  traffic lights there are round-abouts (traffic circles) which are so much more convenient than having red lights every mile!  Traffic flows so smoothly everywhere!

When we returned home, Mario's dad and I went on a bike ride around the village.  I was reminded so much of upstate New York which I would visit almost every summer when I was little, only the scenery was even better than in New York.  At home, after a light dinner (we were all still full from lunch), Mario, his mom, and sisters taught me how to play two Swiss card games.  The first one was rather easy and I beat Mario-- who always wins-- but the second game had tons of rules and I was helped constantly by Alexandra.  Still, Alexandra and I managed to pull out a win in the second game as well! 

Friday, August 20, 2010
Lucerne is the largest city in the area in the province of the same name and on Friday we (Mario, Bea, Alexandra, Ramona, and myself) made the 20 minute drive into the city.  First on the agenda for the day was to take a ship ride on the famous Lucerne Lake.  The view was wonderful (sense a pattern?), and we were surrounded by mountains.  There were very few people on the lake in other boats, and I'm not sure if I have ever seen another lake so calm.  After our ride on the ship, we went shopping in Lucerne which is a marvelous old city with very old buildings, yet the beat of the city is very modern featuring the latest clothing shops.  I bought a light sweater which has already come in handy while here, but other than that purchase I was able to save my money.  For those who are concerned about possible Starbucks withdrawals I may be having, have no fear!  For there is a Starbucks in Lucerne, yet I felt no need to go there because the coffee is so good everywhere else!  I know what you readers are thinking, "really Lacy?  You?  Give up Starbucks?"  Who knows, maybe I am turning over a new leaf. 

Anyways, enough coffee talk, later that afternoon we left the city and continued home for a special Swiss dinner of Raclette.  Raclette is traditionally a winter meal, but it is so fabulous that I had to try it; let me explain.  To make Raclette, there is a special cheese heating oven which is set in the middle of the table.  You take a slice of delicious cheese and put it on a small plate in the oven and melt it.  Then, you either pour the cheese over potatoes or you can eat it plain, either way it is scrumptious.  Other things come with the meal as well, we had pineapple, nectarines, and more fresh bread!  In other words, Raclette is a cheese lovers dream! 

Later that night, Alexandra and I took a bus to Sursee where we met up Mario and some of their friends to go out.  It was a very fun experience and the bar was jam packed!  We managed to snag a spot outside, where the weather was perfect, and I had the chance to try several popular Swiss drinks, which are about as delicious as the traditional Swiss food.  Heads up, if you ever come to Europe I suggest you try a Caipirinha which is very tasty. 

If you made it through this entry, congrats!  For the future, I am going to try to make them shorter, but we will see how that works. 

lf
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Comments

Caroline on

Switzerland has to be one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited, I remember driving through it as the sun was coming up over the mountains, no words can describe it. Enjoy your stay there and soak up the food and all the rest of your wonderful experiences

Anonymous on

No Starbucks? Is this really the Lacy I know? Hope you are having fun. And try not to eat all the cheese in Switzerland!

Loving the titles by the way.

aliceparish
aliceparish on

your photos are amazing. i want to visit! love the views and landscapes!

Mom on

Sounds like you are having a great time! Enjoy! Keep writing and Wanda says step away from the coffee.....

Christine on

love all the pictures! It sounds like you're having so much fun, can't wait to hear all your stories, hope your flight wednesday goes smoothly. =)

BENDER on

CHEESEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!


NOW ONLY IF I COULD STAND THE TASTE OF COFEE HAHA

Aunt Bev on

Awesome blog Lacy! Sounds like you are having a great time! The pictures are beautiful. Enjoy and I'll keep reading.
love you!

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