The last few days in Switzerland

Trip Start Apr 13, 2010
1
5
28
Trip End Sep 11, 2010


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Flag of Switzerland  , Vaud,
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

All rested up after Lorrach. We left Dave and Claire's place on 20 April in search for some high country. We can't thank Dave and Claire enough for their hospitality and playing tour guide for the past few days!

So we drove back into Switzerland and headed for Interlaken. A small town at the base of some of the tallest mountains in Switzerland. Along the way we stopped in at IKEA (how's that Adam!!! IKEA in another country... jealous?) for some camping supplies.

Enroute to Interlaken, we called into Bern, the capital city of Switzerland. Here we strolled through the old town, pondered at the cellars now converted into shops, clock towers and churches (it seems that there are lots of these throughout Switzerland) and took at tour through Switzerland's parliament house. While the tour guide was jabbering away in French (we survived), it gave us time to read up on how the political system in Switzerland works and admire the ornate art work and marble walls and columns throughout the building. We also came across some grizzly friends (some bears) and lucky for them they were in an enclosure.

After a few hours here we hit the road again and headed for Interlaken. We arrived pretty late, however at 7.30pm the sun is still high in the sky.  We set up our tent for our first night of camping. It was a cold night. (Dave, thanks for the tent, however I don't think this tent is made for these climates) Here we mingled with our 2 new Canadian friends, Brett and John, and soon we were on our way to Grindelwald to decide whether we should shell out 170 franks to go to the "top of Europe" - Jungfrau. Figuring we are only here once, we handed over the coin and jumped on the train. After almost 2 hours and layering up with thermals we reached the top, approx 3.4km. We were already feeling the affects of the altitude, slight dizzyness and shortness of breath.

Once again, it was COLD. The thermometer was reading -9 degrees. We were hoping for some good visibility however a blizzard came across. It was still amazing to be standing in the middle of a snow storm in the open, at -9 deg, wind at 41km/h at 3.4km up. It only took a few minutes for my ears to start hurting (maybe I should have bought a beanie).

Anyway we made it back down safely while watching the snow fall from within the heated train carriage. After we thawed out, we drove on through to Lausanne, near Geneva. Here we set up camp again and settled in for the night.

The next morning (21 April) we found the headquarters for the Olympic committee and some roman ruins just around the corner from where we camped. After a quick jaunt through the area we drove on through to Geneva.

At Geneva we took a self guided walk through the city, taking in the sights, including a jet of water shooting 200m up into the air. We called in to the UN Headquarters, however the english tour was going to be too late. We had already waited long enough just to get to tour queue.

After trying to add our few cents into solving the world's issues we found ourselves at the Red Cross museum. This was a humbling experience. Here we toured through the history of the Red Cross; reading, looking and watching artifacts of the war atrocities throughout modern history, including the archives of POW's from the early 1900's. Any body thinking of going to war should first visit this museum.

Anway so here we are at Lyon, getting ready to check out the city and it's surrounds.

Ciao!
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