We’re in Italy

We’ve traveled quite a lot in the last couple of days. Yesterday we drove through four countries (Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) and never once saw an immigration official. I had never been to Liechtenstein or Switzerland before, so this was my first look at the Alps. They’re pretty amazing. Lots of lakes, mountains, and generally incredible views. Megan seemed to like the area as well. At least that’s a pretty satisfied smile on her face.

Satisfied Megan

We spent last night in Grindelwald. I’ve been an armchair mountain climber for many years, and one of the first books I read was called Eiger Direct, a history of the attempts to climb the North Face of the Eiger. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to see the mountain. Well, here it is:

eigerI thought I had a better shot of it, but I don’t. This is the view from the hostel we stayed in. Yes, a hostel. It seemed every hotel was $300 and up for three people, so cheap bastard that I am, we stayed in a hostel for a little less than $200. We had dinner that was essentially burgers and beer (actually three beer and a glass of wine), and the bill was close to $100. I would have liked to take the train that runs through the Eiger, but it cost $150/person. And if you drive there, you have to buy a YEARLY pass for $50 for the privilege of traveling on their excellent roads. Switzerland is a great place to visit, but they’re proud of it and charge accordingly. And speaking of their roads, I’ve never driven through so many tunnels in my life! It seems half their highways are underground. Miles and miles of tunnels. Big Bertha in Seattle is digging a piddly tunnel in comparison.

We left Grindelwald this afternoon for somewhere in Italy. Serena, our Tom-Tom navigator asked if we wanted to include ferries in the route. We said OK, thinking that a cruise across one of the many lakes in Switzerland might be fun. Well, surprise! Here’s a shot from one of the two “ferries” we took.

cartrainWe were wondering where Serena was taking us when she directed us to a train station, and then on to a TRAIN. Serena is British, so maybe to her the word ferry doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with water. As Dictionary.com says in definition #7, ” to convey (passengers, goods, etc): the guests were ferried to the church in taxis.” Our car was ferried through the mountains on a train. It was fun in any case.

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