This past weekend we all drove up to Switzerland to visit some LGOs and see some sights. Thursday afternoon we drove up to Turgi, just north of Zurich, to stay with Karla. We arrived at about 1:30 at night. I was convinced the drive in was beautiful, but since I couldn't see a thing, I was kind of looking forward to the drive home.
Friday morning we got up and drove to the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen. They were decent size for America, but one of the largest for Europe. We snapped some pictures and walked closer (i.e. near the tourist area). Just as we decided to eat some food here, it started raining. So we ate while waiting out the rain, but it never stopped. So we ran to the car and started driving to Zurich.
Apparently our Garmin maps are corrupt or didn't load properly for Zurich because once we got downtown, the Garmin got real stupid. It had nothing. We drove for a bit, finally figured we were close enough to walk downtown, parked, and walked in. Luckily we were only a 5-10 minute walk from the main downtown area along the water. It was still raining a little, but we made due. We visited the Grossmünster church, which is much different from the churches we are used to seeing in Italy. No photos were allowed, but it seemed more like what a church should feel like; less ornate, less decorated. We didn't want to pay 5 chiefs (our term for franks, derived from the abbreviation CHF) to climb the tower as the view was probably minimal due to the weather. Once we stepped back outside the rain had finally subdued and we walked around a bit more. There were a lot of American shops, which was depressing. We wandered back down to the river to walk back toward the lake. We got back to the car for our drive to Basel, to visit some more LGOs and stay for the night.
The next day we drove down to Lucerne to see the sites of the mountains and lake. While the weather didn't quite cooperate, Lucerne is a nice little town. We saw the Blue Balls Festival, the Dying Lion Monument, the big catholic church, walked around town some, and took the Golden Ticket ride. This consists of a boat ride across Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad, then a ride up the world's steepest cogwheel railway to the top of Mount Pilatus, and a ride back down to Lucerne on the gondolas and aerial cableway. Now unfortunately the mountain was covered in thick fog at the top, so the view was absolutely gone. We took pictures anyway. Upon return to the bottom, we hit up the Blue Balls Festival for some food. It was nice, all types of food were represented so we could pick whatever we wanted! I really wanted more swiss food (rösti and a brat), but Kacey opted for the delicious green curry thai. After our dinner, we got back on the road to drive back to Basel for a free place to stay.
The next morning we got up and got on the road for home. The views were amazing and we tried to capture a few through the windows of the car as there were no places to stop for pictures. Once we reached the east side of Lake Lucerne, there was a pull-off, so we snapped some pictures.
Pictures from Switzerland
The road system to drive from Siena to Basel is pretty good. You take the A1 through Italy, and a decent sized road in Switzerland. The swiss require you purchase one of their CHF40 road stickers for your car, which is ok considering the quality of their roads based on how hard they must be to build and maintain. And if you visit Switzerland, get ready for some expensive... everything!