Wednesday, May 19, 2010
One of the things we discovered immediately upon entering Switzerland is that it is expensive. Diesel is about €.10 more per liter than anywhere else (Germany is pretty high too, though). But, they let you pee for free. I suppose it has a psychological effect, making you think, “Gee, what a great country. I don't have to pay to pee!” Fortunately, we were able to knock down the price of our campsite to €29.12 (from €33.88) by getting the “more than 3 nights” 10% discount plus the 10% discount for having a CCI card (Camping Card International). I went to some trouble getting that card. It’s only available through the Canadian Auto Club and I paid $20 for it. It was one of those things lost in the robbery. However, I was able to email them and a very nice woman wrote back with a scanned copy of our card attached. The campground here accepted that and even printed out a copy for us so we can use it in the future. We've mostly been using our ACSI card so it hasn't been too big a problem.
Another thing we have discovered about Switzerland, and Lauterbrunnen in particular, is that everywhere you turn, you see something beautiful. Their cemeteries are the prettiest I’ve ever seen with more flowers than any others.
Lauterbrunnen (many fountains) is a compact village with everything we could possibly need, including a very nice Coop grocery store. ATMs are everywhere, including our campground. Finding them is often a challenge when we first enter a country with a different currency, but not here.
Covered bridge from our campground
Although we have found that May was not really the best time to come to Switzerland, we have enjoyed our time here, even with the disappointment of not being able to go up higher into the mountains due to snow and fog. It has also rained a fair amount, mostly at night. I think July or August would have been much better; maybe even September. If we had it to do all over again and didn’t have the 3 month limitation of the Schengen Agreement, we would go straight to Switzerland from Holland in September, then back through France and on to Italy, following the rest of our itinerary. Maybe next time.
We love the animals with the bells around their necks ringing. Poor things, that would drive me nuts. They probably wonder who is ringing that infernal bell all the time.
Dignified (notice this one does not have a bell)
Undignified (baa...baa my ears are ringing!)
I’m continually fascinated by how they live in Switzerland with the threat of avalanche. This “fencing” must be to prevent them.
As we stroll through town, I love looking at the older homes and the gardens everyone seems to put such care into.
Gnomes–a popular theme here
Flowers and vegetables, what a great combination
Flowers—does anyone know what these are called? They look like little Chinese lanterns
Wood—I love how neat and tidy these small logs are organized
Tomorrow morning we will put things back in "driving" order and head back to Germany to visit the Black Forest for a few days. We can really feel the winding down of our time in Europe. Before we know it, we'll be in England!
Stitched with silver-white
The twilit mountain ridge
Holds the last spring light.
~ Kato Koko
Posted by Chuck and Claire at 5/19/2010 07:25:00 AM