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Worldtrip a 45 year old's adventures around the world-which include everything from sitting in random McDonalds using his notebook, hanging with 22 year olds, and other immature stuff.

Aliens, Trains, and Automobiles

SWITZERLAND | Sunday, 28 June 2015 | Views [420]

Yesterday was a day I was looking forward to.  My girlfriend's friend's friend (who lives in Switzerland) picked me up yesterday to show me some towns in Switzerland.  And I learned he lived 2 1/2 hours away, so I was impressed that he would pick up  a stranger and continue to drive around Switzerland after driving so far.

He came to my hostel at 10:00 am yesterday and we walked out to  his car. Gerhard was a very friendly 50ish man,  I was looking forward to seeing the  European car he would be driving.  He drove a Dodge Nitro (which could be the only Dodge in Switzerland).

After we got going, we talked for a few hours, and arrived at our first stop, the charming mountain town of Gruyeres (yes, same as the cheese). This was the Switzerland I was talking about!! Mountains, cows, castles. The town was beautiful, and we stopped at an alien cafe in town? What? an alien cafe? Yes. HR Giger, a surrealist artist who developed the set for the movie, Aliens, and acquired a building in Gruyeres. The the whole cafe was an alien motif. There is also an HR Giger museum next door, which presumably shows more of his work (which I didn't go in).  We continued to walk around town, up to the old castle, around the church, etc.

Then we went to lunch, at a charming resturant in Lavaux, Switzerland, which overlooks Lake Geneva, the giant lake, and the vineyards the hug the shore. It was an excellent lunch, and the view was superb. Of course I treated my host to lunch, since he was so gracious to drive out of his way and show me around.

We then went to the gorgeous lakeside town of Montreux, and my host's car had some issues with the transmission (it had over 100,000 miles on it).  We we're fairly close to his house, and over 2 hours away from Basel. It turns out his car was fine after turning off the ignition and restarting it, but we agreed I would take the train back to Basel.

Before taking the train back, I walked around Montreux. It was a true Swiss Town on the Lake: surrounded by the alps, and many expensive-looking stores, resturants and hotels. (I didn't check the price of the hotels-but I am willing to bet a lakeside hotel was more expensive then my room in the YMCA Hostel I was sharing with 7 others). Being a beautiful, warm, sunny day.  people we're gathered by the lake shore. I stopped for lunch at a supermarket (all I can afford), of fine Swiss cheese, bread and a water. The Swiss cheese had a label that said it was from Gruyares, the town I was in (but further reading the label, the cheese also went through the supermarket chain's distribution center in France). 

When I went to the station to take the train home, I noticed there  was a narrow-gage railway leaving from the  same station going to the mountains. Being a railway buff, I couldn't resist. So I took the train about halfway up to the Alps. The train creaked along the tracks, and it sounded like it was straining the entire way. But is was really cool creeping up the mountains.

The ride back to Basal required 2 changes of trains. The first change was in another gorgeous lakeside town called Lausanne, which I hit close  to sunset, so I walked down to the lake and watched the sun set over the marina. Once again, lots of folks we're gathered. 

By the time I got on the second of three trains back home(roughly 9:30-10:00 pm), it was already dark, and I settled in for the long long 2+ hour ride back to Bazal, which I returned to after Midnight.

Tags: mountains, switzerland

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