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Trip Log

Europe 2018 Week 2

FRANCE | Wednesday, 10 October 2018 | Views [330]

Day 8 - Tuesday 11th September

Went in to Luzy to stock up on provisions at the Lidl, get some cash and some gazole (E2.66 per litre) for the car. We spent some time walking around this very pleasant little village. At the gazole station, the lady gave us personal service. I made the point that we were not English but Australian. Her face lit up with excitement and she showed me photos on her phone of her nephew that was currently holidaying in Australia.

Back at camp, paid the security deposit and for last night’s meal. It has taken me all afternoon to put my notes together to complete this blog to this point. I can’t post it yet though, because Linda’s phone has the only free WiFi code for us. If we want an extra one, I have to pay a daily fee. I transferred this file to Linda’s phone and posted it from there.

Day 9 - Wednesday 12 September

10.30am Walk along one of the trails outside the camp for about 1.5 hours. Swim in the pool on return. Relaxing warm afternoon.

Day 10 - Thursday 13 September

Luzy to Geneva

Checked out of our caravan & annex with charming Fleur, heading to Geneva with 2 GPS's programmed.

Even with 2 we took an exit where there were 2 close together. Entered toll freeway, took ticket, exited after 3km, entered wrong toll gate, backed up after asking driver behind to back up, paid E0.60 toll, U turn at roundabout, entered toll way, took ticket, exited tollway, paid E0.60 toll at correct toll gate, back on track. Easy.

Stopped at St. Germain du Bois for lunch. Bought tuna & bread and picknicked beside a park lake.

Stopped at the tourist info centre at Rousses for a map. Vignettes are necessary if the expressway is used. Road climbs & winds getting close to the border.

Crossed the border into Switzerland when clouds gathered in the distance and it rained for most of the descent into Geneva. We got close to the Chateau de Bossey but did a bit of backward & forwarding before finding it. My phone GPS wanted to take us along a one way gravel track the wrong way.

Very impressive building. Checked in, walked around the grounds taking photos before showering sweat off. Italian restaurant 'Antipasti' about 15 minutes away, for dinner. The restaurant was not visible from the street but along a walkway inside a modern group of flats. Very strange. Table outside on a footpath, mild temperature with the mountains across the lake for a view.

My phone is now connected to 'Swissmobile - La Poste mobile' & showing emergency calls only. Rats.

Day 11 - Friday 14 September

After a generous breakfast provided with our accommodation, we drove about 15 minutes to CERN. Along a very narrow road, a police car coming from the opposite direction and politely that we should not be on this road. It was only for agricultural vehicles tending to the crops on either side of the road. He accepted our excuse that our GPS showed us this way, calling the GPS instructions 'fake' and let us drive on.

At CERN, being able to take a guided tour ( I found it impossible to book online) we walked through Microcosm, the public exhibition showing what the LHC does. Bought the t shirt so I am happy. From there, we found a car park near the Botanic gardens. At 12pm, we had until 2pm before we had to pay for the parking. We walked through the gardens taking lots of photos and then walked around the block to the United Nations building. Out the front was small protest group wanted to fee Tibet. Their Buddhist chanting was pleasant but not showing any signs of effectiveness.

We walked further to the United States embassy. Linda's attempts to take a photo met with shouts from the guards inside. OK, no photos.

Back at the car at 1.45, the meter needed payment. I worked out the French instructions and paid for 5 hours. It did not print a ticket but sent me an internet link in an SMS. I could not display the link because my internet was not working. We started walking to the Geneva old city and along the way, used the free wifi at a McDonalds to check the parking site. I think that validated my payment. 50 minute walk to an ice cream on the bridge then 5 minutes to the old city. Walked around for about 2.5 hrs taking countless photos, mostly of Linda in front of things. Had dinner at 5:30pm at a Spaghetti factory, then walked back to the car along the bank of the lake.

At the car about 7:50pm. I carefully excluded the agricultural road in our course back home. The GPS course estimated 40 min. trip but very slow traffic out of Geneva on a Friday night made it 1hr 20 min. After many KMs walking today, glad for shower and relax in our room.

Day 12 - Saturday 15 September

Geneva to Lucerne

After another filling breakfast out on the terrace, we left at 8.am, took highway 1 mostly a maximum of 80kph but dropping to 50 through every town & little hamlet. Arrived at Lucerne hostel at 12.30. The room we booked had bathroom in it. That was now not available so we were offered a room with a shared bathroom for 25% less. That will do. Our room is on the 3rd floor and there is no lift so we put only what we needed for the one night in as little luggage as possible and lugged that up.

Using a cryptic map and no advice from the closed reception, we walked to where I thought we could get the cable car up the mountain. We did not find it, had McDonalds for lunch and came back to the room to recharge ourselves and our devices.

6pm. Asked the Asian girl at reception where the cable car station was but I chose not to follow her advice when she could not find it on her phone.

8.30pm. Another receptionist gave us directions. We will try for a cable car ride after breakfast .. of rice. Linda is happy. The proprietors are Asian.

Day 13 - Sunday 16 September

Lucerne to Innsbruck

Yep, fried rice for breakfast. Straight after a hurried breakfast, we checked out, left our car in the hostel car park while we walked 10 minutes to the cable car station, bought our tickets to the top of Mt. Pilatus and spent the next 2 hours ascending (40 mins), running around the top photagraphing everything and descending in the gondolas. A remarkable site was to see a paraglider take off from the top in perfectly calm conditions under a blue sky. It was not even very cold at the top .. we were comfortable in t shirts. We followed the dragon path around the side of the mountain which then went through a short tunnel back to the start. In this tunnel was a large solid door behind bars that I think is an entrance into the mountain used by the military. Later at the bottom we saw the gliders circle above us and land in a field near the cable car station. Awesome!

We walked back to the car at the hostel and left about 11.30 for Innsbruck.

We stopped at a service station on the Liechtenstein border for take away sandwich roll we ate in the car. We also bought a vignette to travel on the Austrian expressways. There have been dozens of tunnels on this leg of the journey with the longest one, the Ahlberg tunnel 15.5km. We stopped at a toll gate with an attendant to pay E10, continued to our camp site in Netters just outside Innsbruck and arrived about 4.30pm. we walked around the grounds and planned the evening .. shower, take away pizza from the on site restaurant, washing clothes, charge devices and catch up on blog. Our accommodation was in a sleeping barrel .. a barrel shaped room with a sleeping area and a small alcove. We ate the pizza in the rotunda in front of the barrel. There were about 7 barrels around the rotunda. Communications with the staff in English was easy. Even the clothes dryer spoke 4 languages. The communal facilities were top class .. the doors were covered in artificial grass and included family shower cubicles.

Day 14 - Monday 17 September

Caught the 9.20am bus (complementary bus tickets from the camp) into Innsbruck. Walked through the park then went into the Hofkirche Museum. The church has the tomb of Kaiser (Emperor) Maximilian 1 who ruled Austria at the start of the Renaissance. The museum held artifacts of crafts people over the last 500 years.

In the old town, not far away, we had lunch in view of the golden roof at a street cafe. At the bus stop, we had to wait an hour for the bus so Linda wanted to go back to the old town to buy a t shirt for her nephew with 'No kangaroos in Austria' on it. Back at the bus stop, the time table showed our bus did not go all the way to our camp so we waited in the nearby train station another hour for the right bus, updating blog and then returned to camp arriving 4.15pm.

Spaghetti bolognaise in the cafe tonight.

This camp is popular with all types but there is a large number is mountain bike riders and hikers here for the vast network of trails around the mountains.


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