Monday, July 16, 2012

Playing in the snow in July?

Instead of going to Paris, we decided to go to Switzerland this past weekend.  T has always wanted to go there, my brother said that he would love it, and I kind of wanted to add a new location to my list! T took off Friday so that we could make the trek to the middle of Europe and be back on Sunday.

Our flight was scheduled for Thursday at 6:40pm.  Well... London had some kind of malfunction with their scanning process... so after about 1 hour and 45 minutes on the plane.. we finally took off around 8:30pm and headed to Zurich, Switzerland.  We were very glad that he had decided to spend the night in Zurich near the train station instead of making the journey to Lucerne that night.  It was late and we were exhausted.  We arrived at the Marriott Zurich Hotel around 11:30pm, finding out that nothing was open, and they stopped serving food at 11pm.  We decided to have a few drinks at the hotel bar and get full off of the bar snacks that they provided us.  We then went to bed and enjoyed sleeping in a comfortable American king bed, getting a good nights sleep, before our 45 minute train ride Friday morning to Lucerne...our final destination.

Friday morning, we woke up, got ready, headed down stairs, checked out, and headed back to the train station to find our train.  We grabbed a light breakfast that consisted of this wonderful custard type apricot pastry, tea and coffee, and then enjoyed the view until we arrived in Lucerne.

On the train ride to Lucerne, Switzerland

We arrived at our hotel, the Renaissance Marriott Lucerne hotel.  It was in a great location, within walking distance everywhere, just off the river on a quiet street.  Our room was not ready, which we had expected, so we decided to find out how to go to the top of one of the Swiss Alps.  We had a few options, but decided on the one that would allow us to play in the snow for a little while... Mt. Titlis.

We hopped on another train towards Engelberg.  This is where we would begin our journey up Mt. Titlis.  First, you take a gondola up a small hill, then you get on another one and head up the side of a tall mountain, then you get on a revolving gondola and head up to the tip top of Mt. Titlis.  When we arrived at the top, it was basically freezing.  T had shorts on and his Patagonia fleece jacket, and I had my yoga pants on, a T-shirt, and my thin juicy jacket.  Needless to say, we were definitely NOT prepared.  Everyone kept looking at T as is he were crazy, but we were here, we paid a ton of money to go up to the top (have I mentioned yet that Switzerland is the most expensive place in the world?), and we were GOING out to play in the snow! Suddenly, when we were sure that we were going to get hypothermia, we saw a magical sign.... You could rent ski jackets! We were sold! It was the best investment that we made and probably the cheapest.. at 7 CHF a jacket.  We were definitely glad that this service was offered, as we were able to go outside, see all of the beautiful views, ride a chair lift high above the glaciers, and even play in the snow! 

 Arriving in Engelberg
 Already a little cold... having a cup of tea on the way up
 One of the gondola rides
 T and I on the gondola
 Another Gondola ride

 Yes, T is wearing shorts in 0 degree Celsius weather
 Inside of a glacier

 Us and our rented ski jackets overlooking the Alps
 Headed to the ice flyer and glacier/snow park for some fun!
 T walking in his shorts in the snow up to the ice flyer
 On the chairlift
 Looking down on the chairlift
 Feet dangling off of the chairlift over a glacier

 Finally to the snow park!

 On top of the world!
 We made it!
 Throwing a snow ball... in shorts!
 Climbing up a little of the mountain

 Me.. ready to tube down the snow!

 T determined to go super fast down the snow!

 There were all types of sled like things that we tried... we fell a few times and our bottoms were SOAKED! It was fun though!

 Having a GREAT time!

 Me on the chairlift back up to the top

 Back on the revolving gondola to head back down the mountain
 Views of below... the clouds started to clear out on our way down
 A view of the town of Engelberg
 T.. testing the water
 We were way up there...past those clouds!
A perfect end to our first day in Switzerland.... Baileys and Coffee, Espresso, and a nice little slice of Apple Strudel! 

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