Category Archives: Switzerland

Travel Day: Geneva – Marseille

Today we travelled to Marseille, France! Before we left, though, we did an hour or so of site seeing in Geneva.

We found a cool park where the University is. At the entrance of that park is the Music conservatory, and this was also a short walk to a beautiful cathedral that you might ahve noticed in the background of yesterday’s photos.

Anyway, check out the pictures. Nothing really to report from Marseille yet, just getting settled in.

Here’s a teaser for what’s to come out of Marseille:

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Travel Day: Arosa – Zurich – Geneva

Today we sadly said goodbye to our beautiful mountain view and took the train to Geneva.

Not too much to report, but when we had a train change in Zurich, we decided to take a later train and walk around a bit (on advice from several folks). To be honest? Meh on Zurich from what we saw.

When we got to Geneva, we found out that there was a festival going on by the lake. So we headed over to that and noticed that fairs in Geneva are WAY fancier than fairs in the US. I’m talking people in suits, and bar tents with purple chandeliers playing house music. It was a very different vibe.

Anyway, here are some photos of our VERY brief visit to Zurich (we didn’t see much):

Our initial pictures from Geneva (click here for info on the Jet D’Eau):

Arosa Day 2: “Thunder Storms”

Today they predicted thunder storms, so we tried to stay as close to town as possible (not wanting to get caught on a mountain in a storm). What this turned into was a pretty laid back day of walking around, and doing little stupid things.

We started with breakfast, then a nap lol. Then we did some paddle boating (an Alphorn group was practicing at the time, and the sound was echoing off the mountains…pretty cool), and when we got to the mini-golf course, we saw mini billiards golf (at least that’s what we’re calling it). So we played that instead.

We originally wanted to tackle a ropes course they were bragging about — but it turned out to be really puny and disappointing. We also tried to find a rifle range they had on the tourism map — figured it would be fun to shoot a .22 where the Biathlon originated. But we couldn’t find that either.

All in all a pretty, no, extremely relaxed day. And wouldn’t you know — the “Thunder Storms” didn’t really start till 7pm, no rain till 6pm. And we didn’t even see a single flash of lightening. I will say, though, thunder echoing from mountain to mountain is one of the coziest sounds around.

Not too many photos for you today, and most of them are just more of me trying desparately to capture just how AWESOME these mountains really are. I ultimately figured out that’s impossible, but I try none-the-less.

Arosa Day 1: Some Serious Views

Today we woke up at the crack of 8:40am and were really happy to find that our mild altitude sickness had more or less gone away (Arosa sits a bit over a mile high). To double surprise us breakfast was included in our stay! And it included eggs! Get the eff out of town!

A quick asside…this hotel/restaurant/bar seems to be run completely by the same 3 girls 24 hours a day. They checked us in yesterday, served us dinner, closed the bar last night, served us breakfast, answered our questions at the front desk during lunch, and then served us dinner again. And they’re extremely friendly and helpful! It’s hard to believe they’ve been working basically non-stop.

Anyway after our free breakfast we were off to a terrific start. We got into our “hiking” cloths (we really need to invest in some hiking boots) and headed towards the mountain. The girls gave us some advice to take the Weisshorn Gondola to the peak (8,705 ft) and hike over to the other gondola where we can grab lunch and admire the view. This is exactly what we ended up doing.

Along the trail were really amazing views, and very few people. I was expecting a packed house a la Mount Monadnock in NH. What we got was very different. I think we saw maybe 15 people up close on our 2-3 hour adventure, and it has been like that this entire stay. From what we’ve gathered through conversations this is a very popular destination for the Swiss and German folks during the winter months (for the skiing/boarding). Even during the summer it mostly draws Swiss and German people, so it feels like a real treat to be in a place not many americans come, and at a time when it’s so quiet.

Back to the hike. Other than the views, the atmosphere was also kind of cool. There are cattle grazing on the mountains, so the cow bells could be heard throughout the trek. We also heard an alphorn group playing in the distance — I don’t think you can get more “swiss alps” than that one. We actually found them, but more about this later on…

When our hike was finished, but before heading down the mountain, we decided to grab some Arosa Edel (a local beer that’s really nice) and try a regional dish called “Capuns.” Even after eating them, we weren’t exactly sure what they were made of. This Wikipedia article helps a bit. Despite not knowing what we were eating, we were happy we were eating it. They were really tasty.

With full bellies, we took the gondola back down the mountain to walk around the town of Arosa. THAT’s when we found the aplhorn folks! They get off to a bit of a rough start (I think — I’m sure this thing isn’t easy to play), but it gets better towards the end:

Finally we got back to the hotel, we took showers, and desperately tried to book our travel from Marseille to Barcelona –it’s proving pretty tough. But whatever, this place is beautiful! Check out the photos.