The Day We Arrived in Switzerland

There is a big difference between a low-cost backpacking trip through Europe and what we are doing.  It’s not that we are paying very much for our hotels, it’s just that the experience gap between a cheap hotel breakfast and a bed in a hostel is, well, significant. The breakfast spread this morning was the best yet, I even tried liver sausage for the first time. Eating a mouthful of liver sausage seemed a little less gross after Brianna let me know it was more like a cheese spread and not meant to be eaten alone.  

Today’s Switzerland leg of our adventure found us hopping on a train to Zurich and making a switch into Lenzburg.  None of the trains were properly marked, we made them on time anyway.  Lenzburg was not our final destination but the train options ended there because of maintenance work on the railroad tracks.  Remember when I said the trains weren’t marked properly? Neither were the buses.  Brianna and I managed to buy the correct tickets for our final destination, Beinwil Am See, we just had no way of knowing what bus we needed to board.  

More than anything else, I’m really happy with how Brianna and I have handled traveling plans as they go to Hell. We tell each other when we think the other is wrong and we haven’t yelled or gotten into a fight.  It’s almost like our travel relationship is an example of how the US government should work – semi-dispassionate checks, balances, and results that make sense.

Our AirBnB bedroom window looks directly out onto the lake Halwilersee.  The house we’re renting sits atop a ridge in such a way that no other houses can be seen, just a beautiful lake and a field full of grazing cows.  If you sit quietly in our room with the lights off, you might just hear one of the cow bells ringing as they walk up and down the hill in search of food.

Probably the funniest moments of the day took place on our grocery shopping trip.  The plan was to secure supplies for a breakfast, a dinner, and some modest drinking of local beers.  We achieved the afore mentioned goals, just not in the way we would have preferred.  Instead of taking us to a proper grocery store, the gps landed us at a gas station / mini-mart by the same name as what we were looking for.  There are 8 of us here in total, 4 kids & 4 adults, so it shouldn’t be super shocking when I say that we had multiple baskets of crap to buy.

Problem 1: We didn’t speak the lady’s language.  She spoke some combination of French, German, and Italian.  We are not fluent in any of these languages.

Problem 2: There was only one attendant working.  A line of people quickly formed behind us.  

Solutions: Buy a load of supplies, carry it back to the car, buy another load of things as the line died back down.  It could have been really embarrassing.  Traveling has a way of expanding the amount of shame one can take before it starts to adversely affect them.  That’s where we are at today and it worked to our advantage.

For dinner, Brianna had some local chicken wings while I devoured an oversized meatball and fries.  Some cultural experiences are more universal than others 😎

Tomorrow we’re off to Alpnachstad for a mountain adventure!

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