We started fairly late as our flight out was at around 5pm. I always find airports stressful so I tend to go really early just in case anything goes wrong. This has the plus side of being able to sit down and have a nice meal before we have to wait around the gate though!
The first flight was 8 hours with Singapore Air and it was so good. Very comfy, super nice attendants and good food. The attendants were so lovely and they just kept offering food and drinks every half hour so we never needed anything. The chairs were comfy, there was a lot of choice in tv and movies as well as a smooth flight.
We had a 1 hour stop over in Singapore and then changed flights to Swiss Air. Changi airport is really beautiful, they have planted huge tropical gardens with water features all over it with long chairs to relax in.
That flight was much less pleasant. 12ish hours, an older and smaller plane, very few entertainment options and it was so full of bumping and vibrations that I was a bit motion sick >_< We tried to sleep for most of this flight but even with the lights down and wrapped up in blankets it was quite difficult.
We arrived in Switzerland crazy early in the morning and were picked up from the airport. I couldn’t read or understand the customs signs about what to declare so we went to ask if we needed to declare food etc and they laughed at us. I always forget that it’s pretty much only Australian Customs that cares about these kinds of things >_<
We got to our hotel at around 6am and were just in time to watch the sunrise coming over the city. It was beautiful!
We stayed at the B2 Boutique Hotel and Spa while in Zurich and I’ll give you all the information about the hotels in more detail in one of the special posts. It’s a converted brewery on the top of a hill which looks out over the whole city.
Check in time wasn’t until 3pm so we left our bags with the wonderful hotel staff and decided to wander into the city and see what we could find.
In pretty much all of our photos you’ll notice that we have cameras plastered to our faces >_>
We walked through a beautiful park on the way to the city. It was lovely seeing such colourful trees everywhere, the leaves were amazing.
We took a lot of camwhoring coupley photos together this trip… but they all kind of look the same XD
So let me get them all out of the way now…
Anyway… once we reached the city we went on a search for free wifi to use and found… none XD We wanted to google for some things to do that day so we ended up going to a Starbucks to sit down and leech off their internet. I couldn’t believe how expensive some things were and how cheap other things were. Like seriously, a white mocha, biscuit and blueberry muffin was like $25. Later that day we paid $30 for 2 McDonalds meals… why fast food so expensive Switzerland?? Yet a block of brie was less than $2 and better quality than the expensive ones we have at home. Cheese priorities=win
So we took a lot of obligatory tourist photos like this:
The buildings were beautiful, there is an architecture post coming soon!
Everything was very scenic. I couldn’t believe how warm it was either, it’s coming into Summer in Aus and it was colder in Melbourne than it was in Europe *_* It was lovely!
So we pretty much just wandered fairly aimlessly and took in the sights until we got the email that our room was ready. At that point we’d been awake for far too long so we headed back to the hotel and crashed. I decided to take a half hour nap… which turned into a 2 hour nap >_>
Eventually we dragged ourselves out of bed and back downstairs to have dinner in the hotel restaurant… still only semi-conscious.
On day 2 we pretty much repeated that, went shopping again and bought a lot of cheeeeeeeeeeese. Did I mention the cheese? I so can’t wait to write the food post… I’m already hungry.
I spotted these cute doggies in the window and I was so close to buying one for Lottie but they were like $80 each! So cute though!
There were puppies everywhere in Zurich! In Aus dogs aren’t allowed to go into shops or very many places at all. In Switzerland there were so many dogs all over the place. They are so well behaved because apparently to own a dog there you are required to go to dog training school, such a great idea! There were even dogs in restaurants and high end luxury stores. I wish it was like that here so I could take Lottie everywhere!
People drinking fountains have little dog ones too!
The next morning we had a delicious breakfast at the hotel. I miss European breakfasts, they are full of delicious cheese and croissants and cured meats! Also the lattes are very different than in Aus, much sweeter and yummier.
After checking out, we were picked up by our lovely driver and taken to The Black Forest. This is the border between Germany and Switzerland, isn’t it adorable?
We dropped our things off at our next hotel and were then driven to another hotel which had archery lessons! So this whole trip/tour was supposed to be fairy tale themed, specifically Hansel and Gretel themed because it was put together to go with the new reboot of the movie which has just been released on Foxtel here. The Black Forest is the area which inspired that original fairy tale and is a really amazing place. A lot of the fairy tale themed things that had been planned didn’t end up happening for one reason or another but it was still extremely awesome!
So we had lunch at the sports hotel and the portions were gigantic and delicious. Apparently a lot of the meat they use is actually caught in the forest behind the hotel!
Also, Europe is full of bees. Seriously I have never seen so many bees in my life. This expression apparently says “Go away bee, you are very pretty but please don’t get in my food or sting me thanks”.
We did archery and it was the coolest thing ever. The man who owns the hotel is a master archer and had a really fancy bow. His Dad (I assume it was his Dad as I don’t speak German) spoke to me for several minutes and even though I didn’t actually 100% understand anything (as he only spoke German), I think the general gist of it was that they are both super cool hunters who have been to many countries including Africa, Brazil, Canada and others on their crazy archery hunting tours.
To be honest, he could have been telling me that he like to eat ice cream standing on his head in the dark for all I know >_< I really wish I spoke more languages.
I was totally more awesome at it than James too. Archery is so much fun, I want to find a range here and go again! Best part of the vacation!
After the archery we took a taxi back to the hotel and crashed for the night. Our second hotel was broken into two parts, the building we were staying at was up an insane hill. We were so tired when we got to the top that we ended up ordering room service, watching German tv and going to sleep XD The hotel was the Alemannenhof on Lake Titisee. It was so quaintly decorated and adorable!
This is the face that I make when I am presented a selection of cheeses for breakfast. Awesome!
The next morning we decided to take a bus to the top of the mountain and see the view. There is a fantastic program in that area where if you stay 2 nights you get a special card which means you can use the bus and go to all of the local places for free. YAY!
We went to Mt.Feldberg and had a look around the Nature museum. There was a 3D movie, a creepy 3d park ranger and a green screened balloon ride.
Then we took the gondola up to the top of the mountain. I’ve never been in one before but we got stuck in there with a very loud little girl and her family. I wasn’t super excited about it to begin with but when the Dad of the family started shaking the gondola with his feet I wasn’t particularly impressed. It sure was pretty though.
This face means I’m not super happy about James’ idea to go to the top of the mountain.
The photos of the view at the top will come with my nature post. It was quite impressive!
After that we took the bus back into the town and bought some kitschy souvenirs. Of course with a name like Lake Titisee how could I not get a sexy lady pressed coin?
We wandered around for quite a while and spent a large amount of money trying to buy water which wasn’t sparkling then we headed back to the hotel. I did a little painting on the balcony of the hotel because the view was just amazing.
On our last day we took a wander down to the actual lake area, took more photos then made it back to the hotel just before the rain started. Our driver arrived and we were back in Zurich at the B2 hotel super quickly.
I couldn’t take anymore photos that day because we went to the spa which was attached to the hotel. No cameras in the pool/spa was understandable XD It was very nice and the fit out is beautiful, it was just absolutely PACKED with people. I think if I ever go to a spa again it will be a private one rather than public!
The next day we wandered in to Zurich again with our list of people we needed to buy presents for and set about crossing them off.
We were walking down the street when we bumped into Hoshi who is a reader/viewer! I was so surprised to be recognised in the middle of Zurich but it was awesome! She was super sweet and recommended some places we could visit!
I tried roasted chestnuts for the first time and with no idea how to eat them I tried to bite it open to get the insides -_-’ I need to google things before I try them. I wish we had them here though because they were so yummy! (Once you realise you don’t eat the shell…)
I looked all over for a cute toy for Lottie but we didn’t find anything which I would be able to take home on the plane.
We also visited some Steiff bear shops because I have one from when I was a baby. The new ones are very fancy, this collection looks like it should be in a Chanel window *_*
Our last day was another weird day because we had to check out by 11am but our flight didn’t go until like 10:45pm so we left our bags and went wandering again. We tend to wander a lot when left to our own devices. We were considering going to a zoo but decided to do something stereotypically Swiss and go to a fondue restaurant instead. Be prepared to drool over the melted all of the melted cheese in the food post!
These are probably the only shots we got properly together. I wouldn’t have even thought about it if the manager of the B2 Boutique hadn’t offered to take them! She was so sweet. All of the staff there were just amazing.
The library restaurant there had over 30k books in it and you could borrow any of them while you were staying. I ended up leaving them an extra book too because it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase *cough*too much cheese*cough* so now they’re up to 30,001!
James and I spent the time waiting to be picked up slightly differently. I played on my phone and he tried to find out if the ladder was functional… it was.
After what felt like the longest day in the world we started the longest trip home in the world!
We flew Swiss Air again for the long leg back to Singapore and the flight was the same as the way there except that both James and my tvs broke at one point or another so we tried to sleep.
We had a 4 hour stop over in Singapore this time so there was more time to shop and wander and see everything. I bought Lottie a robot dog toy that looked like her as well as some Sylvanian Family toys for my collection. I usually get one every time we go away but they were so cheap with the exchange rate that I got two this time. The wedding dog set is supposed to be Japan issue only so yay!
The last leg of the flight was on Qantas and it was pretty good. Good tv, comfy seats and decent food. The only thing that drove me nuts was that the crew had been given extremely powerful LED clip on lights to wear while they walk the aisles. It was an overnight flight so the cabin lights were of course dimmed and I can see the logic behind the lights and that they would make it easier for the crew etc but having a SUPER bright light shining in your face every 10 minutes while you’re trying desperately to sleep and avoid jetlag isn’t super fun :(
Snow flakes on my window as we came in to Aus:
We went through Customs and declared all of the tea and cheese I bought and they let me keep it (YAY!) then it was on to the Skybus and home to an extremely wiggly excited puppy. We got home at like 8am and had to try to make it through the day without any sleep so we weren’t jet lagged… I may have had 2 naps and completely screwed that up >_>
So this post hasn’t included all of the random little details because I think they will make more sense with the themed posts coming. Also, I’m still jetlagged a week later and I feel quite crappy >_>
But I hope you enjoyed coming along with this part of our Grand European Expedition! More soon and as a preview, here are some other random photos I shot there.