Sunday, 19 April 2009

Austria and Switzerland -- two for the price of one!

Yes that's right my little children -- I am just going to quickly (ha! as if I write anything quickly!) summarized Austria and Switzerland into one fun entry. Partly because we spent only a few days in each place, and partly because we didn't do too much, and mostly because I am EXHAUSTED right now (and it's only 5pm..... LAME). I suppose the overwhelming theme for our vacation now is complete exhaustion and laziness though. We have definitely slowed down the  frenzied going-to-every-museum-possible, being ultimate tourists pace and now spend quite a bit of time just... sitting in parks, watching the world go by (Andrew actually has been referenced a LOT on this trip. Way to get fame four years later, our unctuous tour guide of days past!)

So, we say auf widersomething to Germany and trundled down to Austria... and by trundle, I mean move veeerrrrry slowly throughout the Alps. It was a GORGEOUS trip, though, if a bit weird seeing the snow still on the ground in these towns... come on people, it's April! Get the memo! Also we most likely took the most inefficient train possible because really I could have walked faster. I don't care that we were teetering precariously on the side of the mountain. Rule #76. But, as we were talking with our sexy sexy American accents, an olderish woman starting talking to us -- a Canadian (but we didn't hold that against her) high school teacher who apparently just heard us sprenchen zie englishy (that is not correct in so many ways) and wanting to chat! Lovely. Unfortunately her husband got caught in the train doors when they alighted, but you can't have everything in life.

SO, we arrive in Innsbruck safe and sound. Innsbruck is a tiny-ish university city located at the feet of some of the biggest mountains you could ever imagine - and our hotel (which was unfortunately located UP a hill... how is it I am SO BUFF now and not when I catch pneumonia sitting on a plane?! but we made it up the hill!) overlooked it all... we were moved to another room our second night there, which had a balcony with the most AMAZING view. I cannot believe that is my life. I really need to get back to the States, if only to get a reality check! We don't do too much that first day (or really ever again on this trip... I'm warning you, we are LAZY) but we walk around the city -- typical European old town center. I am soo jaded following this trip. What I previously would have seen as adorable and amazing I now just accept as ordinary. 

The next day, we make the two hour pilgrimage to SALZBURG -- home of Mozart and also THE SOUND OF MUSIC! Yes my friends, we took the Sound of Music tour around the city. You may think that is lame, but zillions of other people have done it before us, so at least we aren't the only lame ones! And we didn't pay for it, so that makes me feel good about myself, maybe. We ate lunch in a GORGEOUS park (see facebook, absolutely amazing flowers. If only I had foliage setting). This park was also the sight of one of the songs they sang, as was a fountain we saw, some building, and the abbey up on the hill. Long story short, we spent a few hours walking around Salzburg just to see filming locations, and felt GREAT about it. We also went to Mozart's birthplace which had some interesting information about his life and times and his first violin and first composition! The inner music nerd in me squealed quite a few times in that museum. More importantly, we got some Mozartkugels (which I have yet to try but have heard are AMAZING. All I know is that they are balls of something delicious. At least I hope so because I dropped over a euro on them and we all know how stingy I am with my money). 

Next day, we go out to the Swarovski "Crystal World," which was probably the trippiest trip I have ever experienced (although it's not like I've ever tripped out before, so I guess it's a weird comparison). Basically just different exhibits using crystal -- normal stuff like statues or something made from crystal, but then there was the crystal dome, the room of dreams, the room that kept changing colors .... seriously tripping out. Luckily they had a playground that definitely was NOT made for 20 year olds to play on, but has that ever stopped us? And we saw a little kid peeing in the bushes, although we thought it was a statue until he moved. I wish Jenny hadn't commented on his tushey. Maybe he should join the coalition trying to pee all over GW...

So the next day, we spend most of the day traveling to Switzerland, home of the REALLY EXPENSIVE STUFF. Seriously, it's DISGUSTING. Even though the dollar is slightly stronger, it doesn't matter when a burger from Burger King is something like 13 fr. THIRTEEN. I CAN'T HANDLE THAT. Sticker shooock. So today we ate baguettes for lunch. Who said we aren't healthy? Once we get into Bern, we spend the afternoon walking around town -- it's the capital of Switzerland, but just a wee little thing! Einstein's house, bear pits (actually really sad. Bear. in a pit. the name says it all). More importantly, there is a marathon going on so everywhere we go we see RUNNERS. Jenny and I had our own little marathon in celebration and I WON! (she let me. she's so nice. like Paul Potts). 

Unfortunately, the runners also cut off a lot of paths to get to things... for example, we wanted to go up to the Rose Gardens, but the road was blocked... so we decide, of COURSE we should scale this hill to get to the footpath at top. And by we I mean me. And then, of course, right at the top, I slide back down the almost 90-degree incline, collecting dirt all over my body (AND I WORE MY NEW JEANS THAT DAY!) and almost slide into the marathon. It was quite exciting. If only I weren't such an idiot.

Today we took a train out to Luzern, another town in Switzerland. Unfortunately, it was overcast, so we couldn't go up into the mountains (which is apparently THE most gorgeous sight you could ever imagine), but we walked around town, scaled a tower (of course) and saw the saddest monument in the entire world, according to Mark Twain. Now we're back to Bern, about to get dinner and then a quiet night (as usual. We are LAZY and LAME and POOR) before heading to France tomorrow... only a few more days left on the trip, and most spent probably sitting on watching the world go by, before BACK TO LONDONTOWN!!!! aaah English.

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