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zermatt - too windy!

Zermatt, Switzerland

me n kat went to Zermatt today. n i found out Eurail is absolutely useless in Switzerland! i had to pay so much for all d private mountain rail lines and have NO discount for d cable cars!! if any1 is travelling, please buy a Swiss Pass instead. it cost d same price n covers these mountain rail lines or u get a bigger discount than Eurail gets! and u definitely get discounts on mountain cable cars!

i had to pay full price for d cable which only went midway to Klein Matterhorn! cos it was way too windy for d cable to be safe, they closed d section to d top! i am sooo annoyed! crap crap CRAP!!!

only got halfway to the mountain. the cable ride itself was a horror movie! we were packed into this cable car jammed packed with ... a BIG Thai tour group!! there were like 50 of them! d vehicle was soooo fucking packed we cant even bend our elbows!! we were so afraid that the cable car will not hold out and fall!!! plus all the Thais talking at d same time! gave us a HUGE headache!!!!!! that 20mins feels like forever!!!!! when we had to change to another cable car for the next section, we pass on the one with the Thais. we rather wait 30min for the next one.... yes it was THAT bad!!

it was still freezing when we got there. the snow is starting to melt and it's no longer ski season. there's bits of snow here n there. it was windy n drizzling too! we could hardly keep our eyes open in the outdoor! half the time, we were in the cafe and the other half, running out n in of the cafe to take photos.

not a very exciting day for us at all. disappointing to say the least...

alright, i think i will head to Innsbruck to ski n not Switzerland. it definitely cost less!

permalink written by  wangyng on May 26, 2008 from Zermatt, Switzerland
from the travel blog: Hello Europe!!
tagged Switzerland and Zermatt

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Football Fever begins!!! in Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland

today, EURO 2008 begins! host countries Switzerland n Austria are infested with football fans from all over Europe. i can say that cos i witnessed it in Geneva. d 2nd match of d season is played here in Geneva, Turkey vs Portugal. since d aftn, there's supporters from both teams roaming d streets in respective t-shirts/flags. cars were honking at other supporters of d same team or against supporters of d other team.... i dont really know cos they were just honking all d time... many were holding horns n sounding it every other minute. some fans just started singing their national/team anthem on d streets. u can really feel d craze n d fanatic behavior... so loud, so enthusiastic, so rowdy, so high-spirited, so aggressive, so friendly, but for me... mostly annoyance... it was soo difficult walking thru d old city with all these fans trying to outdo each other in singing, clothes, horning, n all that stuff... d old town feel was lost amongst these rowdiness. although nice, i cant really enjoy d old town with such commotions hitting me everywhere i walked... such a pity..

tomorrow i head to d much anticipated France. i can only hope d weather will be good... fingers crossed!

permalink written by  wangyng on June 7, 2008 from Geneva, Switzerland
from the travel blog: Hello Europe!!
tagged Geneva and Switzerland

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met a nice old lady in Montreux

Montreux, Switzerland

went to Montreux today for a day trip. didnt get to do much cos i woke up late (like what's new right?!) n got there late. did d tour in Chateau de Chillon (d famous castle in on Lake Geneva), d castle, went on a 1.5hrs cruise, saw d Freddy Mercury statue...

i met a nice old lady while waiting for d ferry/cruise. she was juz sitting on a bench at d jetty waiting for her friend, n i was waiting for d next ferry back to d city. she started talking to me about d past n future... she asked "is our future in front of us or behind us?" "are we going into d future or leaving it behind us?" deep questions i muz say... but it was nice to hear her stories n views on that...

was actually going to take juz a short 15 min ferry ride.. but d nx ferry comes in 1.5 hrs... n i can take d cruise ard Lake Geneva n be in d city in d same time... so i went on it (also cos i get on for free!)... it was really cloudy n foggy today so i cant really see much on d lake... all i know was d lake is fucking HUGE! n after a while... having been on other lakes, d sceneries started looking d same.. or not as nice as before (probably thanks to d fact dat i only see thick fog!)... anyway, managed to take a short nap on d cruise... o, i think i saw France fr d cruise too... since d lake is right at d border of Switzerland n France....

i got back around 9 n my host Kelvin has another couchsurfer Sean staying d night. dinner was still being cooked in d oven so we had a late dinner together. Sean was teaching Kelvin d guitar n they were singing when i got back... nice to come back to such an nice cosy atmosphere...

i shall see Geneva tomorrow... o yes, d Euro 2008 starts tomorrow too.. it will be d beginning on a noisy 2 weeks...

permalink written by  wangyng on June 6, 2008 from Montreux, Switzerland
from the travel blog: Hello Europe!!
tagged Geneva and Switzerland

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Interlaken, Switzerland

it's another Mountain today. we had better luck today. it was partially cloudy and there wasnt much rain, just a bit of drizzle here n there.

we head to Lauterbrunnen, it was the nearest and we wanted to see Waterfalls. the first Waterfall we saw is Staubbach Falls. it was near the edge of the town so we could reach by foot. the falls drop 288m down the Cliff and is made up of about 30 falls (i think??).

we could actually walk up to a lookout kinda place under the fall.

it's a pretty steep n rocky slope... but not as steep as the slope in Brloh of cos!! wasnt too difficult to get there.

when we finally got there, the water actually stops, dont know why. took lotsa photo there. saw a rainbow at the bottom of the Waterfalls too!

permalink written by  wangyng on May 27, 2008 from Interlaken, Switzerland
from the travel blog: Hello Europe!!
tagged Waterfall, Switzerland, Spiez, Interlaken and Launterbrunnen

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Headquarters of the world

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneve. Posh-central. So much money and wealth, flashy cars, ridiculously expensive hotels, headquarters of those ridiculously expensive watch companies (Rolex), primly dressed dignitaries from around the world, and spotlessly clean streets.

I felt rather out of place.

And everything was ridiculously expensive. Geneve is actually ranked as the forth most expensive city in the world – and I really do not want to visit the top three; I felt ripped off!

But then to redeem it, Geneve also has the UN headquarters (although what that three-legged chair is all about, I have no clue!

And the beautiful lake and jet.

And pianos scattered around public areas where musicians, talented or otherwise, can entertain passers-by. So it's not all bad. There's also a beautiful cathedral, some canons that I stumbled upon whose significance I am still uncertain of, and a charming old man whom I asked to take a photo of me and who promptly offered up his son as my 'arm candy'. :D

Poor guy. He was really embarrassed.

Then there was the rather entertaining series of protest-comics displayed along the lake – even one by Zapiro, a South African cartoonist.

I was staying with, surprise surprise, a guy who works at a bank. It was his first time hosting, and he did really well! He went out of his way to make sure I was comfortable and took me out to dinner by the lake with some friends.

The following day I was accosted by a girl trying to get interviews from people about Geneve. Like an idiot, I felt sorry for her and decided to participate in the survey.... Forty-five minutes later I was still trying to explain that, “Yes, I have honestly been travelling for the past several months, and, I do actually have enough knowledge of other metropolitan cities to be able to rank Geneve, and, no, I do not want to tell you exactly what my plans for Geneve are as I honestly do not have any plans, and, and, and...”

I got rather frustrated with her down-the-nose attitude, to tell you the truth.

permalink written by  Brigid Jelsma on June 15, 2011 from Geneva, Switzerland
from the travel blog: Walk a little further to another plan
tagged Switzerland

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Migrant worker?

Montreux, Switzerland

My stay in Montreux was one of the best I've had on this trip. A week's break from travelling. A week to get to know an area and its people. A week of walking past Freddy Mercury's statue, humming Bohemian Rhapsody.

I was staying with a wonderful family of three. They were responsible for my fantastic stay. They had ten days left before they had to move House. Ten stressful days of packing, cleaning and preparing the House and garden for the next lodgers.

Via WorkAway, I ended up volunteering and helping them out. It was great fun – loads of work, but even that was satisfying. And, in between the lugging of heavy boxes and the weeding, the family went out of their way to show me the surroundings and introduce me to the Swiss way of life.

They took me up the Fribourg mountains, along a trail that belongs in romanticised novels of green slopes, massive bell-bearing cows and mud. Loads of glorious mud. And Amanda and I snuck out for some chocolate fondue – the best in the world, no doubt about it!

And Montreux was a wonderful town to explore, set on the lake, with mountains all around (like the scene from Jurassic Park I when they approach the Island for the first time and you see the jagged mountains, or maybe that's just me).

permalink written by  Brigid Jelsma on June 24, 2011 from Montreux, Switzerland
from the travel blog: Walk a little further to another plan
tagged Switzerland

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