Sunday, April 19, 2009

Days 17-23!

Day 17: Sunday, April 5
We woke up, and actually had breakfast at the B&B. (Didn't have it Saturday since we got up so early.) It was pretty tasty. Then we headed toward the Colosseum. The line there was absolutely ridiculous, so we went to Palantie Hill first. You can get tickets at either place, and it's good for both of them. Definately go to Palantine Hill to get the ticket. We looked around there for a while, it was pretty cool, you got to walk in some of the ruins, and the Archaeological dig is connected, so you can walk through that too if you want. We didn't, because we had looked down on it on Friday, and we were slowly running out of time since we had trains to catch in the afternoon. So we headed on over to the Colosseum, and the line was still pretty bad, but not terrible. The thing about getting your ticket at the Palantine Hill, is that you only have to wait in line until you get through security, then you can go cut ahead of like 600 people and get in and look around. Otherwise, it's probably another hour of waiting once you get past security. The Colosseum is really cool. I took more pictures than necessary probably. But that's ok, my camera is awesome! Adam ran into some people he knew from UNC there. After hanging out there for a couple hours, we went to the Spanish Steps to see why they were so awesome. They were just... really big stairs. That's all. Then we went back to the B&B to pick up our suitcases, had lunch, and realized that we had another hour till the next train because we just barely missed one. So the guys left me at the train station to try and pick up some internet on Jake's laptop while they went out to try and find some gelato. Hour later, they came back empty handed. :( Also, I was unable to catch any internet signals. So then we got on a train to Pisa, and Adam got on a train to Florence. We got there way later, and I had been looking at where the book said hostels were. They were all far from the train station. We didn't want to drag suitcases around Pisa, so we gave up on a hostel and got a hotel room instead. (Yay 2 stars!) Then we found some dinner since it was kind of late, and since we were like the last people there, we got free limoncello. I think it was because they wanted to close. *shrug* Food was ok. Then we went to see the leaning tower at night. It is crooked. By a lot. So we wandered around it for a bit, then went back to the hotel and fell asleep.

Day 18: Monday, April 6
Woke up, the hotel fed us, then we went and dropped our stuff at the train station. Then we walked to the leaning tower, got our ticket and climbed up. You can't really tell that it leans that much while you're climbing. Like, you can still stay vertical, don't have to lean anywhere while climbing the stairs. And when you're on the top, you can't really tell that it's leaning, other than having to walk uphill to get to the other side. But it was still cool. They don't let you lean over the edge to see the tower below you either, but that's understandable. After a half hour or so they herded us out of the tower and we went in the gift store for a bit. They had limoncello in leaning tower bottles! Needless to say, we got some. Along with leaning shotglasses. And a leaning charm for my charm bracelet. And some postcards. And... a lot of stuff. Then we went in the church that's next to the tower. I was kinda tired of taking pictures after 17 days straight of pictures, so I gave Jake the camera. Then we went to the train station and got tickets to Zermatt. Couple train rides later, we got there. At like 8:15 or something. We had to find an ATM to get money so we could pay for where ever we were going to stay. The one hostel there closed at 8. So we started going to hotels and seeing if they had any rooms. Well, apparently Zermatt likes to roll it's streets up early. We barely managed to get a room, and it was.... painfully expensive, and didn't even have a bathroom in it. Also, everyone everywhere was in ski gear and the first thing you see when you get off the train is a North Face store. Not good signs for poor people like us. After getting the hotel room and realizing everything was expensive, we pretty much decided that we should have spent another day in Italy. We had thought about stopping in CInque Terre for a day since there was ocean and beaches and warmth, but we ended up just going to Switzerland. The train ride there was taunting us the whole way. LOOK AT ME! I'M THE MEDETERRANEAN! I'M WARM! Also, Italy was cheaper than Switzerland. But.. we were in Switzerland in expensive town, so the logical thing to do was have McDonalds for dinner and then go to bed.

Day 19: Tuesday, April 7
We had originally planned on taking a train up to the top of a mountain to look at the Matterhorn (the mountain on Toblerone boxes), but it was 38 CHF one way, not round trip like we thought it was. (Damn book lied to us again.) So we just wandered around for a bit, and then got a train to Luzern. Then we walked to a hostel, got a room for 3 nights, paid for the first night, and then started wandering around. We went and saw the sad lion, and the bridges (wait for pictures). Also, Luzern had swans. And you could feed them. So I did several times over the next couple days. Swans are fun because they'll fight eachother. Yeah, didn't do much other than wandering around. Dinner was at a really nice Itallian restaurant. Ended up being a bit on the expensive side, 50-something CHF for the two of us. 1 dollar = .9 CHF roughly. But it was tasty, and we had limoncello included in that. So it was ok. Then more wandering, and then we decided we wanted to get a bottle of limoncello to drink, so we found a liquor store in the train station and got a bottle. Then we went back to the hostel and watched Shaun of the Dead and got drunk. Hehe. No puking this time though! Then sleeping when the movie was done. That stuff is tasty. Tasty tasty tasty.

Day 20: Wednesday, April 8
Woke up, went wandering, and found that they have real pretzels here! So we got pretzels from like four different places, until we found that the Hug Backeries have like, six laugen broetchen stuck together into a ring. TASTY! So those were what we had for breakfast the rest of the days we were in Luzern. We basically just wandered around all day, didn't really do much in particular. If it had been clear out, we would have gone up Mt. Titless, but it was kind of overcast, so we didn't. Dinner was at a restaurant called Pinnochios. DO NOT EAT HERE EVEN IF IT IS THE LAST PLACE ON EARTH. They don't know what pork is supposed to look like, they don't know how to make chicken cordon bleu, and... it was all super expensive- same price as the night before. But this was for just the two meals and water. We decided we'd cook the rest of our meals in Switzerland. Too expensive. Then we wandered some more.

Day 21: Thursday, April 9
Woke up, went and got pretzel rings, and tried to decide if we wanted to go up the mountain. It was hazy again, so we just wandered and watched the geese, then started heading back to the hostel so Jake could switch into shorts and so I could take off my wool socks since it was really warm outside. On the way we ran into Adam, so we showed him the right way to the hostel, and we ended up asking them if we could stay for another night, instead of trying to get to Milan and find a place for Friday night, since we'd be going up the mountain on Friday, and that'd just be a lot of hassle. They rearranged some rooms and found space for us. Yay! Then we went and showed Adam the sad lion and the bridges, and then hit up a grocery store to make dinner. It was ok. Then sleep.

Day 22: Friday, April 10
We woke up, and the sky was perfect out, so after getting some pretzels, we got on a train to Mt. Titless. We all decided that we don't like skiiers. They are pushy. Eventually we got to the top of the mountain, it was kind of cold, but not too bad. No one fell off the mountain or anything, so that was good. It was really pretty up there, despite being a bit cloudy. But the wind would blow the clouds away every now and then, so you could actually see stuff. There was also a glacier cave that they had made. It was.. a room made out of ice with colorful lights inside. Pretty cool actually. We got like the last or second to last cable car down, and then we wandered a bit and got to the train station, then went back to Luzern. Adam got his stuff out of our room, and got on a train to go wherever else he was going. Jake and I got stuff for tacos and made tacos, then went to bed.

Day 23: Saturday, April 11
Woke up early, checked out, went to the train station, got tickets. It was complicated. We wanted to leave at 9, but the second train we needed was full, so we had to leave at 11. But there was only a 3 minute layover to switch trains, so we decided to take the first train at 9, and then spend two hours at the place in the middle. We did sudokus and fed some birds. Then train to Milan, then train to Bergamo, then bus to airport, then check our bags and go through security. We also took advantage of the duty-free shop to get another bottle of limoncello. Heh. Then when we were going though passport people and into the international flights waiting room, the security guy wanted to look at my backpack. Apparently I look like a terrorist to Itallians. :( But there wasn't anything bad in there so he was like, ok, enjoy your flight! Or maybe I was just the magic number to get checked. *shrug* Then after waiting another hour and a half, they put us on busses to take us to the airplane, then let us go race to get seats. Then plane ride, then landing in Manchester, waiting for a train, taking a train to Leeds, then a bus to our street, then home and collapsing.

I would like to apoligize for the less than detailed entries toward the end. But we mostly just wandered and relaxed in Luzern, so there's not that much to write about. Also, sorry again for not having specific names of places and for misspellings.
For those of you who were counting or curious, we came back with: bottle of honey schnapps, bottle of peach liquor, two bottles of limoncello, a cuckoo clock, a stuffed St. Bernard, 4600ish pictures, one broken mp3 player, too many shot glasses to count, 3 dozen (ish) postcards, a new (slightly broken) suitcase, and a bunch more miscelaneous souveniers.

Also, for those of you who want to do this yourself, we both went through around $3000 each, Jake had slightly less because he didn't get a cuckoo clock and his debit card wouldn't work for a day or two in Austria and I had to pay for him then and he's still working on paying me back.

Germany is cheap. Austria too. Italy is in the middle. Switzerland is expensive. But they do have cool money there.

And that's about it.

Sorry this post is so long.

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