From the Dolomites in Italy we’re making our way to the country with Europe’s biggest mountains: Switzerland. Okay to be correct, the biggest mountain in western Europe is Mt Blanc (4807m) in France, but Switzerland then follows with 48 four-thousander summits.
Via the Julier Pass …
… we drive into the “Confoederatio Helvetica”, the latin name for Switzerland which gave it the country abbreviation CH. We are now not only confronted with a new currency but also with four different languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. The latter is spoken by only 0.5% of the population, nevertheless Logan managed to befriend some romansh speaking young lads later that night, but I’ll get to that later.
We aim for St. Moritz, a popular spa town in the South East of the country.
St. Moritz is surely a nice place and we stop for lunch at the lake. Due to the time of the year, there are not many people here, so we soon keep going. We are planning on staying mostly in southern Switzerland, but as so often our plans are at the mercy of other forces and this time mother nature puts a spoke in our wheel.
We stop in a little village before Chur to spend the night. Logan feels like going for a walk downtown to watch the tennis and have a couple of drinks. Around midnight he comes back to let me know that he met three young lads who asked him to join them at the club which happened to be only meters from our van. I wake up one more time when we returns and think I can finally sleep through until morning, when suddenly the van is shaking heavily. At first I’m utterly confused, still half in my dreams, then I think someone is trying to break into our van. I try to wake up Logan and when he finally does, he drunkenly mumbles: “I can take ’em!! Shhhh I can take ’em!” I realize Logan is in a foggy-brained state due to his alcohol intake and decide I have to do something myself. I open the blinds and bang at the window and all I see are three young men running away. So we were victims of a joke, lovely! Apart from being woken up the third time tonight and a 5-second panic attack, it made me laugh now myself. Especially thinking back about Logan’s response.
In the morning I ask Logan whether he knows what happened last night but he can’t remember anything. He is very amused about his reaction though. He then tells me that those three lads he befriended, spoke romansh and only a few words of English but they explained to him, that the Furka Pass was still closed due to snow and the only way to get to Western Switzerland was via a train or driving a big detour.
I wasn’t gonna believe it at first but at some stage we got to the sign: Pass closed! Instead we drive north and I’m planning on taking the road south along the “Vierwaldstätter See“.
Driving along the lake, we discover windsurfers and stop to watch their acrobatic jumps and turns for a while.
Of course that road ends in a little town called Baumgarten and we have to backtrack and follow the road north around the lake. The only road south is a highway and we decided against buying a vignette (toll ticket). This way we got to see Lucerne and Interlaken, two very beautiful towns.
We found a beautiful camping spot not far from Lucerne and will explore the town tomorrow.
More about Lucerne (Luzern or Lausanne) in the next post.