Europe 2010:
Day 2 - Germany & Switzerland [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Europe 2010: [Day 1 - Luxembourg] [Day 2 - Germany] [Day 3 - Switzerland] [Day 4 - Liechtenstein] [Day 5 - Austria] [Day 6 - Germany] [Day 7 - Czech Republic] [Day 8 - Poland] [Day 9 - Netherlands] [Day 10 - Belgium] [Day 11 - England]

Saturday, June 26, 2010: Enough of Luxembourg -- let's go drive through France briefly! We had a quick breakfast at the Novotel as soon as it opened and were on the road in no time. We had last been in France in 1999 and this was the first of several short trips through the country.

France was one of many countries that announced its towns with sepia-toned drawings of the town's attractions or characteristics. Some towns were lucky enough to showcase castles or natural features, but some had to showcase their mining operations and such.
It was this series of hot-air balloon photographs that tipped us off that we'd need to buy a new camera soon, especially when we discovered that our backup camera was unable to take photos in sunlight. We've thoughtfully cropped out the giant spot on the lens that shows up only when zoomed in.
But until then, we limped along with our existing camera and Debbie did a lot of black-dot-removal on these photos. Here's a charming little French town, ...
... and here's a charming local French store.
After an hour or so of driving, with a stop at a gas station for some French petrol, we were at the Rhine River which serves as the French-German border.
Here's some proof.
We drove through the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany.
This building featured antlers on the front.
Here's a little town in the Black Forest, ...
... and here is some typical scenery.
It was miles and miles of rolling hills covered with trees, ...
... and a creek or river followed us the whole way.
When we passed Haus der 1000 Uhren (House of 1000 Clocks -- yes, we are fluent in Obvious German), we knew we were getting close to our Black Forest destination ...
... the town of Triberg im Schwarzwald, itself no slouch in the clock department.
Our first stop was the Cafe Adler, ...
... with the excellent patio in the back.
When one is in the Black Forest, there is only one thing to order: delicious Black Forest Cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte). Tom disagreed and ordered a strawberry dessert instead.
After tea, we looked up the street toward our next destination.
Of course, we drove there because we weren't really sure where we were going.
But once we got to the end of the street, it was pretty clear the the big attraction was the entrance to the Triberg Waterfalls.
After finding pay parking on the street and paying the entrance fee, we headed up the hillside to enjoy the scenery.
The park contains a series of falls on the Gutach River.
The area has several different trails going further up the hill. It would be easy to spend an afternoon here, but we had a schedule to keep, ...
... so we got ourselves to the real show as quickly as possible. Behold the beauty.
We were reluctant to leave because it was absolutely gorgeous.
It's a proven fact: astilbes love shade, even German ones.
Here's the view from the entrance to the falls looking back down Triberg's main street.
We headed out of town and drove toward Switzerland, which is not in the direction of this photo, but for some strange reason, we didn't photograph a single thing until we hit the border. On the back roads of the Black Forest, we passed groups of people on motorcycles, hot rods, horses, and olde tyme cars, because that's apparently the place to be when you want to take your unusual transportation out for a spin.
In no time, we were at the Swiss border.
Here's some of the lovely Swiss countryside, ...
... and here's a modern Swiss bridge as we got closer to Zurich.
Speaking of Zurich, it happens to have a large mall named Glattzentrum ...
... and it has a Sprüngli store.
Sprüngli is famous for their Luxemburgli, which are macarons in a billion flavors.
Of course, we had to get a box and try all the different flavors, including lemon, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, and champagne. Yes, champagne. Switzerland is fancy.
Speaking of fancy, the Glattzentrum WC is the first place Debbie got to see a toilet that automatically cleans the toilet seat after each use. Way. It might be time to reconsider the point system on the Bundlings Restroom Scale.
Every mall has an electronics store, and we had electronics needs, so we ended up at the Electrohaushalt, where we bought a camera from someone who spoke almost no English. Pantomime goes a long way to overcome language barriers.
Just outside the mall, we saw our first Smartcar tower. It was hard to tell which was cuter: the cars stacked up on display like Matchbox or the giant World Cup stickers on the outside.
Next, we drove briefly through Zurich on our way to Felsenegg.
But first, we took an extremely long detour involving miles of tunnels thanks to a critical missed turn. But we did get to admire the first of approximately a thousand Swiss tunnels.
We arrived at Luftseilbahn Adliswill Felsenegg, which is a gondola that goes up to Felsenegg, overlooking the city of Zurich. Wait -- is that a cow up there?
Yes, it is! This was the first of many cow statues we saw on our trip, scattered over several countries.
Here comes the gondola.
Let's get on.
Now, let's look up the mountain at our destination.
Here's another gondola on the way back down.
It's a pretty view from the top!
From the station at the top, it's a short walk through the woods to get to ...
... the Felsenegg Restaurant.
They have a cow statue too! Can this get any more awesome?

Yes, it can. The view is amazing.

The restaurant has a large outdoor seating area.
It was a perfect, sunny day, just right for doing a little paragliding, ...
... or drinking some Swiss beer.
We toasted to Switzerland with Halden Krone.
Debbie ordered a marinated pork steak topped with bacon, ...
... while Tom had bratwurst with French fries.
We lingered a while and had some fun with shadows of beer in our glasses.
We headed back to the gondola station, ...
... and waved goodbye to the restaurant on the hill as we descended.
Next stop: Novotel #2 of 5, just north of the city.
It looked remarkably like the other four, ...
... except that its view was of the local technology office park.

Being good United States citizens, we cheered on our team in the World Cup until we were too sleepy to watch anymore.

Day 3 >

Europe 2010: [Day 1 - Luxembourg] [Day 2 - Germany] [Day 3 - Switzerland] [Day 4 - Liechtenstein] [Day 5 - Austria] [Day 6 - Germany] [Day 7 - Czech Republic] [Day 8 - Poland] [Day 9 - Netherlands] [Day 10 - Belgium] [Day 11 - England] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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