Australia and Oceania, Europe · 9 Days · 16 Moments · March 2017

Pip's adventure in Switzerland & France

6 April 2017

Chamonix! A ski village where you can ski in France, Switzerland or Italy! Very cool. The village is set at the bottom of Mont Blanc (the highest peak in Europe) so as you can imagine the mountains are rather spectacular. They have a cable car that goes up to Aiguille du Midi which sits at 3482 m - high! People ski down from there. Crazy Europeans! There is a glass box at the top which they call "Step in to the Void" so it looks like you are on top of the world. Crazy tourists!
To France!! We crossed the border along side Lake Geneva and we stopped at Evian enroute to Chamonix. Evian - the water!! In 1789 during a walk, the Marquis of Lessert drank water from the Sainte Catherine spring on the land of a M. Cachat. The marquis, who was allegedly suffering from kidney and liver problems, claimed that the water from the spring cured his ailments. And a business was born! To find the fountain you follow little gold water droplets on the ground. Love it! Now feeling very youthful and healthy.

5 April 2017

Back to sunny Montreaux!! Montreaux is known for it's beautiful location on Lake Geneva and never ending famous musicians. Freddie Mercury, the singer of the rock band Queen, settled in Montreux where the group had bought Mountain Recording Studio and where he learnt to appreciate the peace and quiet. He recorded his last album, Queen - "Made in Heaven" at the Montreux studio. The song "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple was also inspired by a fire started by a flare gun at a festival in 1971 which saw smoke engulf the lake. How interesting! I can't get over the flowers in this region!! We work all year to prepare for the Carnival of Flowers and they just call it spring...
Did someone say Chocolate tasting? This afternoon we visited the Cailler factory! The tour blew my mind! It was almost like a ride where you advanced from room to room to learn about the history of chocolate and this factory. There was no wallpaper that tasted like snarsberries and certainly no Umpa Lumpas (that we could see) but the chocolate was delicious all the same!
This morning we visited Chateau de Chillon. The castle dates back to the 12th century and our guide had an intriguing way of filling us in on all the fascinating history. We then made our way to Gruyere! More cheese!! A beautiful little village set on top of a hill with incredible views.

4 April 2017

Beautiful Montreaux! More to come!
Today we travelled to Beautiful Bern. There is some very interesting history behind this city (can we even call them cities??) - quaint markets, delicious food, stunning streets.

3 April 2017

What a day!! We took the Cable Car up to Mt Pilatus and saw some sneaky mountain goats, explored Endleburg via horse carriage and ate way too much melted cheese on crusty bread - love Switzerland.

2 April 2017

This afternoon we headed off on a walking tour of Lucern (after a long awaited change of clothes and shower!) followed by a cruise on Lake Luzern. So beautiful (I'm sure you'll hear that a lot!)
We arrived!! In to the lovely cool Switzerland. It's ways best feeling after such long flights and time in airports to walk out in to fresh cool air. We were greeted by Ellen our tour director from Insight and shown to our Insight Vacations Coach. Extra leg room! Yes please. I will post some photos later (I forgot, blame it on the jet lag). For the next 2 nights we are staying in Lucern at the Astoria hotel. A really nice place in a great spot. The only thing we forget as Australians is that air con doesn't exist in winter, they only switch to air con in their summer, so getting fresh air in the room has been a but tricky because the windows don't open far. Something to keep in mind when travelling to Europe.

31 March 2017

Tobruk Sheep Station! We had such a great time. Rod & Nicko do such a great job at showing how a sheep property operates. A really well run business!
Just kidding I didn't do the bridge climb... But we did do a great walking tour of the rocks. So much history and such lovely weather - great morning!
Bridge Climb!!

30 March 2017

Last night after a very delayed trip from Brisbane (thanks Debbie!) we arrived and were taken straight to dinner at Nick's Seafood Bar & Grill. Delicious! The staff were amazing.
Clouds flying in to Sydney! We have 2 days in Sydney hosted by AAT Kings before heading off to Switzerland. Stay tuned for good food, bridge climbs and sheep farms!
What a day to be trying to fly! Tropical Cyclone Debbie surely is letting us know she hasn't finished yet. Flight to Sydney delayed but at least we are safe and dry.