Thursday, September 29, 2016

Zurich To Phoenix

We woke up to e-mails and texts that our assigned flights home had been cancelled,
and that we'd been assigned alternate flights at a slightly later time.
I logged on and chose seats . . . and I was able to choose upgraded seats for no additional cost!
Those seats make a huge difference on long-haul flights.

Here's the food I packed for our trip home . . . 

And here's what I wore!

blouse & pants: from Macy's
sweater, shoes, socks: Target
raincoat (in top photo): DKNY from TurnStyle Consignment store

On our long walk to the train station (it's always a longer walk with luggage!),
we saw this bicycle, locked to the OUTSIDE of a bridge!

I guess it won't get in the way of traffic there!

We took a long time trying to find the cheapest one-way, two-hour ticket to get us to the airport.
Our travel passes expired at midnight that morning.

Flughafen = airport (literally "flight haven/harbor")
We're heading the right way!

We arrived at a different terminal than we wanted, so we needed to take the tram - hooray!
We LOVE the tram because . . . it has Swiss sound effects!

Security was EXTREMELY easy and quick.

Goodbye for now, Zurich!

This day was the day the Gotthard tunnel opened!

As the flight crew got everything settled and the doors closed, NO ONE had some to fill in the seats next to us!!!  

Greg stretched out . . . 

I was pretty happy, too.

Let me tell you, that eight hour flight definitely did NOT seem like eight hours!

I had some sparkling mineral water and some German-language magazines to keep me busy.

Next time we're in Switzerland, we'll keep shopping at Coop because they have a large vegan section that's going to be coming in partnership with the German firm Veganz.  Woo-hoo!  It'll be even easier to eat well!

The flight into Philadelphia was pretty along the coast.

There's a blurry ship!

It was bumpy and I got pretty queasy.

Look!  A less blurry ship!

Yay!  We made it over the big blue ocean to Philadelphia!

It looked as if we could expect some nasty weather now that we were home . . . 
we got that nasty weather, too.

There you have it, our trip to Switzerland!
What wonderful fantastic beautiful memories we have.
We're already excited to plan another trip there!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Rheinfalls (Rhein Falls)

If you're wondering why it's taking me so long to get all the photos and videos of our trip to Switzerland posted, it's because I have not been feeling well AGAIN
and the fatigue is crippling my efforts.
Also, I want to make sure that these fantastic trips are well-documented, which means that each post takes quite a bit of time.  I love these posts, I love creating them, and I love the memories that I have of these special times.

On to our LAST DAY of loveliness in beautiful Switzerland . . . 

This is an extremely photo-heavy post because Rhein Falls are absolutely gorgeous and we couldn't stop ourselves from taking lots and longs of photos and videos.

Here's a map of the many different lines of subways, streetcars, buses, and boats available
in Zurich!  Looks sort of confusing, but it's easy enough once you get used to it.

Here's what I was wearing for the day of adventures.
This photo was taken in one of the cool round bathrooms in the train. 
jeans: Style&Co from Macy's
blouse, sweater, socks, shoes: Target
bag: Ross
hat: bought in Switzerland

We love the signs along the train's route:

"Wood: natural and better!"

"Wood: Energy that grows back."

The train rides through Switzerland were never long enough
because the scenery is too beautiful: 

Not only did our mobile carrier invite us to the UK (during our stopover in London),
Switzerland (on our arrival), and Italy (at Piz Gloria, which is close to the Italian border), but it welcomed us to Germany!

Here's the stop for Rhein Falls! 

And here is our very first glimpse.  WOW! 

It's like a little fairy story town.

 As we got closer, we saw that there was a strange pointy island in the middle . . . 
and there was a boat parked at the bottom of it.
People had climbed to the top of the pointy part.
Look for the red flat near the center of the photo, where you'll see people.  
Then follow the steps down to see the pier where the boat lands.

 Here's a close-up of the people under the Swiss flag at the top of the island.

 Turns out the boats launch from this area around to the right of the train station.

The train station is on a little bluff overlooking the river and the falls, 
and we walked down past these beautiful poppies . . .  

This sign told us when each of the church services 
were for the different kinds of churches in town.

Reformed Evangelical - 9:30 PM
Methodist Evangelical - 9:00 PM
Roman Catholic - 9:30 PM
Saturday in the summer - 5:30 PM
Saturday in the winter - 5 PM 

 We also walked past a little field of goats.

And then we were along the river!

There's one of the boats close-up. 

Here's the island from a different angle.

We decided to eat lunch first, since it was at least noon by this point.
I was also wearing out already . . . this was the only day of the trip (outside of our HIKE up the hill to our hotel in Moerel) that I almost cried because I was tired.
I'm still glad we carried on, though, because it was fabulous!!!
Greg offered many times to carry my bag or take the easier way back, but I figured
that if I COULD make it, I should, because the next two days would be full of sitting still in airplanes.

Greg had a Wurst (wiener) with a teeny little bun.
Other people were eating the Wurst separately from the bun and eating the bun with butter. 

As we ate, we investigated the castle/fortress across the river. 

We looked at the water along the shore. 

We watched the boats go back and forth to the island. 

Then we took some photos with the falls in the background. 

There were some signs telling us how the falls formed. 

Also we saw signs warning us not to swim there:

They were prepared!

We decided to up the river to the bridge, cross the bridge,
and check out the castle (Schloss Laufen).

Another option with less walking would have been to take the boat across to the island and then to the pier on the other side, which is at the bottom of the cliff that holds the castle.  There's an elevator that takes people up to the top (it requires payment, but it would work out great to still see everything without walking as much as we did).

First we came to the Pump House
(and the border of the fishery, whatever that means).

There was a cute little waterfall near where the water mill was.

This picture turned out really cool with the ivy in the front and the waterfall in the back.

Along the path there were many platforms for viewing. 

Here's the mill! 

"This water wheel was built according to the old techniques and installed on April 9th, 1976.
It reminds us that this waterway was vital for industrial development since the 11th century.
The last of the original waterwheels was replaced in 1864 with a turbine."

There's a Christie! 

Here are some details about the falls.
150 meters wide
23 meters high
13 meters deep
14,000 - 17,000 years old 

We saw a swan, calmly swimming not far from the falls. 

As we walked along the path, the island looked smaller,
but we could still see the top thanks to the red flag! 

The water was a lovely mineral-filled green color,
as in many of the rivers in Switzerland.
Glacier water looks this color. 

There's the bridge!

Sign for Schloss Laufen - we're going the right way!

We climbed higher as we went along the path.
It was tiring.

Here's the bridge!
It's a train bridge, but there's room for walking.

And there's an unobstructed view of the castle.

The bridge goes over the river, of course, and the water is swirly and pretty. 

Here comes a train through the tunnel! 

I thought I saw ripped up tissues in the bushes, but it was little baby caterpillars: 

Part of Schloss Laufen - we found it!

Can you see me?
I'm looking for a bathroom and then a BENCH.

Here's the entry to Schloss Laufen. 

There is a little arrow shoot-through hole and a beautiful bronze etching of a tree to decorate the entryway.

We went to the walls: 

and looked over.  The river was far, far down! 

There has been a castle here since at least 858. 

We started to walk down a little path that leads to some viewing platforms,
only to realize that the platforms themselves are a pay-per-view event.
So back up the path we went to purchase a ticket.  

There was a train station down at the base of the cliff, so we could have taken that train home if we had been too tired to walk back the way we came . . . 
the trains weren't as frequent, though, so we would have had a longer wait. 

Here's the boat landing on the castle side of the river. 

As we went down, there were various viewing points. 

One of them was from inside a little round building with stained glass windows.

Ha!  The angle of this photo makes me look like I'm three feet tall with stubby little legs!

The further down we went, the more it seemed as if the viewing platforms
were actually IN the falls! 

From this side, we could see that the island had arches in it.
If you look carefully at the left-hand bottom part of the island, you'll see a boat moored there.

We could still see the swan with zoom.
Be careful, crazy bird - the falls are right there! 

This platform was really crazy.  It truly seemed as if the water was going to sweep us all away.

It rushed up higher than the platform!


This little alcove was tucked away in a hole in the rock
and the river was rushing right by that opening! 

Here's the entry to that little cave:

Here are some clips from our watery adventure:

 We started back the way we came.

But we still appreciated every beautiful view along the way! 

This looks like a computer-generated background, but it's NOT! 

Saw some slugs with interesting patterns:

And eventually, we made it back to the train station!

I made a hash with potatoes, red peppers, orange peppers, and zucchini.

And the next day, we'd be leaving to head home!