Friday, July 25, 2014

Switzerland for the Weekend!

 Cathy and I packed up and took the train up to Switzerland. Here is a whirlwind recap of the weekend... I will be going back to that country someday. It was amazing.

THURSDAY (Still in Italy):
What a fast week! After a quick lecture on Italian Music given by the dashingly handsome Luca, Cathy and I went to grab a quick lunch and then catch the train towards Tirano, Italy. Since there is a small Eataly restaurant near the metro stop, we decided to eat there. Either I was starving and EVERYTHING would taste good, or the classic club sandwich and caprese salad I got for lunch was amazing. I’m going with the latter since it was Eataly.

After lunch we had to haul ass to the metro to catch the yellow line to Centrale. When there we had to again haul ass up the stairs to catch the Regional train headed to Tirano. We made it with 2 minutes to spare. My thighs were burning and I’m pretty sure I suffered a mild heart attack. But after we settled in our stuffy train car, we set off for the 2+ hour journey to Tirano.

Making it Tirano was a beautiful thing. What an adorable little village nestled in the valley of the Italian Alps. It would be a perfect place for me to set up shop and write the rest of my dissertation. What a fabulous idea! Shame I couldn't afford the trip back. The little hotel we stayed at was freaking adorable and right out of a Goldilocks story. We had a small but cozy bathroom and two twin beds. Our windows opened to the main road and the rushing aqueduct that flows through the center of town. The alpine water was this crystal aquamarine color that I’d liken to the “robin’s egg” color of some classic cars from the 1950s. After setting down our goods, we set off to wander the little town and scout out some dinner spots. Some of the photos I got of the little alleyways and side streets are beyond charming. It almost seemed fake.  I met a cute little gray kitty that obviously belonged to a local Innkeeper as she was super friendly and anxious to be loved on.
A turn back through town took us to a cute little ristorante and pizzeria where we decided dinner was necessary. Our grumbling stomachs agreed. Oh. My. God. The food was fantastic! I got this pear and cheese salad with walnuts and a light vinegaratte that was to DIE for. I’d eat that every day if I could. For dinner we got a 4 cheese pizza and some local white wine (a staple of the area).

We called it a fairly early night since we had to be up at a decent time to catch the Bernina Express into Switzerland.

Ate breakfast at the hotel
Bernina Express – 2.5 hour trip; What an amazing journey through the Alps! The weather was beautiful and the trip was exactly as I expected Switzerland to be. Took well over 400 photos … Cathy got a little snap-happy

Hiking nuns!  Luckily at one point during the trip, we passed a beautiful aqua lake where Cathy spotted two nuns hiking around. She snapped a cute photo of them.

When we arrived in St Moritz we wanted to wander around and dig up somewhere to eat lunch. Being the tourists we are, we walked up the side of a steep hill towards the center of town. That was painful! Not only was the elevation working against my lungs, but so was the steep incline. Come to find out that there was an escalator that would take you up the mountain… Whoops.

Expensive ass lunch – meatloaf with fried egg and potato salad; Very good, but very pricey!
After lunch we wandered back down to the lake for some more picturesque views before taking the train to Celerina where our hotel was. I decided my goal for the trip was to stick my feet in an alpine lake or stream before I left Switzerland. So I stuck my poor aching feet in the lake! And maybe it was the fact that my feet were numb, but maybe (and I’m going with this) the lake has some healing properties because afterwards my feet felt 10x better.

Took train over to Celerina – stayed at All in One Hotel which was an adorable ski lodge place. We had a room with two bunk beds, a desk area and shower/bathroom. The only issue I had with the place was that they charged 5 franks for towels…. We had to pay for towels.
We promptly took a well deserved nap after the day of travel. The beds were surprisingly comfortable and I was hard-pressed to move after I woke back up. But we had big plans!
Took a “Mountain crab” to Romantik Hotel for dinner. By mountain crab I mean it’s a trolley that climbs the side of a mountain.

Spent 100 franks per person on dinner of: tomato soup, peach sorbet, steak med rare with herb butter, veggies and chocolate mousse with strawberries for desert
It was one of the best meals of my whole life. After dinner it was around 11pm and FREEZING! Of course even though I packed pants and a light sweater, it wasn’t enough. Cathy on the other hand was in pure heaven. However we did decide to split the ungodly cost of a cab to take us to the hotel instead of waiting outside at 11pm for a bus that would come around midnight.

Woke up early to get breakfast at the hotel. Had the best croissants of my LIFE with some creamed honey; cute waiter made us cappuccinos

Took an adventurous trip on the train to find the mountain lift we were scouting for
Took the lift to 3033 meters (about 10k feet) to the top of a mountain in the Alps. Walked on a glacier.
Ate lunch at the panorama bar/bistro on the mountain; Got a mixed plate of dried meats and local cheeses as well as some French fries. Ordered 2 cappuccinos which I aptly dubbed “ALPaccinos” J

Spent the day taking photos and wandering around
Took bus back to Celerina where we promptly took a nap.
Wandered into town for dinner and came across a place that served fondue; Got the cheese fondue with potatoes, onions, pickles, baby corn, pepper and olives. Ninja’d some cheese for tomorrow

We woke up for breakfast at the hotel. I had more great croissants and a cappuccino! Seriously, the croissants were so light and flaky I could have eaten 10 of them! Get it together Italy!!!
Grabbed a local train to St Moritz; Got back on the Bernina Express towards Tirano. Today the weather was rainy and cloudy which was beautiful against the mountain backdrop; nice to get both types of weather for the trip. The 2.5 hour journey seemed a little longer this time due to a plethora of young children in our car making a LOT of noise, and the fact that we were leaving Switzerland for good. A bit depressing, but the view made me smile. I would love to go back.

We ate lunch in Tirano at Vittora where I got spaghetti bolonese and salad with a super thick hot chocolate… it was like chocolate pudding!! Cathy got a Hawaiian pizza and some red vino.
We hopped on the 3pm Trennord Regional train towards Milano Centrale (where I am currently writing this blog). Thus ending our weekend getaway in Switzerland. Bought a few knives and trinkets.
Dad leaves for Denmark today (he will arrive Monday morning) and then tomorrow night he will be in Milano!!!!!!!!!!

No comments: