730AM start. Woke up and had breakfast before we parted way with Samantha. There are tons of mosquitoes and they for some reason only bit myself and my fellow Canadians. Enroute to Switzerland – Lucerne then Lauterbrunnen. Multiple stops along the way to Switzerland.
Facts about Switzerland:
The swiss had a great army but they decided to retire from the european war.
These men are great as security guards for the pope (they cannot bow but salut).
Michaelangelo designed the swiss soldiers uniform which they still wear.
The tunnels are s shaped so if a missile were to be shot, it would hit the sides. They have tons of tactical reinforcements such as tunnels that can hold over 10000 people and able to set off a detonator to block off the city.
Switzerland is neutral. However, within 72 hours, they can mustard up a large army to defend their country if they want.
Any men from 18-30 must join the army unless they are unfit to but must pay a tax until they are 30.
If they join the EU, there would be no democracy.
There are 4 official languages – German, French, Italian and Rumantsch.
Famous products – milk chocolate – Mr Lindt then Johann Toblerone – nougat and shaped in a triangle to represent mountains.
Swiss army knives -can purchase white only in Switzerland, black for Europe and red for international.
Swiss watches – swatch
Swiss bank accounts – you just need 500 swiss franks to open it from any part of the world – you can remain anonymous as it is only numbers. So the jewish could protect their money during the time of the nazis.
Traditional foods- fondue – cheese, chocolate. If you drop your cheese or bread in the fondue, you kiss the person left of you.
We stopped in Luzern (Lucerne) and went on the worlds most photographed bridge -Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge). We arrived on a national holiday so all the stores were closed but luckily we were able to go into Harry’s to look and purchase watches, swiss army knives etc. Another store that was open was Bachmann which was fully stocked with loads of chocolate, food and drinks and even macarons. We stopped by the Lion monument – it is a lion with lashes and a spear on its side holding up a shield that is carved into the cliffside in the shape of a pig. This carving holds great significance as it represents royalty and loyalty for the soldiers.
It was unbearably hot in Venice while it is the complete opposite after travelling 7-9 hours to get to Switzerland where it is the beginning of spring weather and chilly. We hopped off the bus in shorts and t-shirts and we we’re getting looks like we were crazy. The city is very pretty with mountain views all over the place. The air is crisp. We drove for another 1/2-hour to our final destination in Lauterbrunnen (a small little town with gorgeous scenic views getting into town) We are staying at Camping Jungfrau where it’s 3 to a room and bunk beds. Our window was open when we arrived and it opens 2 different ways so I made sure we closed that properly however the hallways were definitely warmer at this point. Contiki reps made us dinner – burgers and fries.