The Great Swiss Outing, Day 3: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Sleep was a little sketchy for me on the first night as my mind was dog tired, but my body still believed itself to be on U.S. time.  I awoke in the dead of night and wondered how long I slept.  Turns out I had only been asleep for two and a half hours, but it felt a great deal longer.  I watched TV until my eyes began to droop and managed to fall asleep again, though I had odd, jet lag dreams.  It was as if my wearied mind couldn’t put together a cogent story for a dream.

I was awoken from a deep sleep by the ringing of the telephone for my wake-up call.  It was a persistent little cuss as I had an auto call, a real person, and another auto call.  I organized my stuff, set my bag in the hall for the porter, and went downstairs for breakfast.

Breakfast was a buffet and I shared a table with Marty and Val as I enjoyed bacon, some incredible seasoned potatoes, smoked salmon, a bit of cheese, orange juice, milk, and a multivitamin drink that was actually pretty tasty.

We proved ourselves an organized bunch as all 43 of us were on the bus for us to leave at 8am on the tick.  First we would head to the Old Town of Zurich for a brief little tour.

Brane proved himself quite well versed in the history of Switzerland as he provided interesting tidbits of information.  We took a small walking tour of the town which was capped off with a visit to the Sprungli Confectionery.  They had assorted delights for a pretty penny.  FYI, Switzerland is the second most expensive country in Europe.  A bottle of pop costs 3.50 CHF (Swiss francs).  We were given a sample box of chocolate to nibble on at our leisure as we boarded a bus to visit the principality of Liechtenstein.

Liechtenstein is the smallest country on the planet and is ruled by a prince.  The royal palace sits high upon a hill and visitors are not permitted.  We stopped in the city of Vaduz which also doubled as our lunch break.

I wandered around the streets, marveling at the architecture.  I stopped at a convenience store for a Coke Zero.  Prices are much lower in Liechtenstein and I paid 1.60 Swiss francs for this beverage.  I walked back into the main part of town and stopped in at a Catholic church.

I’m not sure if this church actually has services as there was a bar in front of the altar with a sign saying, “Don’t approach.  Alarm in service.”  I did kneel and say a quick prayer that the tour would continue to go well before lighting a votive candle for my grandparents and my friend Kay.

I got back to the bus and we began driving up the mountain to the Julier Pass which has some spectacular views as it stands nearly 3,000 feet above sea level.  During the drive, Brane told us that the optional excursion of a buggy ride through the Roseg Valley was canceled due to inclement weather as it had started snowing hard.  We got a taste of the bad weather as the snow began to fall on us as well.  As Roseg Valley was another 4,000 feet above our current position, I can only imagine how much snow was pummeling them.

We took a brief stop at the top of the Pass for photos and restrooms, but only for a few minutes as the weather had turned mighty cold, mighty quick.  Then it was a speedy drive down to the spa town of St. Moritz.

St Moritz is known for a couple of things.  It has been the site of the Winter Olympics and it is split into 2 sections known as Bath and Dorf.  Bath is the resort/spa area of the town.  Dorf is the village area.  Specifically, it’s a village for the wealthy and I mean the very wealthy.

Tonight’s hotel was the Hotel Laudinella.  Since I would be getting a refund on the canceled carriage ride, I decided to reinvest the money into a massage.  If I’m at a spa hotel, I might as well get the full experience.  Right?

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Hotel Laudinella

I got the last appointment of the night at 9pm, then proceeded to take a long walk along Lake St. Moritz.  This gave me a great opportunity to test out my new camera as it can take panoramic shots and be adjusted for vista and night shots.

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I walked along the river as far as I was allowed, then turned back to the hotel.  At 6:15pm, we had dinner at Stuvi where I ate with Marty and Val and Mr. and Mrs. James Bond (not a joke).  Dinner was also buffet style and I had salad, water, turkey, shrimp cocktail, pork steak, rice & corn, potatoes, and a really ripping parfait for dessert.

Afterwards it was back to my room to get cleaned up and begin writing this article until it was time for my massage.

My therapist was the spa manager, Sonja Martocchi, who really worked the kinks out of my back, shoulders, hands, fingers, and especially a tight spot just below the back of my left knee.

I felt like a liquid when I was through and knew I would be guaranteed a good night’s sleep.

Tomorrow we get to sleep in for another 15 minutes before going through the drill for another 8am departure.  The road will be taking us through a bit of Italy before our final destination which will feature a cruise on Lake Lugano followed by dinner in a traditional grotto restaurant.

 

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