Back over the mountains

I was a little bit worried about getting back to the ferry in time – so we set off very early – well at 0700. It was still dark when we set out to collect John, but luckily by the time we got to the hairpin bends it was in daylight.

Well, almost!
It was lovely – the valleys were still misty – unfortunately due to me driving at about 10mph with a queue of manic drivers behind me, we could only stop in the middle of the road and take one decent picture!

Here are a few pictures from the journey – not a lot to say really – I was hands clenched on the steering wheel!

We stopped at Carrefour in Thionville to do some serious shopping, and to wake me up as I was beginning to struggle.
Luckily this, and playing selections from Yes and Nirvana, took us all the way to Calais with only one more stop in Luxembourg for diesel.
We were two hours early for our ferry booking – but John decided to pay the extra for us to get the earlier ferry – we were just about the last ones to get on the one in port – although with the appalling signs at Calais that was more luck than judgement!
It was a great time away – thanks John!

Switzerland – rest day

We drove up to meet John and left the car in the university car park while we walked around town. (Despite me really wanting to go and catch a second glimpse of what might have been the Matterhorn)
The town has some beautiful houses –
and some lovely architecture
and I was lucky enough to see it all in the company of these two handsome men!
It was a steep walk up to the castle, but worth it for the beautiful view over the lake and mountains on one side, and the town on the other.
In the courtyard was a statue of some reformer holding aloft a book – I have absolutely no idea who he was, but I loved the way that the wrinkles had been carved into his stocking.

We walked down the sensible way – unlike these two who appeared to be trying to pull down the walls of the castle – it was a little worrying to see the huge chunks of masonry falling off as they were pulling out bushes that had grown into the walls.
We were getting hungry by then, but discovered that after 1400 you are not allowed to eat in Switzerland – unless you wanted to eat hamburgers. This suited Dan!
Afterwards we went down to the lake and I looked wistfully at the mountains on the other side. The sky was really dramatic.

After spending some money in the shopping centre (Disneys Sleeping Beauty in French, and a wooffly orange fleece for Jill) we dropped John off to do his final packing and went back and had a lazy evening in the hotel room.

Switzerland – Trip 2!

I volunteered with alacrity to go and collect my lovaaaiiiirrrr from Switzerland, because I like going places, and couldn’t bear to think of him having to struggle across mountains and train stations with 3 months worth of luggage.
Luckily Dan was well enough to go with me – my reading of the satnav can sometimes be more creative than accurate.
We set out 10 minutes later than we should have done – and bombed down the M20 at a strictly legal speed, getting to the port at 0620 for the ferry which was supposed to leave at 0645- only to join the end of a long queue of cars for the 0715. Obviously the 0645 was a figment of the timetables imaginationas it definitely wasn’t there.
The weather on the way through France and Belgium was foggy, we stopped at a service station in Belgium and walked up to the viewing point and saw this……
or to be more accurate – didn’t see this!
We carried on through the fog and rain, and soon started seeing snow by the roadside. As it got darker the snow got deeper, and the roads got steeper.
Dan said at one point ‘at least the roads are clear…’
Of course the next road we turned into was covered in deep icy ruts. Led into this town – you can see the heaped snow under the rather blurry Christmas tree!
We got to Neuchatel at about 2100 – yes – it was far too far in one day! But enjoyed it – even the wheel gripping terror of the hairpin bends in the dark.
We got to the Ibis in time to get dinner – had the luscious rare roast beef with salad and saute potatoes – almost worth the drive.
And to round off a satisfying day – finished the Secret Sara Project – so can’t post a photograph!


We set out for Strasbourg quite early – and drove straight into the mist.
We thought it was going to be a pretty dreary drive – but went through a tunnel in the mountain and on the other side it was glorious sunshine.

We got to Strasbourg without any problem until we found the hotel – down a side road with no apparent parking at all. Luckily we soon found a multi storey ( in which I fell flat on my face tripping over a safety light … more bruises) and then had to struggle back to the hotel with luggage.
It was very nice – although in a slightly dubious area near to the station – and the rooms were cramped. But it had the saving grace of free internet – and free breakfast – and it was half price due to some anniversary or other – so we didn’t grumble.
We decided to split up and walk around the town – Jill had been before and wanted to see the cathedral again.