Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We're back in der Schweiz!

After almost 2 months in the states - I am back in Switzerland and a lady of leisure once more:) I forgot how much work it was living in the USA:) I arrived in Zurich last weekend and realized that Nathan and I only have about 3 more months left here! So we HAD to hit the ground running - right? No time like the present! (And for all of you wondering - Nathan was in the states for about 3 weeks with me, and except for almost killing himself swimming in sub zero degree water and losing his wallet on the slopes he didn't do much here while I was gone - therefore no blog:))

I arrived back in Zurich on Friday Jan 22- we chilled on Saturday - then off to Mt. Rigi near Lucerne on Sunday for a day of Sledding and Schneeschuhwandern (Snowshoeing). Side note: If you are ever in Switzerland checkout the SBB Website - you can get pretty good deals on day trips - it is also a good place to check out what Switzerland thinks is worth seeing!
Mt. Kulm was where we started the sledding!

Our death dfying group - Zann, Emily, Sarah, me and Nathan

Let's start with sledding. Very dangerous sport. VERY. DANGEROUS. Seriously - you should need a license to get on one of those things! Or at the least a lesson and a HELMET! But nope - 10 CHF will get you a sled and on your merry way..... to near death experiences! Now don't get me wrong - I love adventure, rushes in adrenaline - hell "Strap a set on" is my favorite saying - but I swear while sledding (on Mt. Rigi) I saw my life flash before my eyes!

Let's start with the "Exciting Sledge Runs" (what they call the trail - not sure where the "g" comes in but whatever). Anyway, Mt. Rigi has 3 runs with the longest being 4.0 km. But let's get back to the word "exciting" - exciting means very narrow runs with steep drop offs and no netting to keep you from going over the side - oh yeah and let's just throw in some moguls for good measure! I wish I had a video of the time Nathan hit a mogul and landed head first in the snow - 15 feet IN FRONT OF his sled!:) I, on the other hand, hit a lady (who had stopped in a very bad spot if you ask me) head on going what felt like 30 mph because I hadn't quite gotten a hang of breaking (fyi - the "snow plow" technique does NOT work:)) I mean - don't get me wrong - it is HILARIOUS to watch and we made out with only slight bruising and one sprained ankle. Soooooo - who wants to go again?:)

Nathan right after he went head first in the snow - can you see the icicles hanging from his hat?

Probably taken right before I hit someone:)

After sledding we did a little snowshoeing - I love how Swiss this picture is so I had to include it:)

The next morning we woke up (very sore) and headed to Milan, Italy. Nathan had to go for work and he asked if I wanted to tag along! Hell yeahs! The trip was from Monday morning to Wednesday evening, so I thought I would check out the sites in Milan, take a day trip to Lake Como, and then of course check out the shopping scene in Milan!

To be honest - there isn't a whole lot to do in Milan site seeing wise. On Monday, I visited the Duomo (the second largest Catholic Cathedral in the World). The Duomo was built in a Gothic style and is breath taking! If you have a chance, climb the stairs to the roof to see all the details up close! Unfortunately, it was a very overcast day so the views weren't that great though.:(

We went back to the Duomo at night with the ABB Team - good looking bunch!:)

Next I decided to just shop! Who can blame a girl - right? I had read in one of my travel books that January and July were the two months where everything was on sale - and they were right! So if you want some good shopping deals go then - you can get a Prada bag for $2500 instead of $5000:)! While shopping, I found one of my favorite ad campaigns EVER! LOVE IT! Not sure if it is in the States but look for it - they have a bunch of other signs that play off this one!

Tuesday - Lake Como! So maybe I am an idiot, not worldly, and from a small town in Georgia, but I thought Italy was supposed to be warm and sunny all the time!:) What was up with the temperature being around 1 degree Celsius the whole time I was there?! And it was a humid cold so it went right through you! BUT I wasn't about to let that ruin my time! I was on a mission to find George Clooney:)! (However, I should have checked with Hollywood b/c he was there for awards season - boooo!) Anyway, I started my day with a boat trip on Lake Como. Everyone else was sitting inside the boat, but going back to the idiot part, I decided to sit in the back - outside. My camera doesn't take very good shots through windows, so I had to take one for the team:) Don't you think my shots from OUTSIDE are great? You can see so much of the lake and scenery from my picture- right?:)

Beautiful Lake Como!:)

I also walked around the cute old town and took the funicular to the top of Brunate, a hill overlooking Como and providing a panoramic view - again probably better thing to do during the summer:)? I did see the sun trying to peak out a little! But I guess I am going to have to go back during the summer!

Dinner on Tuesday night was amazing! Fabrizio from ABB Italy took us to a great local restaurant. The staff didn't speak any English and Fabrizio didn't want to translate the whole menu so he asked us all if we liked seafood. Everyone said yes, so he told the wait staff to "bring it". And boy did the BRING IT!! Salmon, mussels, anchovies, octopus, calamari, and more-yum! And to top it all off - when we were finished and asked them to call us a taxi home the director of the restaurant said he would drive us instead! Now that is service! If only I could remember the name of the place......

Wednesday I toured around Milan again. I wanted to see the painting of The Last Supper, but when I finally found the place, viewings were closed due to some type of department meeting! Totally sucked - except that the temperature had reached 4 degrees and I saw the most delicious looking gelato so I stopped off for a little treat! If you are near this museum find "Chocolate - Milano" - the gelato was amazing! Another highlight was visiting 10 Corso Como - beautiful shop with a great little cafe! Granted I couldn't even afford a paper clip, but it was beautiful!

Where the Last Supper is located...not that I actually got to see it:(

Then the past Sunday we went Ice Skating on Lake Sihl.

Picture of the lake from the bus - it was a really big "rink"!

Nathan nor I had ever ice skated on a real frozen lake (only ice skating rinks) so we were excited! Although the scenery while skating was beautiful - do you think this was bad.....

Water in the middle of the course! Nothing to see here folks - keep moving!

Yeah we thought so too!:) But all the experienced Swiss just skated through so we did too! Don't worry Nate - they have a life preserver waiting about 5 feet from here! I'll save you!

The other thing is - you never know what the weather is going to do in Switzerland. Here are two pictures taken from the exact same place. The first in the morning when we got there and the second around 1 pm... so much for the beautiful scenery:) At least that meant it was time for gluhwein!

around 11 am...

at 1 pm!

So I have finally caught up on our "what we've been doing". The next post will be shorter - I promise!


Links to all the photo albums:
Mt. Rigi Pics , Milan & Lake Como Pics, and Ice Skating on Lake Sihl Pics

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