A technophilic couple with a bilingual 13 year old and French-born 8 year old leave the USA again (2014), this time permanently, to return to France in pursuit of good food and a different approach to life. And cheese. (http://www.mfromage.fr/) The adventure continues.
Last week Alex got a haircut, we played in the parks and enjoyed the nice weather, and last Saturday took a nice long walk in the 17th. It was hot, 88°F, so we spent the afternoon at a cafe. Then we bought cheese, bread, wine and a roti chicken for dinner from our market. It was a good weekend!
On Friday the weather was still cloudy so we drove down the mountain on the proper road (a bit wider but not by much) and drove around Interlaken and the valleys. We found a great playground in Interlaken, and then a Hooters for lunch. The wings were just okay. We relaxed at the hotel and had an excellent meal at the restaurant.
On Saturday it was on to our last stop, Zurich. We didn't know that Saturday August 14th was the Zurich Street Parade, the largest technoparade in Europe. We enjoyed the people watching for sure. Then it was back to Paris on Sunday.
The Sound of Music Tour has entered Switzerland. We left Innsbruck and spent about 48 hours in Lucerne, or Luzern if you are more of the deutsch persuasion. While Switzerland has its own beautiful elements, the prices are not one of them. The country is, to put it bluntly, stupid expensive. Nevertheless we continue to have good meals (of course), including one of the better Greek meals I've ever eaten.
We're presently in Beatenberg (bee-AT-en-berg), which is just west of Interlaken (literally between the lakes). Following a Google Maps failure (i.e., wrong location of the hotel and consequently the wrong directions), we followed a VERY rural road to finally get to our hotel. In places there was less than one full lane's width. These places were typically found next to precipitous and likely fatal hundred-foot drops off a cliff. They were also usually on the right side of the car, which resulted in some questioning of my driving tactics from the passenger seat. NEVERTHELESS,…
The adventure continues as Sunday we made our way from Bad Gastein to Innsbruck via... Italy. No, this was not a map failure. We decided to take a drive through the Alps and we had two choices: either through the Großglockner road or down across the north of Italy. If you take a look at the map you'll see how out of the way this was, but we're on vacation. Efficiency wasn't part of the equation. So we took an auto-train and had a delicious lunch in Brunico, then made it to Innsbruck just in time to watch United make Chelsea look positively ordinary as Scholesy cut them to ribbons and the Little Pea scored off his nose. (Note to United fans: googling "Irish Bar " is usually a good start to finding pubs off the beaten path in Europe.)
Innsbruck is a great little town, if a bit crowded with tourists and hikers of all ages and nationalities. Today, Monday, we've spent up in the mountains having taken the hairiest funicular/cable car ride I'll probably ever tak…
What's the difference between a, say, California spa and an Austrian spa? In Austrian spas they allow kids and dogs and dinner entails big hunks of meat and dumplings and giant mugs of beer. Alles gut here in at the Hoteldorf Gruner Baum in Bad Gastein as The Sound of Music Tour continues. We're really enjoying relaxing our way through the Alps. Today we wandered around town, took naps and I had a massage from Birgitte. Tonight's dinner is a Farmer's Buffet. Stay tuned for the meat sweat-inducing pictures!
We moved on to Salzburg yesterday, home of everyone's favorite musical. In a word, it was madness. Tourists EVERYWHERE with more people than I've seen even under the Eiffel Tower. But of course we had some good food. Onward to Bad Gastein today.
Day one of the Sound of Music Tour... Vienna is a beautiful city with stunning architecture, charming neighborhoods and great food and drink. After a brief wander around last night, today we visited the Schönbrunn and the zoo. Lunch was a massive affair with boiled beef and veg for me and a spaetzle and cheese heart attack on a plate for Gab.
Barb, Bob and Bert were in Paris on vacation for the week, so we met up with them at their hotel in the 6th, which had a cool rooftop deck where we enjoyed lunch one day before they went to Strasbourg. Alex and I also went to check out the new playground in the Tuileries which is great. On Saturday JD's cousin David was passing through Paris after his trip to Aix-en-Provence, so we met up with him and walked around and had a great Mexican meal at a restaurant we found in the 16th.