Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Busy Day in Switzerland

On Friday, March 19, we did the math and figured out that if we had our act together, we could hit two different activities in two different cities, without wearing out the toddler to the point of fits of exhaustion. The toddler was actually an excellent travel companion, and Kim said that she is usually good for a few days of crazy traveling, as long as it can be followed up with a few days of chilling at home, but I thought we might have been pushing the limits of that theory a little too far, as we were going to Geneva the next day.

First stop, the Rheinfalls! According to my Lonely Planet guide book, they "might not give Niagara much competition in terms of height, width, or even flow of water, but it's a stunning sight nonetheless." The Rheinfalls are Europe's largest waterfalls, and they were picturesque, but they were about as impressive as any we could have found while living in Oregon. I jokingly commented as we passed them on the train "those are the Rheinfalls," thinking that what we were seeing out the window was just some smaller falls up- or down-stream of the real falls. But I was mistaken.

On the other hand, it was a gorgeous day, and I did get to try out a Swiss soda, Rivella, pictured here with some aptly-named OK beer. Back to the soda, you gotta love the Swiss and their cheese, as this is soda that is made from...wait for it!...cheese. Yes, I'm serious. This one is the "cola" flavor and tasted like ginger ale that somehow went bad. There are apparently other flavors, but that was enough cheese soda for me.
Next, we took the train to St. Gallen, which was an adorable little town. This was the one "MUST DO" on my Switzerland list, as the town has an abbey with one of the world's oldest libraries. It's actually a Unesco World Heritage Site. The boys were good sports, but not enamored by my idea of looking at really old books written in languages we couldn't understand, and spent the time drinking beer and wine in one of the squares in the town.

Captain America, Kim, the toddler, and I went to the library. The library was breathtaking. We weren't allowed to take any pictures inside, so I bought some postcards that didn't really do it justice, but I found a few on their website.

In addition to the books, the library had a gigantic old globe that was very cool, but of course, I don't have a picture of it, so you'll just have to trust me, and a mummy. Apparently most kids find the mummy enthralling, but our toddler was rather underwhelmed by it, as were Captain America and I, but of course, we've been to Egypt. Kim, who was amazingly good natured about everything we did, just went with the flow.

And then we went home and made fondue for dinner.

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