Monday, December 17, 2012

October 26th: Nice to Lausanne

It was already rainy and dreary when we woke up, so we knew it was going to be a long day before we even hit the road. We grabbed breakfast from a bakery down the street, checked out of the hotel, and got started around 9am. We had the whole day to make it to Switzerland, but we knew it wasn't going to be very fun.

The first hiccup came when our GPS and the car's GPS suggested two different routes to Lausanne. Mark had looked at some driving options before we left; we had planned to stay on major highways most of the way, but the car suggested a more direct way to Switzerland. We decided to follow it...

...and wound up on a steep winding mountain road, complete with hairpin turns, stuck behind a dump truck. In the rain. At one point Mark accidentally passed the truck on the inside. I had visions of us flying off the side of the mountain and dying in a stupid smart car in the Alps.

When we could see through the low clouds the scenery was pretty. There were mountains with little towns nestled in the valleys.

This was what we drove through for several hours. It seemed like the equivalent of taking Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway to from Virginia to North Carolina. Maybe we would have enjoyed it more if we had more time and the weather was better.

A lot of the trees were changing color. I wish the clouds had been a bit higher so we could have seen further.

We finally crossed the border into Italy (and back to a major highway!) and by early afternoon made it to Torino. If nothing else I wanted to try some real Italian pasta, so we found a restaurant and stopped for lunch.

These may have been the best ravioli I've ever had. The food was great, but it sounded like they were doing construction on the other side of the wall. It was pretty funny; there were a few guys obviously trying to have a productive business lunch but the construction sound was so loud I half expected someone in a hardhat to come crashing through the wall. The guys eventually complained to the waiter and switched tables.

Piazza San Carlo. After lunch we stopped for some chocolates and gelato, sat for a few minutes to eat, and got accosted by a mime. We window shopped for a few minutes, then made our way back to the car.

The weather never really got better while we drove through Italy. Mountains (and sometimes castles) would loom out of the fog on the side of the road.

The drive lasted way longer than we expected; the GPS kept updating the arrival time (always later, of course), and at one point we got turned around in a small town during rush hour and I thought Mark was going to lose all hope. We kept pressing on, though, and eventually made it to...

...Switzerland!! Thank goodness.

The border crossing was kind of ridiculous; you had to take a loooong tunnel through the mountains, which was neat, but for some reason they staff the tunnel with grumpy old guys who look at you condescendingly and demand to know why you think you should be allowed to enter Switzerland. After seamlessly crossing all of the other borders it was a bit off-putting to have someone regard you so suspiciously. At any rate, we made it to Lausanne, checked into the hotel, and tried to find a place for dinner. There weren't many restaurants near the hotel, and we eventually wound up eating in a bar before heading back to the room and passing out.

No comments:

Post a Comment